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Published In: Narrative of an Expedition to Explore the River Zaire 431. 1818. (5 Mar 1818) (Narr. Exped. Zaire) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/4/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 8/6/2009)


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Contributed by David J. Bogler and George Yatskievych

Plants trees, shrubs, or lianas, usually dioecious, with well-developed resin canals in the bark and leaves and acrid or milky sap. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, trifoliate, or less commonly appearing simple. Stipules absent or obscure. Inflorescences terminal or axillary panicles or clusters. Flowers small, actinomorphic, almost always imperfect, usually hypogynous. Sepals usually 5, fused at the base. Petals usually 5, distinct. Stamens 5–10, the filaments usually distinct, reduced or absent in pistillate flowers, the anthers attached above the base. Cuplike nectar disk present between stamens and pistil. Pistil of usually 3 fused carpels, but almost always with only 1 carpel fertile and fully developed; reduced or absent in staminate flowers. Ovary with a single fertile ovule (or rarely 1 ovule per carpel), often appearing 1-locular, the placentation axile. Styles 3, distinct or united. Stigmas 3, capitate. Fruits drupes, often somewhat flattened, often waxy or hairy, the stone 1-seeded, bony. Sixty to 80 genera, about 600 species, chiefly tropical, but extending into temperate areas of North and South America, Asia, and Europe.

The family includes a number of important fruits and nuts, including pistachio (Pistacia vera L.), mango (Mangifera indica L.), and cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.). A small number of species are cultivated as ornamentals. However, many members are poisonous or cause severe dermatitis.


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1 1. Leaves simple; fruiting panicles with elongate, plumose-hairy, sterile stalks; styles sublateral, unequal; fruit asymmetrical (swollen toward the tip on the side opposite the minute beak) ... 1. COTINUS

2 1. Leaves trifoliate or pinnately compound; fruiting panicles not plumose-hairy; styles terminal, more or less equal; fruit symmetrical

3 2. Leaves trifoliate or pinnately compound; inflorescence dense, terminal, or lateral on previous year’s wood; fruits red, noticeably pubescent with red glandular hairs ... 2. RHUS

4 2. Leaves trifoliate; inflorescence loose, axillary; fruits whitish or yellowish, glabrous or inconspicuously hairy ... 3. TOXICODENDRON Toxicodendron
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