Including Simabaceae Horan. (p.p.)
Habit and leaf form. Trees (mostly), or shrubs (or undershrubs). Leaves evergreen; alternate (Anthodiscus), or opposite (Caryocar); leathery; petiolate; compound; digitately ternate, or bipinnate (to 5-foliolate). Lamina palmately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves stipulate, or exstipulate. Stipules when present, caducous. Lamina margins sub entire, or serrate to dentate. Domatia occurring in the family; manifested as hair tufts.
Leaf anatomy. Hydathodes commonly present. Mucilaginous epidermis present, or absent. Stomata present; anomocytic, or anisocytic, or paracytic.
The mesophyll with sclerencymatous idioblasts.
Stem anatomy. Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Nodes multilacunar. Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. ‘Included’ phloem absent. Xylem with fibre tracheids, or without fibre tracheids; with libriform fibres; with vessels. Vessel end-walls oblique; simple. Wood parenchyma apotracheal, or paratracheal.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite. Pollination cheiropterophilous (in Caryocar).
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes (sometimes condensed). The ultimate inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences terminal. Flowers ebracteate; large; calyptrate (Anthodiscus), or not calyptrate; regular. Free hypanthium present to absent (the stamens ‘subperigynous’).
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10 (usually), or 12; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5(–6); 1 whorled; gamosepalous; regular; imbricate, or open in bud. Corolla 5(–6); 1 whorled; polypetalous, or gamopetalous (basally). Corolla lobes markedly longer than the tube. Corolla calyptrate (in Anthodiscus), or not calyptrate; imbricate; regular.
Androecium 50–200 (‘very many’). Androecial members branched (?); maturing centrifugally; free of the perianth; coherent; 1 adelphous, or 5 adelphous (shortly connate basally, into a ring or five bundles alternating with the corolla members). The androecial bundles when bundled, alternating with the corolla members. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens, or including staminodes (the inner filaments sometimes without anthers). Staminodes internal to the fertile stamens. Stamens 50–200 (‘very many’); polystemonous; oppositisepalous. Anthers dorsifixed; sub versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits. Pollen grains aperturate; (2–)3(–6) aperturate; (syn) colporate, or rugate.
Gynoecium 4–20 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth to increased in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 4–20 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious; superior. Ovary 4–20 locular (equalling G). Gynoecium stylate. Styles 4–20; free; apical. Stigmas 4–20. Placentation axile. Ovules 1 per locule; ascending (Hutchinson, Thonner); orthotropous to anatropous; bitegmic.
Fruit fleshy, or non-fleshy; indehiscent, or a schizocarp (then leathery). Mericarps 4–20 (?). Fruit usually a drupe (the fleshy mesocarp sometimes poisonous, sometimes edible). The drupes with separable pyrenes (‘mericarps’). Seeds thinly endospermic, or non-endospermic. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2 (small). Embryo with an enlarged, oily and proteinaceous, spirally twisted hypocotyl, and inflexed cotyledons.
Physiology, biochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Arbutin absent.
Geography, cytology. Neotropical. Tropical. Tropical America.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli (?). Dahlgren’s Superorder Theiflorae; Theales. Cronquist’s Subclass Dilleniidae; Theales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; fabid; Order Malpighiales.
Species 25. Genera 2; Anthodiscus, Caryocar.
• Technical details: Caryocar, Anthodiscus (Lindley).