The families of flowering plants
Habit and leaf form. Large trees; bearing essential oils. Leaves evergreen; opposite; shining, leathery; petiolate; gland-dotted; aromatic; simple. Lamina entire; narrowly elliptic; pinnately veined. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire.
Leaf anatomy. The leaf lamina dorsiventral. Stomata present; paracytic. The mesophyll with spherical etherial oil cells.
Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Nodes unilacunar (with two traces). Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.
The vessel end-walls scalariform. The axial xylem with tracheids. The parenchyma apotracheal. Included phloem absent.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in inflorescences; in racemes. The ultimate inflorescence units racemose. Inflorescences terminal and axillary; racemes. Flowers (bi-) bracteolate; rather small to medium-sized; regular; partially acyclic. The perianth acyclic and the androecium acyclic (spiralled). Free hypanthium absent.
Perianth sepaline; (5–)7(–9); free; spiralled, becoming smaller centripetally. Calyx (i.e. the perianth), (5–)7(–9); spiralled; polysepalous.
Androecium (7–)9(–13). Androecial members free of the perianth; free of one another; spiralled. Androecium seemingly usually including staminodes (the outer, tepaloid members often with undeveloped anthers, and commonly with (1-)3(-4) reduced, sterile members between the fertile stamens and the style). Staminodes when present, (1–)2–3(–5); external to the fertile stamens, or internal to the fertile stamens, or external to the fertile stamens and internal to the fertile stamens; tepaloid outside, reduced-filantherous inside. Stamens 5–10 (often eight); very shortly filantherous (i.e., the inner, fertile members). Filaments appendiculate (each with a pair of short glands at the base, cf. Monimiaceae). Anthers dehiscing by longitudinal valves; introrse. Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains nonaperturate.
Gynoecium 2(–3) carpelled. The pistil 2(–3) celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to eu-syncarpous; inferior. Ovary 2(–3) locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical. Stigmas 3. Placentation apical. Ovules 1 per locule; pendulous; anatropous.
Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a drupe (yellow, edible, with bony endocarp); commonly 1 seeded (and unilocular). Seeds copiously endospermic. Endosperm oily. Embryo well differentiated (rather large). Cotyledons 2.
Physiology, phytochemistry. Sieve-tube plastids P-type.
Geography, cytology. Neotropical. Temperate. Chile. 2n = 42.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgrens Superorder Magnoliiflorae; Laurales. Cronquists Subclass Magnoliidae; Laurales. APG 3 core angiosperms; Superorder Magnolianae; Order Laurales.
Species 1. Genera 1; only genus, Gomortega.
Illustrations. • Gomortega nitida (Hutchinson).
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: 24th October 2017. delta-intkey.com/angio’.