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The families of flowering plants

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Carlemanniaceae Airy Shaw

~ Caprifoliaceae (Silvianthus), Rubiaceae Carlemannia)

Habit and leaf form. (Sub-) shrubs, or herbs. Perennial. Leaves opposite; petiolate; simple. Lamina conspicuously asymmetric, or not conspicuously asymmetric; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves exstipulate (but the opposing petioles connected by a raised line). Lamina margins crenate, or dentate.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes (dense). The ultimate inflorescence units cymose. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary. Flowers fragrant; somewhat irregular to very irregular (slightly zygomorphic); zygomorphic (to subregular); cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent.

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 8, or 10; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 4–5; polysepalous, or gamosepalous (basally, slightly). Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx somewhat unequal but not bilabiate, or regular; persistent; open in bud. Corolla 4–5; 1 whorled; gamopetalous; imbricate, or valvate (then induplicate); white, or yellow.

Androecium 2. Androecial members adnate (to the middle of the corolla tube); free of one another. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 2; reduced in number relative to the adjacent perianth; shortly filantherous. Anthers connivent (around the style); dorsifixed; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; sometimes latrorse. Pollen grains aperturate; 5–6 aperturate; colporate (colporoidate, with short furrows).

Gynoecium 2 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 2 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; partly inferior, or inferior. Ovary 2 locular. Epigynous disk present (conspicuous, cylindrical or conical). Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1 (slender, elongate); apical. Stigmas bifid, clavate or fusiform. Placentation basal to axile. Ovules 30–100 per locule (‘many’).

Fruit fleshy, or non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules 4–5 valvular. Fruit 50–100 seeded (‘many’). Seeds endospermic (the endosperm more or less fleshy).

Geography, cytology. Paleotropical. Tropical. Southeast Asia to Sumatra.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli (?). Dahlgren’s Superorder Corniflorae (?); Dipsacales (?). Cronquist’s Subclass Asteridae; Dipsacales. APG III core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; campanulid. APG IV Order Dipsacales.

Species 5. Genera 2; only genera, Carlemannia, Silvianthus.

General remarks. Differing from Caprifoliaceae in the androecium and in pollen morphology.

Illustrations. • Silvianthus bracteatus: Hook. Ic. Pl. 11 (1867). • Carlemannia tetragona and Silvianthus bracteatus: H.W. Li in yun nanzhi wu zhi (1991).


We advise against extracting comparative information from the descriptions. This is much more easily achieved using the DELTA data files or 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). See also Guidelines for using data taken from Web publications.


Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 1992 onwards. The families of flowering plants: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. Version: 15th April 2018. delta-intkey.com/angio’.

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