Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
Census of SA Plants, Algae & Fungi
Identification tools

Electronic Flora of South Australia family Fact Sheet


Alternative names: Not Applicable

Herbs, shrubs or trees with leaves alternate, entire to palmately compound; stipules sometimes spiny but usually absent; inflorescence a terminal raceme with bracts leaf-like to absent.

Flowers with 4-merous perianth with sepals and petals each in two whorls, deciduous; stamens few to many, free or rarely the filaments more or less fused to the base of the gynophore in plants from outside S.Aust.; anthers bilocular, dehiscing longitudinally; ovary superior, unilocular with two parietal placentas, sessile or on a gynophore; stigma simple, sessile or almost so.

Fruit berry-like or a siliqua, seeds usually many, with coiled embryo.

Distribution:  The family includes about 45 genera and about 700 species which are found mainly in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: The family is accepted here in its traditional concept and the genus Cleome is not placed in a separate family, Cleomaceae, because of its herbaceous habit and dry capsule-like fruit.

Key to Genera:
1. Shrubs or trees; berry with tough pericarp; leaves undivided
1. Herbs; dry fruit (siliqua) dehiscing by two valves; leaves 3- to 5- foliate

Author: Prepared by H. R. Toelken

Disclaimer Copyright Disclaimer Copyright Email Contact:
State Herbarium of South Australia
Government of South Australia Government of South Australia Government of South Australia Department for Environment and Water