The families of flowering plants
~ Variously Brexiaceae, Escalloniaceae, Cornaceae in older treatments
Habit and leaf form. Small trees, or shrubs. Leaves alternate (and in 3–4 leaved fasicles on short-shoots); simple. Lamina entire; linear, or oblong, or ovate to obovate, or lanceolate, or oblanceolate. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire, or serrate.
Leaf anatomy. Hairs present (T-shaped); multicellular.
Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells (Corokia).
Stem anatomy. Nodes unilacunar (C. virgata), or tri-lacunar (mostly), or penta-lacunar (A. laxum). Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring (?). Vessel end-walls scalariform. Wood semi-ring porous, or diffuse porous.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in inflorescences; when aggregated, in racemes, or in panicles, or in fascicles. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary; panicles or racemes, sometimes few-flowered fascicles. Flowers regular; mostly 5 merous; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent.
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10, or 16; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 2, or 8; 1 whorled; shortly gamosepalous; blunt-lobed, or toothed. Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx regular; persistent; imbricate. Corolla 5, or 8; 1 whorled; appendiculate (with adaxial fringed appendages - coralline ligules); polypetalous, or gamopetalous (then joined only basally). Corolla lobes when gamopetalous, markedly longer than the tube. Corolla imbricate; regular; white, or yellow.
Androecium 5, or 8. Androecial members free of the perianth; free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5, or 8; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous; alternating with the corolla members; filantherous.
Gynoecium 2–6 carpelled (?). Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 1–3 celled, or 6 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; partly inferior to inferior. Ovary 1–3 locular, or 6 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1. Stigmas 1; 2–5 lobed; capitate. Placentation when unilocular, parietal; usually axile. Ovules 1–50 per locule (to many); anatropous.
Fruit dehiscent; a capsule, or a drupe. Capsules loculicidal. Seeds endospermic (the endosperm fleshy); ovate or linear-elongate. Embryo well differentiated (minute or elongate). Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight (?).
Geography, cytology. Australian, Paleotropical, and Antarctic. Temperate to tropical. Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Polynesia, Rapa Island.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli (?). Dahlgrens Superorder Corniflorae; Cornales. Cronquists Subclass Rosidae; Rosales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; campanulid; Order Asterales.
Species about 20. Genera 2; Argophyllum and Corokia.
Miscellaneous. This description lacks data on taxonomically informative esoteric characters (anther development, embryology, phytochemistry, etc.); and the morphology needs pursuing further with special reference to features diagnostic for Escalloniaceae sensu lato.
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’.