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  Section: Kingdom Plantae » Famalies
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Family Anacardiaceae


Anacardiaceae Lindl.

Including Cassuvieae (Cassuviaceae) R.Br., Spodiaceae (Spodiadaceae) Hassk., Spondiaceae (Spondiadaceae) Kunth

Excluding Blepharocaryaceae, Julianaceae, Pistaciaceae, Podoaceae

Habit and leaf form. Trees, or shrubs; laticiferous (e.g. in Anacardium), or non-laticiferous and without coloured juice; resinous. Self supporting, or climbing. Leaves evergreen, or deciduous; nearly always alternate (opposite in Bouea); when alternate, spiral; ‘herbaceous’; aromatic (resinous), or without marked odour (?); simple, or compound; when compound, ternate, or pinnate. Lamina pinnately veined. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire. Domatia occurring in the family (in 8 genera); manifested as pits, or pockets, or hair tufts.

Leaf anatomy. Abaxial epidermis papillose, or not papillose.

Adaxial hypodermis present, or absent. Lamina with secretory cavities (but not noticeably ‘gland-dotted’). Secretory cavities containing resin, or containing latex. Main veins embedded. Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells (Odina (= Lannea)).

Stem anatomy. Secretory cavities present; with resin, or with latex. Cork cambium present; initially usually superficial. Nodes tri-lacunar. Primary vascular tissue centrifugal. Cortical bundles absent. Medullary bundles absent. Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. ‘Included’ phloem absent. Xylem without fibre tracheids; with libriform fibres; with vessels. Vessel end-walls simple (usually), or scalariform, simple, and reticulately perforated. Vessels without vestured pits. Primary medullary rays narrow (mostly), or wide, or mixed wide and narrow. Wood ring porous to semi-ring porous (rarely), or diffuse porous (usually); parenchyma predominantly paratracheal (often sparse, rarely absent).

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite, or monoecious, or dioecious, or gynodioecious, or polygamomonoecious.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in panicles. The ultimate inflorescence unit racemose. Flowers regular; typically 5 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic, or pentacyclic. Free hypanthium present (short), or absent. Hypogynous disk present; intrastaminal; annular.

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla, or sepaline; 3–5, or 6–10; 1 whorled, or 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 3–5; 1 whorled; basally gamosepalous. Calyx lobes markedly shorter than the tube to markedly longer than the tube. Calyx regular; imbricate. Corolla when present, 3–5; 1 whorled; polypetalous, or gamopetalous (rarely, basally). Corolla lobes markedly longer than the tube. Corolla imbricate.

Androecium 5–10(–12). Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal, or markedly unequal; free of one another, or coherent; when coherent 1 adelphous (the filaments sometimes basally connate); 1 whorled, or 2 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens, or including staminodes. Staminodes when present, 1–9. Stamens (1–)5–10(–12); oppositisepalous. Anthers dorsifixed (mostly), or basifixed (e.g. Spondias); versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Endothecium developing fibrous thickenings. Microsporogenesis simultaneous. The initial microspore tetrads tetrahedral. Anther wall initially with more than one middle layer (usually), or initially with one middle layer (Rhus mysurensis); of the ‘basic’ type, or of the ‘dicot’ type. Tapetum glandular. Pollen monosiphonous; shed as single grains. Pollen grains aperturate; (2–)3 aperturate; colporate; 2-celled.

Gynoecium 1–3–5(–6) carpelled. The pistil 1–5 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; semicarpous (rarely), or synovarious, or synstylovarious; superior (usually), or partly inferior. Ovary 1–5 locular. Styles 1 (usually), or 3–6 (Buchanania with up to five styles from sterile carpels). Stigmas 1–5; wet type; non-papillate; Group IV type. Placentation when unilocular parietal, or basal; when bi- or plurilocular basal. Ovules in the single cavity when unilocular, 1; 1 per locule; pendulous, or ascending; apotropous; with ventral raphe (when erect, the micropyle inferior), or with dorsal raphe (when pendulous, the micropyle superior); non-arillate; anatropous; unitegmic, or bitegmic; crassinucellate. Outer integument contributing to the micropyle, or not contributing to the micropyle. Endothelium not differentiated. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Polar nuclei fusing prior to fertilization. Antipodal cells formed; 3; not proliferating; ephemeral. Synergids hooked. Hypostase present, or absent. Endosperm formation nuclear.

Fruit fleshy (usually), or non-fleshy (occasionally); when dry indehiscent; a drupe. The drupes with one stone. Seeds non-endospermic. Cotyledons 2. Embryo chlorophyllous (4/4), or achlorophyllous (2/2); curved.

Seedling. Germination phanerocotylar, or cryptocotylar.

Physiology, biochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Alkaloids present, or absent (mostly). Iridoids not detected. Arthroquinones detected (Lannea); polyacetate derived. Proanthocyanidins present (usually?), or absent (Mangifera); when present, delphinidin, or cyanidin and delphinidin. Flavonols present; kaempferol and quercetin, or quercetin and myricetin, or kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin. Ellagic acid absent (3 genera, 4 species). Arbutin absent. Saponins/sapogenins present (rarely), or absent. Aluminium accumulation not found. Sugars transported as sucrose, or as oligosaccharides + sucrose, or as sugar alcohols + oligosaccharides + sucrose (but sucrose always predominating). C3. C3 physiology recorded directly in Rhus. Anatomy non-C4 type (Mangifera).

Geography, cytology. Sub-tropical to tropical (mainly). Widespread in the tropics, also Mediterranean, E. Asia, America. X = 7–16.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Rutiflorae; Sapindales. Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Sapindales. APG (1998) Eudicot; core Eudicot; Rosid; Eurosid II. APG 3 (2009) Order: Sapindales.

Species 600. Genera about 70; Actinocheita, Anacardium, Androtium, Antrocaryon, Apterokarpos, Astronium, Baronia, Bonetiella, Bouea, Buchanania, Campnosperma, Cardenasiodendron, Choerospondias, Comocladia, Cotinus, Cyrtocarpa, Dracontomelon, Drimycarpus, Ebandoua, Euleria, Euroschinus, Faguetia, Fegimanra, Gluta, Haematostaphis, Haplorhus, Harpephyllum, Heeria, Holigarna, Koordersiodendron, Lannea, Laurophyllus, Lithrea, Loxopterigium, Loxostylis, Mangifera, Mauria, Melanochyla, Metopium, Micronychia, Montagueia, Mosquitoxylum, Nothopegia, Ochoterenaea, Operculicarya, Ozoroa, Pachycormus, Parishia, Pegia, Pentaspadon, Pleiogynium, Poupartia, Protorhus, Pseudoprotorhus, Pseudosmodingium, Pseudospondias, Rhodosphaera, Rhus, Schinopsis, Schinus, Sclerocarya, Semecarpus, Smodingium, Solenocarpus, Sorindeia, Spondias, Swintonia, Tapirira, Thyrsodium, Toxicodendron, Trichoscypha.

Economic uses, etc. Including commercially important fruits — cashew-nut (Anacardium, and the fleshy peduncle, ‘cashew-apple’), mango (Mangifera), Jamaica plum, hog-plum, imbu (Spondias). Resins, oils and lacquers from Toxicodendron.

• Lannea - technical details (Thonner).
• Sclerocarya, Odina - technical taxonomic details.
• Rhus: Technical details.
• Duvaua longifolia: Bot. Reg. 29 (59), 1843.


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