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The families of flowering plants

L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz

Tapisciaceae (F. Pax) Takhtajan

~ Staphyleaceae-Tapiscioïdeae.

Habit and leaf form. Small trees and shrubs; non-laticiferous. Leaves alternate; petiolate; non-sheathing; not gland-dotted; compound; bifoliolate to pinnate (3–10 jugate, never unifoliolate); stipulate (Tapiscia), or exstipulate (Huertia). Stipules if present, caducous. Lamina margins serrate.

Leaf anatomy. The leaf lamina dorsiventral. Mucilaginous epidermis present, or absent. Stomata present. Hairs present; eglandular.

Axial (stem, wood) anatomy. Cork cambium present. Nodes tri-lacunar. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.

The vessel end-walls oblique; scalariform.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite, or monoecious, or dioecious, or polygamomonoecious.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes, or in panicles. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary; drooping panicles or racemes. Flowers small; regular; 5 merous; cyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk absent.

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 whorled; isomerous; sepaloid and petaloid, or petaloid. Calyx 5; 1 whorled; gamosepalous (connate to varying extents). Calyx lobes markedly shorter than the tube (shortly toothed, in Tapiscia), or markedly longer than the tube (Huertia). Calyx regular; imbricate. Corolla 5; 1 whorled; polypetalous; imbricate; regular.

Androecium 5. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal; free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous; alternating with the corolla members; filantherous. Anthers dorsifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains aperturate; colporate, or rugate (polyrugate in Huertia).

Gynoecium (2–)3(–4) carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 2–3(–4) celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious, or eu-syncarpous (then completely united into an unlobed ovary and stylar column); superior. Ovary 3 locular (?). Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical. Placentation axile. Ovules 1–2 per locule (“only 1 or two ovules in the entire ovary”: Airy Shaw); non-arillate; anatropous; bitegmic (?); crassinucellate (?). Outer integument contributing to the micropyle (?).

Fruit fleshy to non-fleshy; indehiscent; a berry, or a drupe. The drupes with one stone. Fruit 1–2 seeded. Seeds endospermic. Embryo straight.

Geography, cytology. Paleotropical and Neotropical. Sub-tropical to tropical. Cuba and South America (Huertia), China (Tapiscia).

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Rutiflorae (seemingly misplaced: Gadek et al 1996); Geraniales (? — pending reassignment). Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Sapindales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; malvid; Order Huertiales.

Species 7. Genera 2; Huertia, Tapiscia.

Illustrations. • Tapiscia sinensis: Hook. Ic. Pl. 20 (1891).


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: 24th October 2017. delta-intkey.com/angio’.

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