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The families of flowering plants

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Philesiaceae Dum.

Including Lapageriaceae Kunth; excluding Behniaceae, Luzuriagaceae, Petermanniaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Shrubs (undershrubs), or lianas. Self supporting, or climbing; when climbing, stem twiners; Lapageria twining clockwise. Mesophytic, or xerophytic. Leaves alternate; sclerophyllous or leathery; petiolate, or subsessile, or sessile; sheathing, or non-sheathing. Leaf sheaths with free margins. Leaves simple. Lamina inverted; entire; linear, or lanceolate, or ovate; palmately veined (palmate-parallel); cross-venulate. Lamina margins entire.

Leaf anatomy. Stomata present; anomocytic. Foliar vessels absent. Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells (Lapageria, Philesia).

Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. The axial xylem with vessels, or without vessels.

The vessel end-walls scalariform.

Root anatomy. Root xylem with vessels, or without vessels (then with ‘vessel tracheids’); vessel end-walls scalariform.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite. Floral nectaries present. Nectar secretion from the perianth (from pouches at the bases of the tepals).

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary; terminal (on short branchlets), or axillary; bracteolate (with several bracteoles); medium-sized; regular; 3 merous; cyclic; pentacyclic. Perigone tube absent (but the tepals together forming a campanulate structure).

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla, or of ‘tepals’; 6; free; 2 whorled; isomerous; sepaloid and petaloid, or petaloid (if not resolvable into calyx and corolla); spotted; different in the two whorls.

Androecium 6. Androecial members free of the perianth; free of one another, or coherent; when filaments joined 1 adelphous; 2 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 6; diplostemonous. Anthers sub basifixed; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; extrorse, or introrse; tetrasporangiate. Endothecium developing fibrous thickenings. The endothecial thickenings spiral. Anther epidermis persistent. Microsporogenesis successive. Tapetum probably glandular. Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains nonaperturate.

Gynoecium 3 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary 1 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1. Stylar canal present. Stigmas wet type; papillate; Group III type. Placentation parietal (intrusive). Ovules in the single cavity 10–100 (‘several to many’); anatropous; bitegmic; crassinucellate. Outer integument not contributing to the micropyle. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Polar nuclei fusing prior to fertilization. Antipodal cells formed; 3 (large); not proliferating. Synergids pear-shaped.

Fruit indehiscent; a berry. Seeds copiously endospermic. Endosperm oily. Embryo well differentiated. Embryo straight. Testa without phytomelan; thin.

Seedling. Hypocotyl internode present (short). Seedling collar not conspicuous. Cotyledon hyperphyll compact; non-assimilatory. Coleoptile absent. Seedling cataphylls present. First leaf dorsiventral. Primary root persistent. Nitrogen-fixing root nodules absent.

Physiology, phytochemistry. Saponins/sapogenins present (steroidal).

Geography, cytology. Neotropical and Antarctic. Temperate to tropical. Chile. X = 15, 19.

Taxonomy. Subclass Monocotyledonae. Dahlgren et al. Superorder Liliiflorae; Asparagales. APG 3 core angiosperms; Superorder Lilianae; non-commelinid Monocot; Order Liliales.

Species 2. Genera 2; Philesia, Lapageria.

Illustrations. • Philesia buxifolia: Bot. Mag. 79 (1853). • Technical details: Philesia (Lindley). • Lapageria rosea: Bot. Mag. 75 (1849). • Technical details: Lapageria.


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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