The families of flowering plants
Habit and leaf form. Small to medium sized trees (with malodourous wood). Leaves alternate (crowded towards the branch tips); leathery (glabrous); not gland-dotted; simple. Lamina entire; conspicuously asymmetric to not conspicuously asymmetric; ovate, or obovate. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire. Vernation involute.
General anatomy. Plants with silica bodies.
Leaf anatomy. Adaxial hypodermis present. Lamina dorsiventral.
Stem anatomy. Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Cortical bundles present (inversely orientated). Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Vessel end-walls simple.
Reproductive type, pollination. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in inflorescences; when aggregated, in cymes. The ultimate inflorescence unit cymose. Flowers (bi) bracteolate (at the apices of the pedicels); 4 merous.
Perianth sepaline; 4; 1 whorled. Calyx 4; 1 whorled; polysepalous; persistent; valvate.
Androecium 50–100 (many). Androecial members branched, or unbranched (?); free of the perianth; weakly coherent (basally), or free of one another; sometimes 4 adelphous (then in four oppositisepalous groups). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 50–100 (many); polystemonous; filantherous (the filaments filiform). Anthers very small; introrse. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colpate, or colporate.
Gynoecium 4 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 4 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious; inferior. Ovary 4 locular. Epigynous disk present (the intrastaminal component inconspicuous, but with a large, quadrate staminal disk). Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical. Stigmas 4 (these short, slender, divaricate). Placentation axile (the placentas peltate). Ovules 15–20 per locule; horizontal; arranged in a vertical ring around the thick, peltate placenta; anatropous.
Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a drupe. The drupes with one stone (the endocarp with placenta and dissepiments hardening completely, 14 locular). Fruit 1–4 seeded (the locules 1-seeded). Seeds non-endospermic (?).
Geography, cytology. Paleotropical. Tropical. Mascarene region.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli (?). Dahlgrens Superorder Theiflorae; Theales. Cronquists Subclass Dilleniidae; Lecythidales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; Order Ericales (as a synonym of Lecythidaceae).
Species 5. Genera 1; only genus, Foetidia.
General remarks. Treated by Morton et al. (1998) as a subfamily of their expanded Lecythidaceae.
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’.