The families of flowering plants
Habit and leaf form. Much branched, small trees, or shrubs; leptocaul. Leaves alternate; leathery; simple. Lamina entire; pinnately veined (the laterals closely parallel-ascending, cf. Sapotaceae). Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire.
Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. Primary vascular tissues bicollateral. Internal phloem present. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.
Included phloem absent.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary (then extra-axillary), or aggregated in inflorescences (these axillary, few-flowered); when aggregated, in racemes, or in fascicles. Inflorescences axillary; few-flowered axillary racemes or fascicles. Flowers regular to very irregular; when irregular, zygomorphic. The floral irregularity when noticeable, involving the perianth and involving the androecium. Flowers 4–6 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present (usually large, fleshy and lobed).
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 8–12; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 4–6; 1 whorled; gamosepalous (the segments rarely almost free); persistent; valvate. Corolla 4–6; 1 whorled; gamopetalous; valvate; campanulate, or funnel-shaped; unequal but not bilabiate, or regular (the mostly short lobes equal to unequal).
Androecium 4–6. Androecial members adnate (to the corolla); all equal, or markedly unequal; free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens (?). Stamens 4–6; isomerous with the perianth; long filantherous (the anthers exserted). Anthers dorsifixed (near the base, sagittate); versatile. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate (colporoidate).
Gynoecium 1 carpelled (ostensibly), or 2 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 1 celled, or 2 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous (but Henonia pseudomonomerous); synstylovarious to eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary 1 locular, or 2 locular. Locules without false septa. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical; long. Stigmas capitate or bilobed. Placentation when unilocular, basal; when bilocular, basal. Ovules in the single cavity 2; 2 per locule; collateral.
Fruit fleshy, or non-fleshy (sometimes leathery); indehiscent; a berry; 1–2 seeded. Seeds non-endospermic. Embryo well differentiated (and large). Cotyledons 2, or 4 (sometimes). Testa plicate.
Special distinguishing feature. Lamina tip not abaxially pouched (i.e., not as in Saccifoliaceae).
Geography, cytology. Neotropical. Temperate to tropical. Mexico, West Indies.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli. Dahlgrens Superorder Solaniflorae; Solanales (?). Cronquists Subclass Asteridae; Solanales. APG III core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; lamiid. APG IV Order Solanales (as a synonym of Solanaceae).
Species 7. Genera 4; Coeloneurum, Espadaea, Goetzea, Henonia.
General remarks. Seemingly differing from Solanaceae in the basal placentation and non-endospermic seeds, but it would be interesting (for example) to know the orientation of the gynoecium. Accepting this as a family assumes that the compiled data are essentially correct, and that the description of Solanaceae (q.v.) does not significantly under-estimate variation in that large assemblage.
Economic uses, etc. The berry of Espadaea edible, with the flavour of apricot.
Illustrations. • Henonia scoparia: Hook. Ic. Pl. 15 (1883).
We advise against extracting comparative information from the descriptions. This is much more easily achieved using the DELTA data files or 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). See also Guidelines for using data taken from Web publications.
Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 1992 onwards. The families of flowering plants: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. Version: 15th April 2018. delta-intkey.com/angio’.