The families of flowering plants
Including Polygonanthaceae (Croiz.) Croiz.
Habit and leaf form. Trees and shrubs (of wet primary forest). Plants non-succulent. Helophytic. Heterophyllous (anisophyllous, or with reduced stipular homologues), or not heterophyllous (Combretocarpus). Leaves alternate; spiral, or distichous, or four-ranked (Anisophyllea); simple. Lamina entire; palmately veined (35 plinerved). Leaves exstipulate.
Leaf anatomy. Lamina dorsiventral to centric.
Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Vessel end-walls simple. Wood parenchyma apotracheal to paratracheal.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants monoecious (mostly), or hermaphrodite (Combretocarpus); viviparous, or not viviparous.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in inflorescences, or solitary (rarely); when solitary, axillary; when aggregated, in racemes and in panicles. The ultimate inflorescence unit when flowers aggregated cymose, or racemose. Inflorescences axillary; axillary racemes or panicles on leafless shoots. Flowers regular; (2–)3 merous, or 4(–5) merous.
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 6–10(–32); 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx (3–)4(–16); 1 whorled; polysepalous; persistent; valvate. Corolla (3–)4(–16); 1 whorled; polypetalous; valvate. Petals clawed; lobed or laciniate, except in Polygonanthus.
Androecium 8. Androecial members free of one another; 2 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens, or including staminodes (sometimes with several stamens barren). Staminodes non-petaloid. Stamens 8; diplostemonous; inflexed in bud. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed in aggregates, or shed as single grains (?); at least sometimes in tetrads. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate (to colporoidate).
Gynoecium (3–)4 carpelled. The pistil (3–)4 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious; inferior. Ovary (3–)4 locular. Epigynous disk present (crenate). Gynoecium stylate. Styles (3–)4; free. Stigmas (3–)4. Placentation apical. Ovules 1 per locule, or 2 per locule; pendulous; arillate, or non-arillate; anatropous.
Fruit fleshy, or non-fleshy; dehiscent, or indehiscent; a capsule and a samara (Combretocarpus), or a drupe; usually 1 seeded (usually), or 3–4 seeded (Poga). Seeds non-endospermic; winged, or wingless. Cotyledons reduced, 0, or 2.
Seedling. Germination cryptocotylar.
Physiology, biochemistry. Saponins/sapogenins absent. Aluminium accumulation demonstrated (very commonly).
Geography, cytology. Tropical. Tropical, widespread.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli (? polypetalous, exstipulate, but no embryology). Dahlgrens Superorder Corniflorae; Cornales (?). Cronquists Subclass Rosidae; Rosales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; fabid; Order Cucurbitales.
Species 36. Genera 4; Anisophyllea, Combretocarpus, Poga, Polygonanthus.
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’.