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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/19/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 9/19/2013)
Family SABIACEAE
Contributor ALWYN H. GENTRY
Description Trees, shrubs, or lianas. Leaves alternate to subopposite, simple to pinnately compound, estipulate. Inflorescences terminal, axillary, ramiflorous or cauliflo- rous, paniculate, racemose, or cymose. Flowers small, usually perfect, some- times monoecious; sepals 3-5, imbricate, the petals (4-)5(-6), opposite the sepals; stamens 2-5, if 2 with 3 staminodes, opposite the petals and attached to their bases; ovary ovoid to conical, bilocular with 2 usually superposed ovules per locule, the style simple or bifid; disc usually present, 3-8 dentate. Fruit single- seeded and drupaceous or of 2 partially fused drupaceous carpels, exocarp fleshy, endocarp more or less woody, sometimes conspicuously sculptured; seeds with little or no endosperm.
Habit Trees, shrubs, or lianas.
Note The Sabiaceae is a family of three genera and about 80 species, disjunct be- tween southeast Asia and tropical America. Relationships with Sapindaceae, Icacinaceae, and even Menispermaceae have been suggested. Tropical Asian Sabia with five fertile stamens, is sometimes considered to constitute a possibly not closely related monogeneric family with Meliosma and the exclusively South American Ophiocaryon then segregated as Meliosmaceae. Only Meliosma is rep- resented in Panama. The unusual floral configuration with both stamens and petals opposite the sepals characterizes the family; in the Panamanian genus only 2 stamens are fertile and two of the petals are reduced and fused to the filament bases. Vege- tatively the thickened petiole bases and tendency to serrate or at least remotely dentate leaf margins are useful characters. In the field the typically persistent fruits are much more commonly encountered than are flowers. In some species most of a preceding year's fruit crop may still be present on a tree subsequent to development of the current year's fruits. The fruits of most of the Panamanian species are especially noteworthy for their extremely hard endocarps. The family is of no economic importance, althought its excellent fossil record makes it of special phytogeographical and paleobotanical interest. A few Asian species of Meliosma are occasionally cultivated as ornamentals.
Reference Barneby, R. C. 1972. Meliosmaceae-Ophiocaryon. In Botany of the Guayana Highland. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 23: 114-102. Beusekom, C. F. van. 1971. Revision of Meliosma (Sabiaceae), Section Lorenzanea excepted, living and fossil, geography and phylogeny. Blumea 19: 355-529. Cuatrecasas, J. & J. M. Idrobo. 1955. El genero Meliosma en Colombia. Caldasia 7: 187-211. Goldblatt, P. 1979. Miscellaneous chromosome counts in angiosperms. II. In- cluding new family and generic records. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 66: 856- 861. Urban, I. 1895. Ueber die Sabiaceengattung Meliosma. Ber. Deutsch. Bot. Ges. 13: 211-222. Urban, I. 1900. Sabiaceae. Symb. Ant. 1: 499-518. Williams, L. 0. 1967. Sabiaceae, pp. 261-262 in Tropical American plants, VIII. Fieldiana: Bot. 31: 249-269.
 
 
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