The families of flowering plants
Habit and leaf form. Trees, or shrubs, or lianas (commonly); non-laticiferous and without coloured juice. Self supporting, or climbing; climbers stem twiners. Leaves alternate; spiral; leathery; petiolate; non-sheathing; not gland-dotted; compound; unifoliolate, or ternate, or pinnate; exstipulate; without a persistent basal meristem.
Leaf anatomy. Mucilaginous epidermis present, or absent. Stomata paracytic (commonly), or cyclocytic, or diacytic (rarely).
Lamina dorsiventral; with secretory cavities, or without secretory cavities. Secretory cavities containing mucilage.
Stem anatomy. Secretory cavities present, or absent; with mucilage. Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Nodes tri-lacunar to multilacunar. Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring, or anomalous; when anomalous, via concentric cambia (Rourea). Included phloem present (Rourea), or absent. Xylem with libriform fibres; with vessels. Vessel end-walls simple. Wood parenchyma scanty paratracheal (typically, or absent).
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite (usually), or dioecious.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in inflorescences; in panicles and in racemes. The ultimate inflorescence unit cymose, or racemose (?). Inflorescences terminal, or axillary. Flowers small; regular, or somewhat irregular; 5 merous. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present (small), or absent.
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; (8–)10; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx (4–)5; 1 whorled; polysepalous, or gamosepalous; persistent; imbricate, or valvate; with the median member anterior (?). Corolla (4–)5; 1 whorled; polypetalous, or gamopetalous; imbricate (usually), or valvate (rarely); regular.
Androecium 10 (usually), or 5. Androecial members free of the perianth; often markedly unequal (the antesepalous members longer); free of one another, or coherent (below); when coherent 1 adelphous; usually 2 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens, or including staminodes. Staminodes when present, 1–5; internal to the fertile stamens, or in the same series as the fertile stamens and internal to the fertile stamens (from the inner whorl). Stamens 5–10; isomerous with the perianth, or diplostemonous. Anthers dorsifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse. Pollen grains aperturate; 3(–4) aperturate; colpate, or colporate.
Gynoecium 1 carpelled, or 3 carpelled, or 5 carpelled, or 7 carpelled, or 8 carpelled (often 5 with 4 abortive). The pistil when monomerous or semicarpous, 1 celled, or 3 celled, or 5 celled, or 7 celled, or 8 celled. Gynoecium monomerous, or apocarpous; of one carpel, or eu-apocarpous, or semicarpous (carpels sometimes more or less connate basally); superior. Carpel apically stigmatic; 2 ovuled. Placentation marginal to basal (marginal, cf. Leguminosae). Ovules ascending; collateral (but one usually abortive); arillate (often), or non-arillate; orthotropous (always?); bitegmic; crassinucellate. Outer integument contributing to the micropyle. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Polar nuclei fusing prior to fertilization. Antipodal cells formed; 3; not proliferating. Endosperm formation nuclear.
Fruit non-fleshy; an aggregate, or not an aggregate (often a single follicle). The fruiting carpels coalescing into a secondary syncarp to not coalescing. The fruiting carpel dehiscent, or indehiscent; a follicle, or nucular. Seeds endospermic, or non-endospermic. Endosperm when present, oily.
Seedling. Germination cryptocotylar.
Physiology, biochemistry. Alkaloids absent (one species). Proanthocyanidins present; cyanidin and delphinidin. Flavonols present; kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin. Ellagic acid absent (Connarus). Saponins/sapogenins absent.
Geography, cytology. Tropical. Pantropical. X = 13 or 14.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgrens Superorder Rosiflorae (?); Cunoniales (? re-assigned from Sapindales). Cronquists Subclass Rosidae; Rosales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; fabid; Order Oxalidales.
Species 300–350. Genera 16; Agelaea, Burttia, Cnestidium, Cnestis, Connarus, Ellipanthus, Hemandradenia, Jollydora, Manotes, Pseudoconnarus, Rourea, Vismianthus.
General remarks. On the basis of rbcL sequencing (Chase et al 1993) Connaraceae seem not to be allied to Sapindales/Rutales, but the above re-assignment to Dahlgrens Cunoniales is tentative.
Illustrations. • Technical details: Connarus (Thonner). • Technical details: Connarus (Lindley).
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’.