Pelliceriaceae (Planch. & Triana) Beauvis
Habit and leaf form. Glabrous, buttressed trees (with branched sclerenchymatous idioblasts in the cortex and pith). Leaves evergreen; alternate; ‘herbaceous’; sessile (and shortly decurrent); simple. Lamina entire; slightly asymmetic; pinnately veined; attenuate at the base. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins glandular dentate (or denticulate). Vernation involute.
Leaf anatomy. Stomata present; cyclocytic. Hairs absent.
Adaxial hypodermis present (aqueous). Lamina dorsiventral. The mesophyll with sclerencymatous idioblasts; containing calcium oxalate crystals. The mesophyll crystals raphides (in special cells).
Stem anatomy. Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Cortical bundles absent. Medullary bundles absent. Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Xylem without tracheids; without fibre tracheids; with libriform fibres. Vessel end-walls oblique; simple.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary; axillary; (bi-) bracteolate (each flower subtended by two elongate,crimson to rose or coral-red, eventually deciduous, petaloid ‘bracts’ surpassing the petals); large; regular; 5 merous; cyclic. Free hypanthium absent.
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla (but the calyx petaloid); 10; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5 (the sepals crimson or rosy externally, finely glandular-pitted inside near the middle); 1 whorled; polysepalous; unequal but not bilabiate; imbricate. Corolla 5; 1 whorled; polypetalous; imbricate; white, or pink; deciduous (caducous). Petals elongate.
Androecium 5. Androecial members free of the perianth; 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 appressed to alternate grooves in the 10–grooved ovary). Anthers basifixed (sagittate); non-versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; extrorse to latrorse; bilocular; appendaged. The anther appendages apical (via prolongation of the connective). Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate.
Gynoecium 2 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 1 celled, or 2 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary (1–)2 locular (the two locules sometimes confluent towards the tip, one locule sometimes empty or even suppressed). Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; attenuate from the ovary; apical; thickened, smooth, elongate, gradually tapering. Stigmas 1; punctiform. Placentation axile. Ovules 1 per locule; pendulous; campylotropous.
Fruit non-fleshy; indehiscent; large (to 13 cm in diameter, dry and leathery, ovoid-turbinate, beaked; 1 seeded. Seeds endospermic; without a testa (the ripe seed consisting of the large, naked embryo, the more or less hemispherical cotyledons filling the cavity of the fruit and enclosing the conspicuous, red plumule, and the radicle on germination penetrating the stylar beak of the fruit). Cotyledons 2 (fleshy).
Peculiar feature. Mangroves (without stilt-roots).
Geography, cytology. Neotropical. Tropical. Costa Rica to Ecuador.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli, or Tenuinucelli (?). Dahlgren’s Superorder Theiflorae; Theales. Cronquist’s Subclass Dilleniidae; Theales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; Order Ericales (as a synonym of Tetrameristaceae?).
Species 1. Genera 1; only genus, Pelliceria.