The families of flowering plants
Including GeitonoplesiaceaeExcluding Behniaceae
Habit and leaf form. Slender shrubs, or lianas. Normal plants. 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; cross-venulate (slightly), or without cross-venules. Lamina margins entire.
Leaf anatomy. The mesophyll containing mucilage cells; containing calcium oxalate crystals. The mesophyll crystals raphides. Vessels present (?), or absent.
Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening absent. Xylem with vessels, or without vessels. 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 unit 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.
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, biochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Proanthocyanidins absent. Flavonols absent. Ellagic acid absent. Saponins/sapogenins absent (Luzuriaga).
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.
This description is offered for casual browsing only. We strongly advise against extracting comparative information from it. This is much more easily achieved using 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).
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 December 2012. http://delta-intkey.com’.