The families of flowering plants

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Phyllanthaceae J.G. Agardh

~ Euphorbiaceae-Phyllantheae

Excluding Bischofiaceae

Habit and leaf form. Trees, or ‘arborescent’, or shrubs, or lianas (rarely), or herbs; non-laticiferous. ‘Normal’ plants, or switch-plants; commonly with the principal photosynthesizing function transferred to stems. Leaves well developed, or much reduced, or absent. Plants succulent (rarely), or non-succulent. Self supporting (mostly), or climbing (rarely). Leaves alternate (usually), or opposite (rarely); spiral, or distichous; ‘herbaceous’, or leathery, or fleshy; petiolate; non-sheathing; simple. Lamina entire; pinnately veined, or palmately veined (basally). Leaves stipulate. Stipules interpetiolar, or intrapetiolar; free of one another, or concrescent; scaly, or leafy, or spiny (rarely). Lamina margins entire. Leaf development not ‘graminaceous’.

General anatomy. Plants without laticifers.

Leaf anatomy. The leaf lamina dorsiventral, or centric. Extra-floral nectaries absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite, or monoecious, or dioecious. Floral nectaries present, or absent. Nectar secretion when present, from the disk.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. Inflorescences usually axillary, or epiphyllous; usually racemose or spikelike thyrses, sometimes in glomerules; with involucral bracts (rarely), or without involucral bracts; not pseudanthial. Flowers bracteate (the bracts without glands); regular. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present (commonly), or absent.

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla, or sepaline (petals often lacking); 3–12; 1 whorled, or 2 whorled, or 3 whorled. Calyx 3–6; 1 whorled, or 2 whorled; polysepalous, or gamosepalous (basally). Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx regular; imbricate (e.g., in male Phyllanthus), or valvate (e.g. in male Bridelia). Corolla 0, or (2–)4–6; when present, polypetalous.

Androecium of male-fertile flowers, 3–10(–19); of male-fetile flowers, exclusively of fertile stamens (?). Stamens 3–10(–19). Anthers dorsifixed to basifixed; dehiscing via short slits to dehiscing via longitudinal slits, or dehiscing transversely.

Gynoecium of female-fertile flowers, (1–)2–5(–15) carpelled; monomerous (rarely), or syncarpous; of one carpel (rarely), or synovarious; superior. Carpel non-stylate. Ovary 2–5(–15) locular; sessile. Gynoecium stylate. Styles (1–)2–5(–15); free, or partially joined; apical. Stigmas (1–)2–5(–15). Ovules in the single cavity when unilocular, 2; 2 per locule; pendulous; with ventral raphe; carunculate, anatropous; crassinucellate.

Fruit explosively dehiscent, or indehiscent; a capsule, or a berry, or a drupe. Cotyledons 2 (much broader than the radicle).

Geography, cytology. Paleotropical, Neotropical, Cape, and Australian. Sub-tropical and tropical. Worldwide warm temperate to tropcal regions.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Malviflorae; Euphorbiales. Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Euphorbiales. APG III core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; fabid. APG IV Order Malpighiales.

Species about 2050. Genera 56; Actephila, Amanoa, Andrachne, Apodiscus, Aporosa, Ashtonia, Astrocasia, Baccaurea, Celianella, Chascotheca, Chonocentrum, Chorisandrachne, Cleistanthus, Croizatia, Dicoelia, Didymocistus, Discocarpus, Distichirhops, Flueggia, Gonatogyne, Heterisavia, Heywoodia, Hieronyma, Hymenocardia, Jablonskia, Keayodendron, Lachnostylis, Leptonema, Leptopus, Lingelsheimia, Maesobotrya, Margaritaria, Martretia, Meineckia, Nothobaccaurea, Notoleptopus, Pentabrachion, Phyllanthopsis, Phyllanthus, Plagiocladus, Poranthera, Protomegabaria, Spondianthus, Pseudolachnostylis, Pseudophyllanthus, Richeria, Savia, Securinega, Tacarcuna, Thecoris, Wielandia.

General remarks. An inadequate, preliminary draft description, cf. Christenhusz et al. (2017) and assorted Floras.

Economic uses, etc. Some edible fruits and ornamentals.

Illustrations. • Bridelia pervilleana var. humbertii, B. tulasneana: Humbert, Fl. Madagascar & Comores 1 (1958). • Cleistanthus boivianus, C. perrieri, C. stentonia: Humbert, Fl. Madagascar & Comores 1 (1958). • Cleistanthus boivianus, C. occidentalis, Bridelia pervilleana: Humbert, Fl. Madagascar & Comores 1 (1958). • Lachnostylis hirta: Hook. Ic. Pl. 13 (1877–79). • Lingelsheimia manongarivensis, L. ambigua, L. fiherensis (as Danguodrypetes)Humbert, Fl. Madagascar & Comores 1 (1958). • Phyllanthus floribundus: Thonner. • Phyllanthus comorensis, P. humbertianus, P. seyrigii, P. decipiens var. bolivianus: Humbert, Fl. Madagascar & Comores 1 (1958). • Phyllanthus gaudotianus (= ?), P. nummulariaefolius, P. vergens, P. cryptophilus: Humbert, Fl. Madagascar & Comores 1 (1958).

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.’.