Toricelliaceae (Wang.) Hu corr. Airy Shaw
Alternatively Torricelliaceae Hu~ Cornaceae
Excluding Aralidiaceae, Melanophyllaceae
Habit and leaf form. Small trees (with thick branches and broad pith). Leaves alternate; spiral; long petiolate; broadly sheathing. Leaf sheaths with free margins. Leaves simple. Lamina dissected; more or less palmatifid; palmately veined. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins coarsely dentate, or entire.
Leaf anatomy. Stomata present; mainly confined to one surface; anomocytic. Hairs present; glandular; multicellular.
Stem anatomy. Secretory cavities absent. Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. ‘Included’ phloem absent. Vessel end-walls simple. Wood parenchyma apotracheal.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers functionally male, or functionally female. Plants monoecious, or dioecious (?). Female flowers without staminodes. Gynoecium of male flowers pistillodial (represented by 1–3 subulate processes).
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in panicles. The ultimate inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences lax, many flowered pendulous thyrses. Flowers small; regular; cyclic.
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla (male flowers), or sepaline (female flowers); 10 (male flowers), or 6–10 (female flowers); 1 whorled (female flowers), or 2 whorled (male); of female flowers isomerous. Calyx 5 (male flowers), or 3–5 (female flowers); 1 whorled; gamosepalous; blunt-lobed (male flowers), or toothed (female flowers, the 3–5 teeth minute); lobes of male flowers more or less unequal; open in bud. Corolla 5 (in male flowers only); of male flowers 1 whorled; polypetalous (the petals inflexed); induplicate valvate.
Androecium in male flowers, 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; shortly filantherous. Anthers basifixed; latrorse to introrse (latero-introrse). Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate.
Gynoecium 3–4 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth to isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 3–4 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious, or synstylovarious (?); inferior. Ovary 3–4 locular (often partially sterile). Epigynous disk absent (‘inconspicuous’). Stigmas 3 (erect or divaricate, persistent). Placentation apical. Ovules 1 per locule; funicled; pendulous; arillate (the funicle thickened to form an obturator); anatropous.
Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a drupe (obliquely ovoid, 3–4 locular); 1 seeded. Seeds endospermic; linear, curved.
Physiology, biochemistry. Iridoids detected (griselinoside, cf. Griselinia); ‘Route I’ type (normal).
Geography, cytology. Holarctic. Temperate. Eastern Himalayas, Western China. N = 12.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Araliiflorae; Araliales. Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Cornales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; campanulid; Order Apiales.
Species 3. Genera 1; only genus, Toricellia.