The families of flowering plants

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Diegodendraceae Capuron

~ Bixaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Small trees, or shrubs. Leaves alternate; non-sheathing; densely, minutely gland-dotted; aromatic (smelling of camphor when crushed); simple. Lamina entire; lanceolate. Leaves stipulate. Stipules intrapetiolar; caducous (fairly large, convolute, leaving annular scars). Lamina margins entire.

Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. The vessels with vestured pits.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in panicles. Inflorescences terminal; few-flowered terminal panicles with alternate branches. Flowers bracteate; bracteolate; large; fragrant; regular. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk absent (?).

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10 (usually), or 12; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5(–6); 1 whorled; polysepalous (the sepals unequal); persistent. Corolla 5(–6); 1 whorled; polypetalous (the petals large, slightly unequal); imbricate; deciduous.

Androecium 30–100 (‘many’). Androecial members free of the perianth; free of one another. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 30–100 (‘many’); polystemonous; filantherous (the filaments filiform). Anthers basifixed (ovate-oblong); non-versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; latrorse.

Gynoecium 1–4 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil (1–)2–4 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylous (deeply lobed, the bodies of the carpels free, with a common, central, gynobasic style — cf. Ochnaceae); superior. Carpel 2 ovuled. Placentation basal. Ovary (1–)2–4 locular (but the ‘locules’ separated). Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; ‘gynobasic’ (central). Stigmas 1; punctiform. Placentation basal. Ovules 2 per locule; ascending; apotropous; with ventral raphe (with the micropyles facing outwards); collateral; anatropous.

Fruit unknown.

Geography, cytology. Paleotropical. Tropical. Madagascar.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Malviflorae; Malvales. Cronquist’s Subclass Dilleniidae; Theales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; malvid; Order Malvales (as a synonym of Bixaceae).

Species 1. Genera 1; only genus, Diegodendron.

General remarks. RbcL sequence analyses indicate close affinity with Bixa (Fay et al, 1998). However, comparing this description with that of Bixaceae (q.v.) indicates differences in ten characters, involving phytochemistry as well as floral morphology (the latter mostly concerning androecium and gynoecium).

Illustrations. • Diegodendron humbertii: Capuron (1963).


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: 16th May 2016. delta-intkey.com’.

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