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The families of flowering plants

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Lepidobotryaceae Léonard

~ Oxalidaceae.

Excluding Sarcotheca and Dapania.

Habit and leaf form. Shrubs. Leaves alternate; petiolate (and articulate); not gland-dotted; disguisedly compound, or simple (ostensibly); pulvinate; unifoliolate. Lamina entire; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves stipulate (and stipellate). Stipules caducous. Lamina margins (of the leaflet) entire.

Leaf anatomy. The leaf lamina dorsiventral. Hairs presumably present (but neither tufted nor shaggy).

Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. Primary vascular tissues in a cylinder, without separate bundles, or comprising a ring of bundles (?); collateral. Internal phloem absent. Cortical bundles absent. Medullary bundles absent. Secondary thickening presumably developing from a conventional cambial ring.

The wood diffuse porous. The vessels medium; solitary, radially paired, and in radial multiples. The vessel end-walls exclusively or predominantly simple. The vessels without vestured pits. The axial xylem without tracheids; with libriform fibres; without septate fibres. The fibres without spiral thickening. The parenchyma abundant as scattered cells. The secondary phloem not stratified. ‘Included’ phloem absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers functionally male, or functionally female. Plants dioecious. Female flowers with staminodes (ten, in two whorls). Gynoecium of male flowers pistillodial (resembling that of female flowers, but lacking ovules).

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes. The ultimate inflorescence units racemose. Inflorescences short, strobiloid racemes. Flowers bracteate; (bi-) bracteolate; regular; 5 merous; cyclic; ‘pseudo-hermaphrodite’ and pentacyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present (fleshy); intrastaminal (the stamens inserted on its margin).

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5; 1 whorled; gamosepalous (shortly connate below). Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx regular; persistent (in female flowers); imbricate (quincuncial). Corolla 5; 1 whorled; polypetalous; imbricate (quincuncial); regular. Petals sessile.

Androecium 10. Androecial members free of the perianth; markedly unequal (the outer members longer); free of one another; 2 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 10; diplostemonous; oppositisepalous; both alternating with and opposite the corolla members. Anthers dorsifixed (Lepidobotrys), or basifixed (Ruptiliocarpon); versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate (colporoidate).

Gynoecium 3 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 3 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to synstylovarious (the styles joined basally only); superior. Ovary 3 locular; sessile. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 3; partially joined (fused basally); attenuate from the ovary; apical. Stigmas 3. Placentation axile. Ovules 2 per locule; funicled; pendulous; epitropous; with ventral raphe; collateral; arillate (carunculate, the caruncle eventually orange-red); anatropous.

Fruit large, leathery, non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules septicidal and valvular (2–3 valved). Fruit 1 seeded. Seeds endospermic. Seeds without starch. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight (or oblique). Testa smooth.

Geography, cytology. Paleotropical. Tropical. Tropical Africa.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Rutiflorae; Geraniales. Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Geraniales. APG III core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; fabid. APG IV Order Celastrales.

Species 2. Genera 2; Lepidobotrys (L. staudtii) and Ruptiliocarpon (R. caracolito).

Illustrations. • Lepidobotrys staudtii (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: 5th March 2018.’.