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Published In: Genera Plantarum 217. 1789. (4 Aug 1789) (Gen. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/25/2012)
Acceptance : Accepted
Taxon Profile     (Last Modified On 7/11/2021)
Description: Small shrubs to large trees, less commonly lianas or herbs, terrestrial, hemi-epiphytic, or climbing, evergreen or deciduous, hermaphroditic or andromonoecious, rarely dioecious or diphasic, glabrous or with various types of indument; schizogenous secretory canals present. Stems monocaulous or sparsely to well branched, usually pachycaulous. Leaves alternate (opposite in Chirodendron), frequently heteroblastic; petioles usually present (leaves rarely sessile) and often sheathing at the base, sometimes alate, exstipulate, or with ligulate stipules; blade simple to ternately, palmately or pinnately lobed or compound (or peltate), with entire, crenate, toothed, or incised margins; venation pinnate or palmate. Inflorescences terminal (sometimes pseudo-axillary, rarely axillary), paniculate, compound-umbellate or simple-umbellate, the ultimate units umbellules, capitula, racemules, or spicules, flowers rarely solitary; inflorescence axes subtended by foliose to minute bracts (sometimes lacking); flowers subtended by bracteoles (or lacking). Flowers perfect, staminate, or pistillate, actinomorphic. Perianth parts typically (3–)5(–12). Calyx of minute to small lobes, or forming a truncate rim. Petals valvate or imbricate, sometimes calyptrate, the bases broadly inserted. Stamens isomerous to several or many times the number of petals (3–250+), in one whorl (and then alternipetalous) or many whorls, anthers dorsifixed, introrse, tetrasporangiate (octosporangiate in some Plerandra), dehiscing by longitudinal slits; filaments filiform (to short and stout), inflexed in bud. Ovary inferior (half-inferior to superior in some (Polyscias), 2–5(–100+)-carpellate (or unicarpellate through carpel abortion), each carpel unilocular with apical placentation; styles free or connate, sometimes swollen at the base and confluent with the nectiferous disc of the ovary, or stigmas sessile. Ovules anatropous, pendulous, one per locule, unitegmic, crassinucellate or rarely tenuinucellate. Fruits simple or sometimes multiple (Meryta), fleshy (rarely dry), usually drupaceous or baccate with a fleshy mesocarp and a separate, variously sclerified endocarp (pyrene) around each locule, or rarely a schizocarp with two mericarps, with or without a free carpophore (Astrotricha, Harmsiopanax, Hydrocotyle, Neosciadium, and Trachymene); one or more secretory canals (“companion canals” or “rib oil ducts”) found in association each vascular strand. Seeds straight; endosperm copious, oily, uniform or variously ruminate; embryo minute but well-differentiated.
Notes: A widespread family comprising 46 genera and nearly 2,000 accepted species (plus >400 new species awaiting description), most diverse in tropical and subtropical Asia, Oceania, South and Central America, and sub-Saharan Africa-Madagascar.


Lower Taxa
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