~ Escalloniaceae, Saxifragaceae sensu lato
Habit and leaf form. Small, densely glandular-hairy herbs. Annual; with a basal aggregation of leaves. Mesophytic. Leaves alternate; spiral; somewhat fleshy (at least the cauline members), or ‘herbaceous’; petiolate to sessile (the petioles shortening acropetally); non-sheathing; simple; epulvinate. Lamina entire to dissected (the basal members), or dissected (the cauline members — becoming smaller and increasingly dissected acropetally); when dissected, basically palmatifid (the upper members stagshornlike); basically palmately veined (the three main veins parallel in the leaf base/petiole, dichotomising above); cross-venulate. Leaves exstipulate; without a persistent basal meristem.
Leaf anatomy. Hairs present; eglandular and glandular. Unicellular hairs unbranched. Complex hairs absent.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes. The ultimate inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences terminal; dichotomous cymes. Flowers bracteate to ebracteate (small bracts with the infloresence branches, not with individual flowers); ebracteolate; minute; regular; 5 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk absent.
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5; 1 whorled; very slightly gamosepalous, or polysepalous (there being only the merest rim external to the corolla); deeply blunt-lobed; regular; persistent; valvate. Corolla 5; 1 whorled; polypetalous; regular; deciduous. Petals clawed to sessile.
Androecium 5. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal; free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous; alternating with the corolla members; filantherous (the filaments subulate, the anthers small). Anthers dorsifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse to latrorse.
Gynoecium 2 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 2 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious; partly inferior (about a quarter to half inferior). Ovary 2 locular. Epigynous disk absent. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 2; free to partially joined (at the base); abruptly attenuate from the ovary; apical. Stigmas 2; dorsal to the carpels. Placentation basal, or axile to basal (on the basal angle). Ovules 1 per locule; funicled; ascending; arillate; anatropous.
Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule (‘subdidymous’). Capsules loculicidal. Seeds endospermic. Embryo straight.
Geography, cytology. Temperate. Southwest Australia.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Corniflorae; Cornales (?). Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Rosales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; campanulid; Order Escalloniales (as a synonym of Escalloniaceae?).
Species 1. Genera 1; only genus, Eremosyne.