The families of flowering plants
~ Molluginaceae sensu lato: formerly spp. of Pharnaceum or Hypertelis
Habit and leaf form. Herbs. Plants succulent; green and photosynthesizing. Annual and perennial (sometimes slightly woody); usually with terminal aggregations of leaves (usually more or less fasciculate at the stem tips); rhizomatous (?). Leaves falsely whorled, or alternate, or opposite; spiral; succulent, linear, and terete; fleshy; not imbricate; petiolate to subsessile; sheathing to non-sheathing (sheathing to different degrees via their stipules). Leaf sheaths not tubular. Leaves simple. Lamina entire; linear; probably one-veined; attenuate to the base. Leaves stipulate. Stipules interpetiolar (fused at the leaf bases, see illustrations); plump?; persistent.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite. Floral nectaries absent.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in inflorescences; "in false umbels". The ultimate inflorescence units racemose. Inflorescences "long-stalked", terminal, or axillary; "long-stalked false umbels"; with involucral bracts (in illustrations seen). The involucres non-accrescent. Flowers bracteolate; small to medium-sized (?); regular; tricyclic. Free hypanthium absent.
Perianth sepaline (with two or three members becoming white or pink and petaloid); 5; 1 whorled; sepaloid and petaloid; green and white, or green and pink. Calyx 5; 1 whorled; polysepalous; imbricate.
Androecium (3–)5–15(–20). Androecial members branched, or unbranched (? - illustrations of K. acida depicting some basally joined pairs); free of the perianth; all equal (more or less), or markedly unequal; free of one another, or coherent ("with shortly fused filaments" ....). Stamens 5–15(–20) ("rarely fewer" - than what?); reduced in number relative to the adjacent perianth to triplostemonous; filantherous. Anthers dorsifixed; dehiscing via longitudinal slits.
Gynoecium 3–5 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth to isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 3–5 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious; superior. Ovary 3–5 locular. Stigmas 3–5; with "short, fleshy stigmatic crests. Placentation presumably axile. Ovules non-arillate (?).
Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules loculicidal. Cotyledons presumably 2.
Physiology, phytochemistry. C3, or CAM (?). Anatomy non-C4 type. Betalains absent. Proanthocyanidins present, or absent (?).
Geography, cytology. Paleotropical and Cape. Temperate to tropical. St. Helena, southern Africa, Madagascar.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgrens Superorder Caryophylliflorae; Caryophyllales. Cronquists Subclass Caryophyllidae; Caryophyllales. APG III core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Caryophyllanae. APG IV Order Caryophyllales.
Species 8. Genera 1; Kewa.
General remarks. This inadequate draft description is taken from Christenhusz et al. (Phytotaxa 8, 238–242 (2014)), who segregated the family from Molluginaceae (q.v.), involving breakup of the genus Hypertelis; supplemented from illustrations and older literature. It requires pursuit to professional standards of 'esoteric characters'. Also, floral morphological assignments of perianth members to calyx/corolla, stamen counts, etc., in this circle of affinity (supposedly important in distinguishing APG-supported segregate families) are unconvincing.
Illustrations. • Kewa acida (as Pharnaceum): Hook. Ic. Pl. 11 (1867–71). • Kewa acida (as Pharnaceum): Melliss, Saint Helena Plate 27 (1875). • Kewa acida (as Hypertelis) - floral diagrams: Engler, Bot. Jahrb 42 (1909).
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: 5th March 2018. delta-intkey.com/angio’.