The families of flowering plants

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Brunoniaceae Dum.

~ Goodeniaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs. Perennial; with a basal aggregation of leaves. Leaves alternate; spiral; more or less petiolate; non-sheathing; simple. Lamina entire; oblanceolate; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves exstipulate; leaf development not ‘graminaceous’.

Leaf anatomy. Stomata paracytic. Lamina without secretory cavities.

Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. Secretory cavities absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite. Pollination mechanism conspicuously specialized (via a cupular modification of the style and active pollen presentation, but different in detail from types in Goodeniaceae sensu stricto).

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in heads and in spikes. The ultimate inflorescence units cymose. Inflorescences scapiflorous; terminal; densely spicate or capitate; with involucral bracts; pseudanthial. Flowers regular; cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent.

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5; 1 whorled; gamosepalous (with basal tube and subulate lobes). Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx regular; persistent. Corolla 5; 1 whorled; gamopetalous (at the base, the petals spreading). Corolla tube not noticeably adaxially split. Corolla lobes markedly longer than the tube. Corolla valvate; regular; blue.

Androecium 5. Androecial members adnate (near the base of the corolla); all equal; coherent (above); 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5; inserted near the base of the corolla tube; isomerous with the perianth. Anthers cohering (connate around the style); dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate; 2-celled.

Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary 1 locular. Styles 1; bearing an ‘indusium’ beneath the stigma. Stigmas 1; surrounded by a collar or indusium. Placentation basal. Ovules in the single cavity 1; ascending; anatropous; unitegmic; tenuinucellate. Endothelium differentiated. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Polar nuclei fusing prior to fertilization. Antipodal cells formed; 3; not proliferating; ephemeral. Synergids with elongated tips. Endosperm haustoria present; micropylar.

Fruit non-fleshy; indehiscent; achene-like (enclosed by the persistent calyx). Seeds non-endospermic. Cotyledons 2 (thickened). Embryo straight.

Seedling. Germination phanerocotylar.

Physiology, phytochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Iridoids not detected. Proanthocyanidins absent.

Geography, cytology. Australian. Temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical. Australia. X = 9.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Gentianiflorae; Goodeniales. Cronquist’s Subclass Asteridae; Campanulales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; campanulid; Order Asterales (as a synonym of Goodeniaceae).

Species 1. Genera 1; only genus, Brunonia.

General remarks. This description is depauperate regarding anatomy, but differs from that of Goodeniaceae (q.v.) in 10 characters representing foliar stomata, inflorescence, floral morphology (perianth, gynoecium), fruit and seed details, embryology and phytochemistry (iridoids, inulin).

Economic uses, etc. A commonly cultivated ornamental.

Illustrations. • Technical details: Brunonia. • Brunonia australis: Bot. Reg 1833 (1836).


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. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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