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  Section: Kingdom Plantae » Famalies
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Family Argophyllaceae


Argophyllaceae (Engl.) A. Takhtadzhyan

~ Variously Brexiaceae, Escalloniaceae, Cornaceae in older treatments

Including Corokiaceae

Habit and leaf form. Small trees, or shrubs. Leaves alternate (and in 3–4 leaved fasicles on short-shoots); simple. Lamina entire; linear, or oblong, or ovate to obovate, or lanceolate, or oblanceolate. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire, or serrate.

Leaf anatomy. Hairs present (T-shaped); multicellular.

Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells (Corokia).

Stem anatomy. Nodes unilacunar (C. virgata), or tri-lacunar (mostly), or penta-lacunar (A. laxum). Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring (?). Vessel end-walls scalariform. Wood semi-ring porous, or diffuse porous.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; when aggregated, in racemes, or in panicles, or in fascicles. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary; panicles or racemes, sometimes few-flowered fascicles. Flowers regular; mostly 5 merous; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent.

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10, or 16; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 2, or 8; 1 whorled; shortly gamosepalous; blunt-lobed, or toothed. Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx regular; persistent; imbricate. Corolla 5, or 8; 1 whorled; appendiculate (with adaxial fringed appendages - coralline ligules); polypetalous, or gamopetalous (then joined only basally). Corolla lobes when gamopetalous, markedly longer than the tube. Corolla imbricate; regular; white, or yellow.

Androecium 5, or 8. Androecial members free of the perianth; free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5, or 8; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous; alternating with the corolla members; filantherous.

Gynoecium 2–6 carpelled (?). Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 1–3 celled, or 6 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; partly inferior to inferior. Ovary 1–3 locular, or 6 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1. Stigmas 1; 2–5 lobed; capitate. Placentation when unilocular, parietal; usually axile. Ovules 1–50 per locule (‘to many’); anatropous.

Fruit dehiscent; a capsule, or a drupe. Capsules loculicidal. Seeds endospermic (the endosperm fleshy); ovate or linear-elongate. Embryo well differentiated (minute or elongate). Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight (?).

Geography, cytology. Australian, Paleotropical, and Antarctic. Temperate to tropical. Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Polynesia, Rapa Island.

Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli (?). Dahlgren’s Superorder Corniflorae; Cornales. Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Rosales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; campanulid; Order Asterales.

Species about 20. Genera 2; Argophyllum and Corokia.

Miscellaneous. This description lacks data on taxonomically informative “esoteric characters” (anther development, embryology, phytochemistry, etc.); and the morphology needs pursuing further with special reference to features diagnostic for Escalloniaceae sensu lato.


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