Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
Census of SA Plants, Algae & Fungi
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Electronic Flora of South Australia family Fact Sheet


Alternative names: Not Applicable

Glabrous or hairy annual or perennial herbs or less often shrubs or trees; leaves opposite, alternate or whorled, entire, simple, exstipulate.

Flowers bisexual, regular or rarely zygomorphic, axillary or in racemose or cymose inflorescences, sessile or pedicellate; sepals 4-6, inserted on a floral tube, valvate, often with the same number of accessory sepals forming an epicalyx also seated on the floral tube; floral tube cylindrical or campanulate; petals 4-6, inserted on the floral tube, crumpled in bud, sometimes absent; stamens 4-12, inserted on the floral tube below the petals; filaments variable in length, usually inflexed in bud; anthers 2-locular, dehiscing longitudinally; ovary superior, 1-6-celled, with numerous anatropous ovules on axile placentas; style simple, stigma often capitate.

Fruit a capsule, with various types of dehiscence, enclosed in the persistent floral tube; seeds without endosperm; embryo straight. About 25 genera and 550 species, almost cosmopolitan. (Mitchell (1976) J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 1:55-59; Mitchell in Jessop (1981) Flora of Central Australia, 232-234.)

Biology: No text

Key to Genera:
1. Petals less than 0.5 mm long or 0; floral tube campanulate or hemispherical in flower; capsule hyaline, dehiscing irregularly
1. Petals 1.5-8 mm long; floral tube cylindrical; capsule cartilaginous, septicidal

Author: Prepared by J.P. Jessop

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