The families of flowering plants
Including Aristoteliaceae Dum.Excluding Muntingiaceae
Habit and leaf form. Trees and shrubs. Mesophytic, or xerophytic. Leaves alternate; usually spiral (i.e., by contrast with Tiliaceae); petiolate; non-sheathing; simple. Lamina entire; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves stipulate. Stipules caducous, or persistent. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Domatia occurring in the family (from numerous Elaeocarpus and Sloanea species); manifested as pits, or pockets, or hair tufts (but mostly pockets in Elaeocarpus, hair tufts in Sloanea).
Leaf anatomy. Hydathodes present (occasionally), or absent. Mucilaginous epidermis commonly present.
Lamina without secretory cavities. Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells (Tricuspidaria).
Stem anatomy. Secretory cavities absent (? at least, without mucilage canals or cavities). Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Nodes tri-lacunar. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. The secondary phloem not stratified. Xylem with fibre tracheids, or without fibre tracheids; with vessels. Vessel end-walls simple, or scalariform and simple. Vessels without vestured pits. Wood not storied; parenchyma paratracheal.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite, or dioecious (Elaeocarpus p.p.).
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in inflorescences; in cymes, in panicles, and in racemes. The ultimate inflorescence unit cymose, or racemose. Inflorescences racemes, panicles and dichasia. Flowers regular; cyclic, or partially acyclic (?). The androecium acyclic. Floral receptacle developing an androphore (often), or with neither androphore nor gynophore. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present (usually).
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla, or sepaline (corolla often missing); 4–5, or 8–10; 1 whorled, or 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 4, or 5; 1 whorled; polysepalous, or gamosepalous; regular; usually valvate. Epicalyx absent. Corolla when present, 4, or 5; 1 whorled; polypetalous (usually), or gamopetalous (rarely); valvate (or valvate-induplicate, never contorted); regular. Petals often fringed.
Androecium 15–100 (i.e. many). Androecial members branched; maturing centrifugally; free of the perianth; free of one another, or coherent (often in 4 or 5 antesepalous groups). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 15–100; triplostemonous, or polystemonous. Anthers dehiscing via pores (usually, these apical), or dehiscing via short slits; tetrasporangiate; appendaged (the connective often conspicuously prolonged), or unappendaged. Endothecium not developing fibrous thickenings (with stone cells, in Elaeocarpus). Anther epidermis persistent. Microsporogenesis simultaneous. The initial microspore tetrads tetrahedral. Tapetum glandular. Pollen grains aperturate; commonly 3 aperturate; commonly colporate (or colporoidate); psilate; 2-celled.
Gynoecium (1–)2–10 carpelled. The pistil 1–50 celled (to many). Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary (1–)2–10 locular (but sometimes ostensibly plurilocular by false septa). Locules secondarily divided by false septa, or without false septa. Ovary sessile. Styles 1; attenuate from the ovary; apical. Stigmas 1–10 (as many as G); when joined 1–10 lobed; dry type; papillate; Group II type. Placentation apical. Ovules 2 per locule, or 15–50 per locule (i.e. 2 or many); pendulous, or pendulous and ascending; apotropous, or apotropous and epitropous; with ventral raphe; arillate (often), or non-arillate; anatropous; bitegmic; crassinucellate. Outer integument contributing to the micropyle. Endothelium differentiated. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Antipodal cells formed; 3; not proliferating; ephemeral. Synergids hooked. Hypostase present. Endosperm formation nuclear. Embryogeny asterad.
Fruit fleshy, or non-fleshy; dehiscent, or indehiscent; a capsule, or a drupe, or a berry. Seeds endospermic. Endosperm not oily. Embryo well differentiated. Embryo chlorophyllous (1/1); curved (U or J shaped). Micropyle zigzag.
Seedling. Germination phanerocotylar.
Physiology, biochemistry. Cyanogenic, or not cyanogenic (mostly). Cynogenic constituents phenylalanine-derived (?). Alkaloids present, or absent. Iridoids not detected. Proanthocyanidins present; cyanidin, or cyanidin and delphinidin. Flavonols present; kaempferol and quercetin. Ellagic acid present (Aristotelia), or absent (Tricuspidaria). Aluminium accumulation normally not found.
Geography, cytology. Temperate (some), or sub-tropical to tropical (mostly). Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Eastern Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, Chile. X = 12, 14, 15.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgrens Superorder Malviflorae; Malvales. Cronquists Subclass Dilleniidae; Malvales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; fabid; Order Oxalidales.
Species 350. Genera 9; Aceratium, Aristotelia, Crinodendron, Dubouzetia, Elaeocarpus, Peripentadenia, Sericolea, Sloanea, Valea.
Illustrations. • Technical details: Elaeocarpus, Vallea. • Elaeocarpus cyaneus: Bot. Reg. 657, 1822.
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’.