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The families of flowering plants

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Stilaginaceae C.A. Agardh

~ Euphorbiaceae.

Including Antidesmeae (Antidesmataceae) Sweet ex Endl.

Habit and leaf form. Small trees, or shrubs. Leaves alternate; distichous; leathery; shortly petiolate; simple. Lamina entire; ‘with conspicuous looping venation’. Leaves conspicuously stipulate. Stipules caducous. Domatia occurring in the family; manifested as pockets.

Leaf anatomy. Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells.

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

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers functionally male, or functionally female. Plants dioecious. Female flowers without staminodes. Gynoecium of male flowers pistillodial to vestigial (small, cylindrical), or absent.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes, or in spikes, or in panicles. The ultimate inflorescence units cymose, or racemose. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary. Flowers very small. Hypogynous disk present; extrastaminal (in male flowers, or surrounding each stamen); of separate members, or annular (variously formed, the lobes free or united).

Perianth sepaline; 3–5(–8). Calyx 3–5(–8); gamosepalous; imbricate, or open in bud.

Androecium (2–)3–5(–6). Androecial members free of the perianth; free of one another. Androecium in male flowers, exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens (2–)3–5(–6); isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous; inflexed in bud (the filaments inflexed); filantherous (the filaments long and filiform). Anthers dehiscing transversely (or transversly and apically); bilocular (the thecae divergent, almost free, borne on a short thick connective). Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate.

Gynoecium ostensibly 1 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous (pseudomonomerous); synstylovarious; superior. Ovary 1 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical to lateral (subterminal); shorter than the ovary (short). Stigmas 2–4 (short, spreading). Placentation apical. Ovules in the single cavity 2; pendulous.

Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a drupe (small, ovoid or flattened, often oblique and with a lateral, persistent style). The drupes with one stone (with conspicuous foveolate-reticulate endocarp). Fruit 1–2 seeded. Seeds endospermic (the endosperm fleshy). Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo chlorophyllous; straight.

Geography, cytology. Paleotropical. Sub-tropical to tropical. Palaeotropical and subtropical, Africa and Asia.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Malviflorae; Euphorbiales (?). Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Euphorbiales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; fabid; Order Malpighiales (as a synonym of Euphorbiaceae).

Species 170. Genera 1; only genus, Antidesma (Stilago).

General remarks. The present compilation of data has Antidesma differing from Euphorbiaceae sensu stricto (q.v.) in the transversely dehiscent anthers and pseudomonomerous gynoecium, also (in so far as limited sampling can be relied upon) in the wood lacking libriform fibres.

Illustrations. • Antidesma alnifolium: Hook. Ic. Pl. 5–6 (1852–43). • Technical details: Stilago (Lindley).


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: 20th July 2017. delta-intkey.com/angio’.

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