The families of flowering plants
Habit and leaf form. Shrubs (with erect, unbranched stems). Leaves evergreen; alternate; leathery; petiolate; non-sheathing; compound; pulvinate with respect to the joints of the main pinnae and pinnules; pinnate, or bipinnate (the leaflets acuminate, with arcuate-anastomosing nerves); exstipulate. Lamina margins (i.e. of the leaflets) entire.
Leaf anatomy. Stomata present; anomocytic. Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells.
Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. Internal phloem absent. Cortical bundles absent. Medullary bundles absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Primary medullary rays wide.
The wood semi-ring porous. The vessel end-walls slightly oblique, or horizontal; simple. The vessels without vestured pits. The axial xylem without fibre tracheids; with libriform fibres; including septate fibres. The parenchyma absent. Included phloem absent.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite. Floral nectaries present. Nectar secretion from the androecium (from nectaries borne subapically on the staminodes).
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in inflorescences; in panicles. The ultimate inflorescence units cymose. Inflorescences terminal; many-flowered terminal panicles. Flowers bracteate (the bracts subulate, persistent); bracteolate (the bracteoles few, small); small; regular; more or less 3 merous; cyclic to partially acyclic. The perianth acyclic (the calyx, being variously described as multiseriate or spiralled). Flowers if the outer perianth considered cyclic, polycyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk absent.
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla to sequentially intergrading from sepals to petals; 20–60 (many); if considered cyclic, about 6–9 whorled; all petaloid. Calyx 19–50 (many); spirally arranged; polysepalous (the sepals white); strobiloidally imbricate (the sepals decreasing in size acropetally). Corolla 6; polypetalous (the petals a little larger than the inner sepals).
Androecium 6. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal; free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium including staminodes. Staminodes 3; external to the fertile stamens; petaloid. Stamens 6; isomerous with the perianth; alternisepalous; filantherous, or with sessile anthers (i.e. the anthers subsessile). Anthers basifixed (the connective broad); non-versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; shortly appendaged. The anther appendages apical (by short elongation of the connective). Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; fossaperturate.
Gynoecium ostensibly 1 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium monomerous (or pseudomonomerous?); ostensibly of one carpel; superior. Carpel shortly stylate (the style persistent); (sub-) apically stigmatic; 1 ovuled. Placentation marginal. Ovules pendulous.
Fruit fleshy. The fruiting carpel indehiscent; baccate (globose, red). Fruit 1 seeded. Seeds copiously endospermic. Embryo very small.
Physiology, phytochemistry. Cyanogenic. Cynogenic constituents tyrosine-derived. Proanthocyanidins present; delphinidin. Flavonols absent. Ellagic acid absent. Sieve-tube plastids S-type.
Geography, cytology. Holarctic. Temperate. China, Japan.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgrens Superorder Ranunculiflorae; Ranunculales. Cronquists Subclass Magnoliidae; Ranunculales. APG 3 core angiosperms; peripheral eudicot; Superorder Ranunculanae; Order Ranunculales (as a synonym of Berberidaceae).
Species 1. Genera 1; only genus, Nandina.
General remarks. This description is inadequate, especially with regard to the interpretation of perianth and androecium/nectaries. However, the data compiled here have Nandina differing absolutely from Berberidaceae (q.v.) in eight conspicous perianth and androecium characters, as well as in the pendulous ovules.
Illustrations. • Technical details: Nandina (Hutchinson). • Nandina domestica: Bot. Mag. 27 (1808). • Nandina (Chittenden).
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: 19th October 2016. delta-intkey.com’.