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Published In: Genera Plantarum 328. 1789. (4 Aug 1789) (Gen. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/25/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted

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MELASTOMATACEAE (melastome family)

About 200 genera, 4,000–4,500 species, nearly worldwide, mostly in tropical and warm-temperate regions.

Species in this family mostly may be easily recognized by two unusual sets of features. The leaves have a characteristic pattern of venation, with usually 3 or 5 main veins (to 9 elsewhere), these palmately arranged and running parallel to the leaf margin (diverging above the base and arching so as to converge toward the tip), with the secondary veins parallel to one another and arranged in a ladderlike pattern between the main veins. In the flowers, the stamens are zygomorphic in that they become twisted downward (toward the lower side of the open flower) as the flower matures. The linear anthers are attached to the deflexed filaments toward their bases (with a short section extended past the attachment point), and a small sterile spur of tissue is usually also present at the filament tip. In most species, the anthers are curved upward and shed pollen through an apical pore (which is thus positioned at the lower edge of the open flower). These specialized stamens are an adaptation to pollination by insects (especially bees), with the hinged anther swinging up as the insect lands and shedding pollen on it.


Lower Taxa
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