The families of flowering plants

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Ochnaceae DC.

Including Euthemidaceae Van Tiegh., Lophiraceae Endl., Luxemburgiaceae Van Tiegh., Sauvagesiaceae Dum., Simabaceae Horan. (p.p.), Wallaceaceae Van Tiegh.; excluding Diegodendraceae, Medusagynaceae, Strasburgeriaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Trees and shrubs (mostly), or herbs (few). Mesophytic. Leaves evergreen; alternate; ‘herbaceous’, or leathery; petiolate; non-sheathing; simple (mostly), or compound; mostly racemose or paniculate; rarely (i.e. when compound) pinnate (Godoya). Lamina pinnately veined (usually with numerous parallel laterals); cross-venulate. Leaves stipulate. Lamina margins entire, or serrate, or dentate. Leaf development not ‘graminaceous’.

Leaf anatomy. The leaf lamina dorsiventral (usually), or bifacial (e.g., in Ouratea). Mucilaginous epidermis present, or absent. Stomata present; mainly confined to one surface, or on both surfaces (mainly adaxial); anomocytic, or paracytic. Hairs present, or absent; when present, eglandular (mostly), or eglandular and glandular (e.g., glandular shaggy hairs recorded on leaf teeth of Lavradia); unicellular, or multicellular. Multicellular hairs uniseriate, or multiseriate. Adaxial hypodermis present, or absent. The mesophyll with sclerenchymatous idioblasts (sometimes, forming a continuous subepidermal layer), or without sclerenchymatous idioblasts; usually containing crystals. The crystals druses (mostly), or solitary-prismatic (not uncommonly). Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells (Ochna).

Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. The cortex containing cristarque cells (commonly), or without cristarque cells. Secretory cavities present (commonly with sacs or passages or sometimes secretory cells in cortex or pith); with mucilage. Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Nodes tri-lacunar, or multilacunar. Primary vascular tissues in a cylinder, without separate bundles; collateral. Cortical bundles nearly always present. Medullary bundles present (sometimes), or absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.

The wood diffuse porous. The vessels small (mostly), or medium to large (in a few genera); solitary, or radially paired to in radial multiples, or in tangential arcs (rarely). The vessel end-walls simple, or scalariform and simple. The vessels with vestured pits, or without vestured pits; without spiral thickening. The axial xylem with tracheids, or without tracheids; with vasicentric tracheids (rarely), or without vasicentric tracheids; with fibre tracheids, or without fibre tracheids; with libriform fibres, or without libriform fibres; including septate fibres (rarely), or without septate fibres. The fibres without spiral thickening. The parenchyma apotracheal, or paratracheal. The secondary phloem stratified into hard (fibrous) and soft (parenchymatous) zones, or not stratified. The wood not storied.

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

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes, in panicles, in fascicles, in racemes, and in umbels. The ultimate inflorescence units cymose, or racemose. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary. Flowers regular (usually, more or less), or somewhat irregular. The floral irregularity when manifest involving the androecium. Floral receptacle developing an androphore, or with neither androphore nor gynophore. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk absent.

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; (7–)10(–20); 2 whorled; isomerous, or anisomerous. Calyx (3–)5(–10); 1 whorled; polysepalous, or gamosepalous (at the base); imbricate. Corolla (4–)5(–10) (from as many as to twice the calyx); 1 whorled; polypetalous; imbricate (rarely), or contorted (usually); regular. Petals clawed to sessile.

Androecium 5, or 10, or 11–100 (usually ‘many’). Androecial members branched (then associated with 5 trunk bundles), or unbranched; when many, maturing centripetally; free of the perianth; free of one another, or coherent (stamens sometimes in bundles, the staminodes sometimes connate into a tube); when bundled 5 adelphous; 1–5 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens, or including staminodes. Staminodes when present, 5–25; petaloid, or non-petaloid, or petaloid and non-petaloid. Stamens 5, or 10, or 11–100 (usually ‘many’); isomerous with the perianth to diplostemonous (sometimes), or triplostemonous to polystemonous (usually). Anthers basifixed; dehiscing via pores (usually), or dehiscing via longitudinal slits; tetrasporangiate. Endothecium developing fibrous thickenings. Microsporogenesis simultaneous. The initial microspore tetrads tetrahedral. Anther wall initially with one middle layer. Tapetum glandular. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; mostly colporate; 2-celled.

Gynoecium 2–15 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth, or increased in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 1 celled, or 2–15 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous (but then deeply lobed, the carpels free above), or synstylous; superior. Carpel when ovaries free, 1–50 ovuled (to ‘many’). Placentation marginal. Ovary when the ovaries joined, 1 locular, or 2–5 locular (unilocular or becoming more or less completely 2 to 15 locular by ingrowth of the placentas). Gynoecium long stylate. Styles 1; from a depression at the top of the ovary; ‘gynobasic’ (inserted deeply between the lobes). Stigmas dry type; non-papillate; Group II type. Placentation axile, or parietal. Ovules 1 per locule (Ochna etc.), or 2 per locule (Euthemis), or 5–50 per locule (‘many’, e.g. Godoya); ascending (usually), or pendulous (rarely); apotropous (usually), or epitropous; always with ventral raphe; non-arillate; anatropous to campylotropous; unitegmic to bitegmic; tenuinucellate. Outer integument contributing to the micropyle. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Polar nuclei fusing prior to fertilization. Antipodal cells formed; 3 (large); not proliferating. Synergids with filiform apparatus. Endosperm formation nuclear.

Fruit fleshy, or non-fleshy; dehiscent, or indehiscent, or a schizocarp. Mericarps when schizocarpic, 3–10; comprising drupelets (the one-seeded drupelets, whorled on the gynophore). Fruit a capsule, or capsular-indehiscent, or a berry, or a drupe. Capsules septicidal. Seeds endospermic, or non-endospermic. Endosperm oily, or not oily. Seeds winged (often), or wingless. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight (usually), or curved.

Seedling. Germination phanerocotylar, or cryptocotylar.

Physiology, phytochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Alkaloids absent (2 species). Iridoids not detected. Saponins/sapogenins absent. Proanthocyanidins present; cyanidin. Flavonols absent. Ellagic acid absent. Aluminium accumulation not found.

Geography, cytology. Sub-tropical to tropical. Pantropical. X = 7, 12, 14.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; dubiously Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Theiflorae; Theales. Cronquist’s Subclass Dilleniidae; Theales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; fabid; Order Malpighiales.

Species 600. Genera about 35; Adenanthe, Adenarake, Blastemanthus, Brackenridgea, Campylospermum, Cespedesia, Elvasia, Euthemis, Fleurydora, Godoya, Gomphia, Idertia, Indosinia, Indovethia, Krukoviella, Lophira, Luxemburgia, Ochna, Ouratea, Perissocarpa, Philacra, Poecilandra, Rhabdophyllum, Rhytidanthera, Sauvagesia, Schuurmansia, Schuurmansiella, Sinia, Testulea, Tyleria, Wallacea.

Illustrations. • Technical details: Ochna, Gomphia. • Technical details: Lophira (Lindley). • Tecnical details: Ochna (Thonner). • Ochna squarrosa (cf. jabotapita): R. Wight (1840).


This description is offered for casual browsing only. We strongly advise against extracting comparative information from it. This is much more easily achieved using 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).

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 August 2014. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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