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  Section: Kingdom Plantae » Famalies
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Family Anisophylleaceae


Anisophylleaceae (Schimp.) Ridl.

Including Polygonanthaceae (Croiz.) Croiz.

Habit and leaf form. Trees and shrubs (of wet primary forest). Plants non-succulent. Helophytic. Heterophyllous (anisophyllous, ‘or with reduced stipular homologues’), or not heterophyllous (Combretocarpus). Leaves alternate; spiral, or distichous, or four-ranked (Anisophyllea); simple. Lamina entire; palmately veined (3–5 plinerved). Leaves exstipulate.

Leaf anatomy. Lamina dorsiventral to centric.

Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Vessel end-walls simple. Wood parenchyma apotracheal to paratracheal.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants monoecious (mostly), or hermaphrodite (Combretocarpus); viviparous, or not viviparous.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’, or solitary (rarely); when solitary, axillary; when aggregated, in racemes and in panicles. The ultimate inflorescence unit when flowers aggregated cymose, or racemose. Inflorescences axillary; axillary racemes or panicles on leafless shoots. Flowers regular; (2–)3 merous, or 4(–5) merous.

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 6–10(–32); 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx (3–)4(–16); 1 whorled; polysepalous; persistent; valvate. Corolla (3–)4(–16); 1 whorled; polypetalous; valvate. Petals clawed; lobed or laciniate, except in Polygonanthus.

Androecium 8. Androecial members free of one another; 2 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens, or including staminodes (sometimes with several stamens barren). Staminodes non-petaloid. Stamens 8; diplostemonous; inflexed in bud. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed in aggregates, or shed as single grains (?); at least sometimes in tetrads. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate (to colporoidate).

Gynoecium (3–)4 carpelled. The pistil (3–)4 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious; inferior. Ovary (3–)4 locular. Epigynous disk present (crenate). Gynoecium stylate. Styles (3–)4; free. Stigmas (3–)4. Placentation apical. Ovules 1 per locule, or 2 per locule; pendulous; arillate, or non-arillate; anatropous.

Fruit fleshy, or non-fleshy; dehiscent, or indehiscent; a capsule and a samara (Combretocarpus), or a drupe; usually 1 seeded (usually), or 3–4 seeded (Poga). Seeds non-endospermic; winged, or wingless. Cotyledons reduced, 0, or 2.

Seedling. Germination cryptocotylar.

Physiology, biochemistry. Saponins/sapogenins absent. Aluminium accumulation demonstrated (very commonly).

Geography, cytology. Tropical. Tropical, widespread.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli (? — polypetalous, exstipulate, but no embryology). Dahlgren’s Superorder Corniflorae; Cornales (?). Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Rosales. APG (1998) Eudicot; core Eudicot; Rosid; Eurosid I. APG 3 (2009) Order: Cucurbitales.

Species 36. Genera 4; Anisophyllea, Combretocarpus, Poga, Polygonanthus.


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