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The families of flowering plants

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Lissocarpaceae Gilg

~ Ebenaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Small trees. Leaves alternate; petiolate; non-sheathing; simple. Lamina entire; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire.

Leaf anatomy. Stomata present; anomocytic, or cyclocytic.

Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring (?).

The vessel end-walls scalariform and simple. The axial xylem with fibre tracheids.

Reproductive type, pollination. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes. The ultimate inflorescence units cymose. Inflorescences axillary; small axillary cymes. Flowers (bi) bracteolate; regular; cyclic; tetracyclic.

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 8; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 4; 1 whorled; gamosepalous; four blunt-lobed; campanulate; regular; imbricate. Corolla 4; 1 whorled; appendiculate (in the form of a short, tubular, 8-toothed corona in the throat); gamopetalous; contorted.

Androecium 8. Androecial members adnate; coherent (the filaments shortly connate); 1 whorled (in a single series). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 8; inserted near the base of the corolla tube, or midway down the corolla tube; diplostemonous; both alternating with and opposite the corolla members. Anthers linear, dehiscing via longitudinal slits; tetrasporangiate; appendaged (by an apiculate-prolonged connective). The anther appendages apical. Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; porate.

Gynoecium 4 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 4 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; inferior. Ovary 4 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical (clavate). Stigmas 1; capitate or shallowly four-lobed. Placentation axile. Ovules 2 per locule; pendulous; embryology not recorded.

Fruit somewhat fleshy; indehiscent; 1 seeded, or 2 seeded. Seeds copiously endospermic. Embryo well differentiated (rather large). Embryo straight.

Geography, cytology. Neotropical. Tropical. Tropical South America.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Primuliflorae; Ebenales. Cronquist’s Subclass Dilleniidae; Ebenales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; Order Ericales (as a synonym of Ebenaceae).

Species 2. Genera 1; Lissocarpa.

General remarks. Differing from Ebenaceae in the appendiculate corolla, the appendaged anthers, and the inferior, eu-syncarpous, 1-stylar gynoecium with axile placentation and without ‘false septa’.

Illustrations. • Lissocarpa benthami: Hook. Ic. Pl. 25 (1896). • Technical details: Lissocarpa (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: 13th March 2017. delta-intkey.com/angio’.

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