The families of flowering plants.                                                                                                                                                                

Altingiaceae Lindi



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~Hamamelidaceae (Altingioideae, Liquidambaroideae)

IncludingBalsamaceae Lindl., Liqidambaraceae Pfeiff.

Habit and leaf form. Trees (sometimes very large); resinous (ducts in axes and leaves). Leaves alternate; non-sheathing; simple. Lamina dissected; palmatifid (or tricuspidate); pinnately veined, or palmately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves stipulate. Stipules intrapetiolar; caducous (small). Lamina margins entire (rarely), or serrate, or dentate. Domatia occurring in the family (in Liquidambar); manifested as pockets, or hair tufts.

Leaf anatomy. Stomata paracytic.

Adaxial hypodermis present.

Stem anatomy. Secretory cavities present. Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Cortical bundles absent. Medullary bundles absent. Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. ‘Included’ phloem absent. Vessels without vestured pits. Wood parenchyma apotracheal (scarce).

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants monoecious (the male flower consisting of a globose stamen-cluster, enclosed in a bract). Gynoecium of male flowers absent.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. Inflorescences in terminal racemes (male), or in globular heads cf. Platanus (female).

Perianthsepaline, or vestigial; 0 (male flowers), or 12–50 (i.e. many, of minute lobes or scales, in female flowers); more or less accrescent (in female flowers).

Androecium 12–100 (i.e. ‘many’ — the male inflorescences consisting terminal racemes of globose stamen-clusters); exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 12–50. Anthers basifixed; dehiscing via longitudinal slits (?), or dehiscing by longitudinal valves; tetrasporangiate. Endothecium developing fibrous thickenings. Microsporogenesis simultaneous. The initial microspore tetrads tetrahedral. Tapetum glandular. Pollen grains aperturate; polyaperturate; foraminate; 2-celled.

Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 2 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious; inferior. Ovary 2 locular. Stigmas 2; dry type; papillate; Group II type. Ovules 20–50 per locule; horizontal; anatropous; bitegmic; crassinucellate. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Antipodal cells formed; 3; not proliferating; very ephemeral. Endosperm formation nuclear.

Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules septicidal. Gynoecia of adjoining flowers combining to form a multiple fruit. The multiple fruits coalescing, or not coalescing (?). Dispersal unit the inflorescence (this globular, hard, dry, of many capsules). Cotyledons 2; flat. Embryo straight.

Seedling.Germination phanerocotylar (Liquidambar).

Physiology, biochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Iridoids detected (Liquidambar); ‘Route I’ type (?). Proanthocyanidins present; cyanidin and delphinidin. Flavonols present; quercetin and myricetin. Ellagic acid present. Arbutin absent. Sugars transported as oligosaccharides + sucrose (Liquidambar).

Geography, cytology. Temperate to tropical. Asia Minor, temperate and tropical Southeast Asia, North and Central America. X = 8.

Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Rosiflorae; Hamamelidales. Cronquist’s Subclass Hamamelidae; Hamamelidales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; unplaced at Superordinal level; Order Saxifragales.

Species 10. Genera 3; Altingia, Liquidambar, Semiliquidambar.

Economic uses, etc. Sources of timber.


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