The families of flowering plants
Including Cassuvieae (Cassuviaceae) R.Br., Spodiaceae (Spodiadaceae) Hassk., Spondiaceae (Spondiadaceae) KunthExcluding Blepharocaryaceae, Julianaceae, Pistaciaceae, Podoaceae
Habit and leaf form. Trees, or shrubs; laticiferous (e.g. in Anacardium), or non-laticiferous and without coloured juice; resinous. Self supporting, or climbing. Leaves evergreen, or deciduous; nearly always alternate (opposite in Bouea); when alternate, spiral; herbaceous; aromatic (resinous), or without marked odour (?); simple, or compound; when compound, ternate, or pinnate. Lamina pinnately veined. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire. Domatia occurring in the family (in 8 genera); manifested as pits, or pockets, or hair tufts.
Leaf anatomy. Abaxial epidermis papillose, or not papillose.
Adaxial hypodermis present, or absent. Lamina with secretory cavities (but not noticeably gland-dotted). Secretory cavities containing resin, or containing latex. Main veins embedded. Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells (Odina (= Lannea)).
Stem anatomy. Secretory cavities present; with resin, or with latex. Cork cambium present; initially usually superficial. Nodes tri-lacunar. Primary vascular tissue centrifugal. Cortical bundles absent. Medullary bundles absent. Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Included phloem absent. Xylem without fibre tracheids; with libriform fibres; with vessels. Vessel end-walls simple (usually), or scalariform, simple, and reticulately perforated. Vessels without vestured pits. Primary medullary rays narrow (mostly), or wide, or mixed wide and narrow. Wood ring porous to semi-ring porous (rarely), or diffuse porous (usually); parenchyma predominantly paratracheal (often sparse, rarely absent).
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite, or monoecious, or dioecious, or gynodioecious, or polygamomonoecious.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in inflorescences; in panicles. The ultimate inflorescence unit racemose. Flowers regular; typically 5 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic, or pentacyclic. Free hypanthium present (short), or absent. Hypogynous disk present; intrastaminal; annular.
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla, or sepaline; 3–5, or 6–10; 1 whorled, or 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 3–5; 1 whorled; basally gamosepalous. Calyx lobes markedly shorter than the tube to markedly longer than the tube. Calyx regular; imbricate. Corolla when present, 3–5; 1 whorled; polypetalous, or gamopetalous (rarely, basally). Corolla lobes markedly longer than the tube. Corolla imbricate.
Androecium 5–10(–12). Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal, or markedly unequal; free of one another, or coherent; when coherent 1 adelphous (the filaments sometimes basally connate); 1 whorled, or 2 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens, or including staminodes. Staminodes when present, 1–9. Stamens (1–)5–10(–12); oppositisepalous. Anthers dorsifixed (mostly), or basifixed (e.g. Spondias); versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Endothecium developing fibrous thickenings. Microsporogenesis simultaneous. The initial microspore tetrads tetrahedral. Anther wall initially with more than one middle layer (usually), or initially with one middle layer (Rhus mysurensis); of the basic type, or of the dicot type. Tapetum glandular. Pollen monosiphonous; shed as single grains. Pollen grains aperturate; (2–)3 aperturate; colporate; 2-celled.
Gynoecium 1–3–5(–6) carpelled. The pistil 1–5 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; semicarpous (rarely), or synovarious, or synstylovarious; superior (usually), or partly inferior. Ovary 1–5 locular. Styles 1 (usually), or 3–6 (Buchanania with up to five styles from sterile carpels). Stigmas 1–5; wet type; non-papillate; Group IV type. Placentation when unilocular parietal, or basal; when bi- or plurilocular basal. Ovules in the single cavity when unilocular, 1; 1 per locule; pendulous, or ascending; apotropous; with ventral raphe (when erect, the micropyle inferior), or with dorsal raphe (when pendulous, the micropyle superior); non-arillate; anatropous; unitegmic, or bitegmic; crassinucellate. Outer integument contributing to the micropyle, or not contributing to the micropyle. Endothelium not differentiated. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Polar nuclei fusing prior to fertilization. Antipodal cells formed; 3; not proliferating; ephemeral. Synergids hooked. Hypostase present, or absent. Endosperm formation nuclear.
Fruit fleshy (usually), or non-fleshy (occasionally); when dry indehiscent; a drupe. The drupes with one stone. Seeds non-endospermic. Cotyledons 2. Embryo chlorophyllous (4/4), or achlorophyllous (2/2); curved.
Seedling. Germination phanerocotylar, or cryptocotylar.
Physiology, biochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Alkaloids present, or absent (mostly). Iridoids not detected. Arthroquinones detected (Lannea); polyacetate derived. Proanthocyanidins present (usually?), or absent (Mangifera); when present, delphinidin, or cyanidin and delphinidin. Flavonols present; kaempferol and quercetin, or quercetin and myricetin, or kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin. Ellagic acid absent (3 genera, 4 species). Arbutin absent. Saponins/sapogenins present (rarely), or absent. Aluminium accumulation not found. Sugars transported as sucrose, or as oligosaccharides + sucrose, or as sugar alcohols + oligosaccharides + sucrose (but sucrose always predominating). C3. C3 physiology recorded directly in Rhus. Anatomy non-C4 type (Mangifera).
Geography, cytology. Sub-tropical to tropical (mainly). Widespread in the tropics, also Mediterranean, E. Asia, America. X = 7–16.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgrens Superorder Rutiflorae; Sapindales. Cronquists Subclass Rosidae; Sapindales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; malvid; Order Sapindales.
Species 600. Genera about 70; Actinocheita, Anacardium, Androtium, Antrocaryon, Apterokarpos, Astronium, Baronia, Bonetiella, Bouea, Buchanania, Campnosperma, Cardenasiodendron, Choerospondias, Comocladia, Cotinus, Cyrtocarpa, Dracontomelon, Drimycarpus, Ebandoua, Euleria, Euroschinus, Faguetia, Fegimanra, Gluta, Haematostaphis, Haplorhus, Harpephyllum, Heeria, Holigarna, Koordersiodendron, Lannea, Laurophyllus, Lithrea, Loxopterigium, Loxostylis, Mangifera, Mauria, Melanochyla, Metopium, Micronychia, Montagueia, Mosquitoxylum, Nothopegia, Ochoterenaea, Operculicarya, Ozoroa, Pachycormus, Parishia, Pegia, Pentaspadon, Pleiogynium, Poupartia, Protorhus, Pseudoprotorhus, Pseudosmodingium, Pseudospondias, Rhodosphaera, Rhus, Schinopsis, Schinus, Sclerocarya, Semecarpus, Smodingium, Solenocarpus, Sorindeia, Spondias, Swintonia, Tapirira, Thyrsodium, Toxicodendron, Trichoscypha.
Economic uses, etc. Including commercially important fruits cashew-nut (Anacardium, and the fleshy peduncle, cashew-apple), mango (Mangifera), Jamaica plum, hog-plum, imbu (Spondias). Resins, oils and lacquers from Toxicodendron.
Illustrations. • Lannea - technical details (Thonner). • Sclerocarya, Odina - technical taxonomic details. • Rhus: Technical details. • Duvaua longifolia: Bot. Reg. 29 (59), 1843.
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’.