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

Perennial herbs or shrubs; leaves alternate, rarely opposite, simple, mostly stipulate.

Flowers bisexual (sometimes unisexual in Hymenanthera), self-pollination sometimes occurring in the closed bud (cleistogamous), strongly or weakly zygomorphic, solitary or in cymose or racemose inflorescences; sepals 5, imbricate, the lower sometimes pouched at the base; petals 5, imbricate, free, unequal or sometimes almost equal, the lower often longest and more or less spurred; stamens 5, hypogynous, alternate with the petals; filaments short, anthers free or connivent around the ovary, introrse, 2-celled, opening by longitudinal slits, the connective extending beyond the anther into a membranous appendage; ovary superior, 1-celled; placentas usually 3, parietal; ovules 1-several per placenta, anatropous; style simple, stigma terminal.

Fruit a capsule or berry; seeds endospermous, often arillate, embryo straight.

Distribution:  Mainly tropical to temperate in distribution; 22 genera with approximately 900 species. (This treatment differs in several respects from that of Adams & George (1982) Fl. Aust. 8:91-110.)

Biology: No text

Key to Genera:
1. Flowers only slightly zygomorphic; fruit a berry
1. Flowers distinctly zygomorphic; fruit a capsule
2. Sepals with basal appendages; herbs with short stems, often stoloniferous; leaves with a distinct often long petiole
2. Sepals without appendages; herbs or shrubs, stems erect or rarely climbing, without stolons; leaves sessile or nearly so

Author: Prepared by R. D. Seppelt

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