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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 192. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/22/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted

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1. Sideroxylon L. (buckthorn) (Pennington, 1990)

Plants shrubs or small trees with more or less milky sap, often with short spine-tipped branches along the main stems. Leaves alternate or appearing fascicled at the tips of short condensed branches, lacking stipules. Petioles absent or short. Leaf blades simple, with entire margins, the smaller veins forming an intricate network. Flowers axillary, solitary or in umbellate clusters, actinomorphic, perfect, hypogynous. Calyx of 5 free or nearly free sepals, these overlapping, often persisting in fruit. Corolla 5-lobed, white or sometimes yellowish-tinged, the tube shorter than to about as long as the lobes, the lobes ascending to spreading at maturity, each with a pair of short, petal-like lobes or appendages at the base. Stamens 5, fused to the corolla tube, positioned opposite the corolla lobes. Staminodes 5, similar in size, shape, and color to the corolla lobes but usually somewhat more pointed at the tip, fused to the corolla tube to the inside of the fertile stamens, positioned alternate with the corolla lobes. Pistil 1 per flower, of (2–)5(–8) fused carpels. Ovary superior, with (2–)5(–8) locules, usually hairy, at least toward the base, tapered to the single style. Ovules usually 1 per locule, attached toward the locule base. Stigma not conspicuous, a small obliquely positioned receptive area at the tip of the style. Fruits drupelike berries, ovoid to ellipsoid, green turning purplish black or black at maturity, the outer layer leathery, usually shiny when ripe, the pulp somewhat milky, usually with 1 seed. Seeds obovoid to ellipsoid or nearly globose, the seedcoat relatively thick, hard, shiny, light to dark brown, sometimes mottled on one side, the base with a noticeable attachment scar. About 75 species, North America to South America, Asia, Africa, and Madagasdcar.

Cronquist (1945, 1946) recognized three American genera as distinct from Sideroxylon, which he restricted to the Old World. The 23 species of Bumelia Sw. were said to differ from the closely related Mastichodendron (Engl.) H.J. Lam and Dipholis A. DC. primarily in their divided corolla lobes and seeds lacking endosperm. Pennington (1991), who reviewed the generic-level taxonomy of the family worldwide, noted however that no single character served to adequately separate these segregates and that some recently discovered neotropical species blurred the perceived boundaries between the groups. Accordingly, he chose to accept Sideroxylon in a broad sense, to include a number of both New and Old World genera treated as distinct by earlier authors (Pennington, 1990, 1991). His circumscription is adopted here.

The small flowers of Sideroxylon species have an odd appearance. The stamens appear to be sandwiched between two whorls of corolla lobes. The inner whorl, however, is composed of petaloid staminodes.

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