The families of flowering plants.                                                                                                                                                                

Aitoniaceae Harv. & Sond



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~Meliaceae, Loganiaceae

Habit and leaf form. Small trees, or shrubs (much branched, rigid, the twigs angular, puberulous). Leaves alternate; subsessile; non-sheathing; simple. Lamina entire; one-veined (linear-oblong). Leaves exstipulate.

Leaf anatomy. Stomata present; anomocytic.

Lamina dorsiventral.

Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Xylem with fibre tracheids.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary; axillary; somewhat irregular; 4 merous. Hypogynous disk present; annular (cupular, fleshy, crenate).

Perianthwith distinct calyx and corolla; 8; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 4; 1 whorled; shortly gamosepalous. Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Degree of gamosepaly (maximum length joined/total calyx length) 0.2 (or less). Calyx slightly imbricate. Corolla 4; 1 whorled; polypetalous (the petals large); imbricate; purple.

Androecium 8. Androecial members coherent; 1 adelphous (filaments shortly connate); 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 8; diplostemonous; both alternating with and opposite the corolla members. Anthers introrse.

Gynoecium 4 carpelled. The pistil 4 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous;superior. Ovary 4 locular. Styles 1 (filiform). Stigmas 1; punctiform. Placentation axile. Ovules 2 per locule; amphitropous.

Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules loculicidal. Dispersal unit the seed. Seeds non-endospermic. Embryo curved.

Physiology, biochemistry. Sugars transported as sugar alcohols + oligosaccharides + sucrose.

Geography, cytology. South Africa.

Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Rutiflorae; Sapindales. Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Sapindales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; malvid; Order Sapindales (as a synonym of Meliaceae).

Species 1. Genera 1; only genus, Nymania (Aitonia).

General remarks. Convincingly referred to Meliaceae-Turraeae by Pennington and Styles 1975. 


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