Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia family Fact Sheet


Alternative names: Not Applicable

Trees, shrubs or herbs; leaves usually opposite, simple, entire or sometimes toothed or lobed, sessile or petiolate, the bases of opposite leaves usually connected by an interfoliar membrane sometimes reduced to a raised line; stipules sometimes present between the petiole and the stem.

Flowers usually in cymose inflorescences, sometimes solitary or in clusters, rarely in umbels, usually actinomorphic, either bisexual or unisexual and then with male and female flowers on separate plants; sepals 2-5, usually united; corolla sympetalous, tube short or long, lobes usually 4 or 5, imbricate or valvate; disk sometimes present; stamens usually equal in number to and alternating with the corolla lobes, inserted on the tube, included or exserted, anthers 2-locular, basifixed or slightly dorsifixed, lengthwise dehiscent; ovary usually superior, rarely half-inferior, usually 2-celled; ovules 1 to many in each cell; styles 2, usually united, terminal; stigma entire or lobed.

Fruit usually a capsule or berry, sometimes a drupe.

Distribution:  About 28 genera and more than 600 species mainly confined to the tropics with a few genera in the warm temperate regions of the world. 7 genera recorded for Australia.

Biology: No text

Uses: A number of species of Strychnos are commercially important. Strychnine is obtained from the seeds of S. nux-vomica L. The alkaloids of curare are obtained from S. toxifera Schomb. and other closely related species. S. spinosa Lam. has edible fruit. A number of species of Buddleja, Gelsemium and Spigelia are cultivated as ornamentals.

Taxonomic notes: The family is treated in its traditional broad sense. Hutchinson (1959) The families of flowering plants edn 2, 1:370-378, divided Loganiaceae sensu lato into 6 families (Potaliaceae, Loganiaceae, Buddlejaceae, Antoniaceae, Spigeliaceae, Strychnaceae), while Cronquist (1981) An integrated system of classification of flowering plants, recognised two families, Loganiaceae and Buddlejaceae. The author considers that these treatments add little scientifically.

Key to Genera:
1. Calyx and corolla 5-lobed; stamens 5
1. Calyx 2- or 4-lobed; corolla 4-lobed; stamens 4
2. Plants woody; corolla lobes imbricate in the bud
2. Herbs; corolla lobes valvate in the bud

Author: Prepared by G. Perry

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