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  Section: Kingdom Plantae » Famalies
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Family Aextoxicaceae


Aextoxicaceae Engl. and Gilg

Habit and leaf form. Large trees. Leaves alternate (to subopposite); spiral; petiolate; non-sheathing; simple. Lamina entire; cross-venulate. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire.

Leaf anatomy. Hairs present. Complex hairs lepidote.

Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Xylem with tracheids. Vessel end-walls scalariform. Vessels without vestured pits.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers functionally male, or functionally female. Plants dioecious. Female flowers without staminodes. Gynoecium of male flowers pistillodial, or vestigial.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes. The ultimate inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences axillary (lepidote). Bracts (or rather, single bracteoles) calyptrate. Flowers calyptrate; regular; 5 merous; cyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present; of separate members (5).

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5; 1 whorled; polysepalous; not persistent (deciduous); imbricate. Corolla 5; 1 whorled; polypetalous; imbricate. Petals spathulate, broadly clawed.

Androecium 5. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal; free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5; oppositisepalous. Anthers dehiscing via short slits (above); introrse. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate.

Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 2 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to synstylovarious; superior. Ovary 2 locular. Styles 1 (shortly bifid). Stigmas 2. Placentation apical. Ovules 2 per locule (but only one loculus fertile); pendulous; non-arillate; bitegmic; crassinucellate. Outer integument not contributing to the micropyle.

Fruit non-fleshy (small); indehiscent; a drupe. The drupes with one stone (one-seeded). Fruit 1 seeded. Seeds endospermic. Endosperm ruminate. Cotyledons 2 (these flattened, cordate-orbicular).

Physiology, biochemistry. Saponins/sapogenins absent.

Geography, cytology. Chile. N = 16.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Malviflorae; Euphorbiales (?). Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Celastrales. APG (1998) Eudicot; core Eudicot; neither Rosid nor Asterid. APG 3 (2009) Order: Berberidopsidales.

Species 1. Genera 1; only genus, Aextoxicon.

• Technical details.


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