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The families of flowering plants

L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Daphniphyllaceae Muell. Arg.

Habit and leaf form. Small trees, or shrubs. Leaves alternate (sometimes crowded and almost whorled at the branch tips); non-sheathing; simple. Lamina entire; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire.

Leaf anatomy. The leaf lamina dorsiventral. Stomata present; mainly confined to one surface (abaxial); paracytic. Lamina without secretory cavities. The mesophyll containing crystals. The crystals druses. Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells.

Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. Pith with diaphragms, or without diaphragms. Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Primary vascular tissues in a cylinder, without separate bundles; collateral. Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.

The vessels very to moderately small; solitary. The vessel end-walls scalariform. The axial xylem with tracheids; with fibre tracheids. The parenchyma “probably” apotracheal. ‘Included’ phloem absent. Tyloses present.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers functionally male, or functionally female. Plants dioecious. Female flowers with staminodes, or without staminodes. Gynoecium of male flowers absent.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes. The ultimate inflorescence units racemose. Inflorescences axillary. Flowers bracteate (each pedicel subtended by a deciduous bract); small (and inconspicuous); regular. Free hypanthium absent.

Perianth sepaline (usually), or absent (apetalous, occasionally the calyx also lacking); 2–6; 1 whorled. Calyx 2–6; when present, 1 whorled; polysepalous; regular; more or less imbricate.

Androecium 5–12. Androecial members free of the perianth; free of one another. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5–12; isomerous with the perianth to diplostemonous; filantherous (the filaments short). Anthers basifixed; non-versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; latrorse; tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate.

Gynoecium 2(–4) carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 2(–4) celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to synstylovarious; inferior. Ovary 2(–4) locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 2(–4); partially joined (but only basally); apical. Stigmas dry type; papillate; Group II type. Placentation axile to apical. Ovules 2 per locule; pendulous; epitropous; with ventral raphe; non-arillate (no obturator, no caruncle); anatropous; bitegmic; crassinucellate. Outer integument contributing to the micropyle. Antipodal cells formed; 3 (?); not proliferating; ephemeral. Synergids with prominent filiform apparatus.

Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a drupe. The drupes with one stone. Fruit 1 seeded. Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily (and proteinaceous). Embryo well differentiated (small, apical). Embryo straight.

Physiology, phytochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Alkaloids present (unique, ‘daphniphylline group’). Iridoids detected; ‘Route I’ type (?). Proanthocyanidins absent. Flavonols present; quercetin (trace). Ellagic acid absent. Aluminium accumulation demonstrated (often).

Geography, cytology. Holarctic and Paleotropical. Eastern Asia, Malaysia. 2n = 32.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Rosiflorae; Buxales. Cronquist’s Subclass Hamamelidae; Daphniphyllales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; unplaced at Superordinal level; Order Saxifragales.

Species 35. Genera 1; Daphniphyllum.

Illustrations. • Technical details: Daphniphyllum (Hutchinson).


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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