The families of flowering plants
~ Alstreomeriaceae, Philesiaceae.
Including Geitonoplesiaceae; excluding Behniaceae.
Habit and leaf form. Slender shrubs, or lianas. Rhizomatous. Self supporting, or climbing. Mesophytic, or xerophytic. Leaves alternate; distichous; herbaceous, or leathery (?); petiolate to sessile; non-sheathing; simple. Lamina inverted; entire; linear, or lanceolate, or ovate; parallel-veined; slightly cross-venulate, or without cross-venules. Lamina margins entire.
Leaf anatomy. The mesophyll containing mucilage cells; containing crystals. The crystals raphides. Foliar vessels present (?), or absent.
Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. Secondary thickening absent. The axial xylem with vessels, or without vessels.
The vessel end-walls scalariform.
Root anatomy. Root xylem with vessels; vessel end-walls simple, or scalariform and simple.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Floral nectaries present, or absent (? no septal nectaries).
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in inflorescences. The ultimate inflorescence units cymose. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary. Flowers small; regular; 3 merous; cyclic; pentacyclic. Perigone tube absent (or almost).
Perianth of tepals; 6; free (or almost), or joined; 2 whorled; isomerous; petaloid; similar in the two whorls, or different in the two whorls; white, or violet. Tepal apex trichomes (TAT) present (Geitonoplesium, Eustrephus).
Androecium 6. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal; free of one another; 2 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 6; diplostemonous; alterniperianthial. Anthers dorsifixed, or basifixed; dehiscing via longitudinal slits, or dehiscing via pores; extrorse, or introrse; tetrasporangiate. Endothecium developing fibrous thickenings. The endothecial thickenings spiral. Microsporogenesis successive. Pollen grains aperturate; 1 aperturate; sulcate (or trichotomosulcate in Geitonoplesium); 2-celled.
Gynoecium 3 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 3 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary 3 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; attenuate from the ovary; apical. Stylar canal present. Stigmas 1; capitate to trilobate; dry type. Placentation axile. Ovules 3–9 per locule (few); arillate, or non-arillate; anatropous, or campylotropous; bitegmic; crassinucellate. Outer integument not contributing to the micropyle. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type.
Fruit fleshy; dehiscent, or indehiscent; a capsule (rather fleshy), or a berry. Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Cotyledons 1. Embryo straight. Testa encrusted with phytomelan, or without phytomelan; black, or brown, or yellow.
Seedling. Hypocotyl internode present (short). Seedling collar not conspicuous. Cotyledon hyperphyll compact; non-assimilatory. Coleoptile absent. Seedling cataphylls present. First leaf dorsiventral. Primary root persistent.
Physiology, phytochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Saponins/sapogenins absent (Luzuriaga). Proanthocyanidins absent. Flavonols absent. Ellagic acid absent.
Geography, cytology. Paleotropical, Cape, Australian, and Antarctic. Southern South America, southern Africa, Australia and adjacent regions to Java, New Guinea, New Zealand and New Caledonia, Falklands. X = 10.
Taxonomy. Subclass Monocotyledonae. Dahlgren et al. Superorder Liliiflorae; Asparagales. APG 3 core angiosperms; Superorder Lilianae; non-commelinid Monocot; Order Liliales (as a synonym of Alstreomeriaceae).
Species 7. Genera 4; Drymophila (Conran 1987), Eustrephus, Geitonoplesium, Luzuriaga.
General remarks. Conspicuously differing from Alstreomeriaceae in habit, phyllotaxy, and the supeior, eusyncarpous gynoecium with one (dry) stigma and few (crassinucellate) ovules per loculus. The compiled data imply further differences in basic chromosome numbers and phytochemistry.
Illustrations. • Geitonoplesium cymosum: Bot. Mag. 59 (1832). • Luzuriaga radicans: Bot. Mag. 105 (1879).
We advise against extracting comparative information from the descriptions. This is much more easily achieved using the DELTA data files or the interactive key, which allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, distributions of character states within any set of taxa, geographical distribution, genera included in each family, and classifications (Dahlgren; Dahlgren, Clifford, and Yeo; Cronquist; APG). See also Guidelines for using data taken from Web publications.
Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 1992 onwards. The families of flowering plants: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. Version: 19th October 2016. delta-intkey.com’.