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Published In: Genera Plantarum 376–377. 1789. (4 Aug 1789) (Gen. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/8/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted

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RHAMNACEAE, buckthorn family

Plants shrubs, trees, or lianas, sometimes dioecious (sometimes incompletely so), sometimes the branchlets thorny at the tip. Leaves alternate or opposite. Stipules absent or more commonly present, but minute, scalelike, and shed early (spinescent elsewhere). Leaf blades simple, unlobed, the venation with 3 main veins from the base or with 1 midvein and pinnate secondary veins, these sometimes strongly arched toward the blade tip. Inflorescences terminal or axillary clusters, umbels, or panicles, sometimes reduced to solitary flowers, the branch points or flowers sometimes subtended by small bracts, but these usually shed early. Flowers relatively small, actinomorphic, perfect or imperfect, shallowly perigynous, the hypanthium variously saucer-shaped to somewhat cup-shaped, usually persistent and becoming disc-shaped, even after the fruits have been shed. Calyces of 4 or 5 apparently free sepals, these attached to the hypanthium rim (and thus can be interpreted as fused into the hypanthium basally), usually not persistent above the hypanthium at fruiting. Corollas of 4 or 5 free petals, these often tapered to a stalklike base, white or whitish green. Stamens 4 or 5, positioned opposite the petals, the filaments usually distinct, attached at the petal bases and often partially enclosed by the concave petals, reduced or absent in pistillate flowers, the anthers attached near the midpoint or at the base, usually yellow. Nectar disc present between the stamens and pistil, more or less cushion-shaped. Pistil of 2 or 3(4) fused carpels, reduced or absent in staminate flowers. Ovary superior, 2- or 3(4)-locular, the locules sometimes incomplete toward the ovary tip, the placentation more or less axile (often appearing nearly basal), the ovules 1 per locule. Style 1 and entire or 2–4-branched, the stigmas variously 2- or 3-lobed or entire, more or less capitate. Fruits drupes or appearing capsular (schizocarps or samaras elsewhere), indehiscent or more or less dehiscent, the stones 1–4, bony. About 55 genera, about 950 species, nearly worldwide, most diverse in tropical and warm-temperate regions.

The main use of members of the Rhamnaceae in the United States is as ornamental plants in gardens. However, some of the genera contain medicinally important species (particularly as laxatives). Some of the tropical genera provide lumber for buildings and furniture, as well as handcrafts and musical instruments. Species of jujube are members of the genus Ziziphus Mill., some of which are cultivated for their edible fruits

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