The families of flowering plants.
Habit and leaf form. Shrubs (often of pittosporaceous appearance). Plants non-succulent. Leavesalternate (to sub-opposite), or whorled (pseudowhorls of 3, 4 or 5); when alternate, spiral; not gland-dotted; simple. Lamina entire. Leavesexstipulate. Lamina margins sinuous dentate, or entire.
Leaf anatomy. Stomata present; anomocytic.
Stem anatomy. Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Xylem with tracheids. Vessel end-walls scalariform, or scalariform and simple. Wood ring porous.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite, or polygamomonoecious (? — ‘polygamous’). Floral nectaries present. Nectar secretion from the disk.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’ (axillary and solitary or fasciculate, rarely in racemes or subterminal); when solitary, (sub) terminal, or axillary; when aggregated, in racemes, or in fascicles. Inflorescences (sub) terminal, or axillary. Flowers sometimes fragrant; regular; (4–)5(–7) merous. Free hypanthium present, or absent.
Perianthwith distinct calyx and corolla; 8–14; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx (4–)5(–7); 1 whorled; polysepalous; valvate, or open in bud. Corolla (4–)5(–7); 1 whorled; gamopetalous; valvate; urceolate, or funnel-shaped.
Androecium (4–)5(–7). Androecial members free of the perianth, or adnate (to the corolla tube); all equal, or markedly unequal (two sometimes larger); free of one another. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens (4–)5(–7); isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous. Anthers dorsifixed;non-versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate.
Gynoecium 2 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil2 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; partly inferior to inferior. Ovary 2 locular. Epigynous disk present (flat or tumid, crowning the ovary). Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical. Stigmas1; more or less 2 lobed; clavate, or capitate. Placentation axile. Ovules 1–50 per locule (to ‘many’). Antipodal cells formed; 3; not proliferating.
Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a berry. Dispersal unit the fruit. Seeds endospermic. Cotyledons 2.
Physiology, biochemistry. Iridoidsnot detected (S.R. Jensen, unpublished).
Geography, cytology. Paleotropical and Antarctic. Frigid zone and tropical. New Caledonia, New Zealand.
Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Corniflorae; Cornales. Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Rosales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; campanulid; Order Asterales.
Species 11. Genera 3; Alseuosmia (Periomphale, Memecylanthus), Crispiloba,Wittsteinia.