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The families of flowering plants

L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Cephalotaceae Neger

Habit and leaf form. Herbs. Plants ‘carnivorous’. Trapping mechanism passive. The traps consisting of ‘pitchers’ (cf. Nepenthaceae). Perennial (rhizomatous); with a basal aggregation of leaves. Helophytic to mesophytic (in the drier parts of peaty swamps). Conspicuously heterophyllous (the inner leaves flat and simple, the outer at ground level with blades modified as pitchers). Leaves medium-sized; alternate; spiral; petiolate (both types); non-sheathing; (those not modified as pitchers) simple; epulvinate. Lamina entire; cross-venulate. Leaves exstipulate; leaf development not ‘graminaceous’.

Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. Primary vascular tissues of the rhizome in a cylinder, without separate bundles.

The vessel end-walls scalariform. The axial xylem with tracheids.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. The ultimate inflorescence units cymose. Inflorescences scapiflorous; terminal; each consisting of a raceme of cymules. Flowers small; regular; 6 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium present. Hypogynous disk present (setose-glandular).

Perianth sepaline; 6; 1 whorled. Calyx 6; 1 whorled; gamosepalous (basally). Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx regular; persistent; accrescent; valvate. Corolla absent.

Androecium 12. Androecial members perigynous; markedly unequal (the six alternating with the sepals longer); free of one another; 2 whorled (the alternisepalous members being ‘slightly forward’). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 12; diplostemonous. Anthers dorsifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; strongly introrse; appendaged (in that the connective is apically swollen and glandular). Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate.

Gynoecium 6 carpelled; apocarpous; eu-apocarpous to semicarpous (carpels free to basally united); superior. Carpel apically stigmatic; 1(–2) ovuled. Placentation basal. Ovules ascending; epitropous; with dorsal raphe; non-arillate; anatropous; bitegmic; crassinucellate. Endothelium differentiated.

Fruit non-fleshy; an aggregate. The fruiting carpel dehiscent; a follicle. Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2; plano-convex. Embryo straight.

Physiology, phytochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Iridoids not detected. Proanthocyanidins absent. Flavonols present; quercetin and myricetin. Ellagic acid present. Aluminium accumulation not found.

Geography, cytology. Temperate to sub-tropical. South Western Australia. X = 10.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Rosiflorae; Saxifragales. Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Rosales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; fabid; Order Oxalidales.

Species 1. Genera 1; only genus, Cephalotus.

Illustrations. • Cephalotus follicularis, photo (Macfarlane). • Cephalotus follicularis: Bot. Mag. 3118 (1831). • Technical details (Cephalotus). • Technical details (Cephalotus). • Cephalotus follicularis: Nat. Pflanzenfam. 3 (1891).


The descriptions are offered for casual browsing only. We strongly advise against extracting comparative information from them. 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: 22nd August 2016. delta-intkey.com’.

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