The families of flowering plants


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Asteropeiaceae Takhtadj.

Habit and leaf form. Small trees, or shrubs (scrambling); non-laticiferous and without coloured juice. Leaves alternate; not gland-dotted; simple. Lamina entire. Leaves exstipulate.

Leaf anatomy. The leaf lamina dorsiventral. Stomata mainly confined to one surface (abaxial); anomocytic. Adaxial hypodermis of several layers present. The mesophyll with sclerenchymatous idioblasts (these rounded, with short arms).

Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. Pith heterogeneous (with solitary and grouped sclerosed cells). Secretory cavities present (?). Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Nodes unilacunar. Primary vascular tissues in a cylinder, without separate bundles; collateral. Internal phloem absent. Cortical bundles absent. Medullary bundles absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Primary medullary rays narrow (wood rays all uniseriate).

The wood diffuse porous. The vessels small; mostly solitary. The vessel end-walls simple. The axial xylem without tracheids; with libriform fibres. The parenchyma paratracheal.

Reproductive type, pollination. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in panicles. The ultimate inflorescence units cymose. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary; many-flowered thyrses. Flowers regular. Free hypanthium absent.

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5; 1 whorled; polysepalous; regular; persistent; accrescent; imbricate. Corolla 5; 1 whorled; polypetalous (the petals narrow); imbricate; regular; deciduous.

Androecium 9–15. Androecial members free of the perianth; coherent (connate below into a more or less broad ring); 1 adelphous. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 9–15 (the filaments persistent); diplostemonous to triplostemonous. Anthers dorsifixed; versatile (small, deciduous); dehiscing via longitudinal slits; tetrasporangiate. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colpate, or colporate (colporoidate).

Gynoecium (2–)3 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil (2–)3 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious, or synstylovarious, or eu-syncarpous (the single style shortly 3-lobed at the apex, with three short, reflexed styles, or intermediate); superior. Ovary (2–)3 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1, or 3; when three, free to partially joined; apical. Placentation axile. Ovules 2–50 per locule (to ‘many’); pendulous; anatropous; bitegmic.

Fruit non-fleshy; indehiscent; capsular-indehiscent (thick walled, surrounded by the persistent staminal filaments and winged by the accrescent, leathery or membranous calyx). Dispersal unit the flower (i.e. its remains). Fruit 2–50 seeded (to ‘many’). Seeds non-endospermic.

Geography, cytology. Paleotropical. Tropical. Madagascar.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Theiflorae (by inference); Theales. Cronquist’s Subclass Dilleniidae; Theales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Caryophyllanae; Order Caryophyllales.

Species 7. Genera 1; only genus, Asteropeia.

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 August 2014.’.