The families of flowering plants.
Habit and leaf form. Lianas.Climbing. Mesophytic, or xerophytic (?). Leaves small to medium-sized; alternate; spiral; flat; ‘herbaceous’ (thin and soft in the Australian representatives), or leathery (and holly-like, in the Chilean one); petiolate; non-sheathing; simple. Lamina entire; ovate; pinnately veined, or palmately veined (basally, in B. beckleri). Lamina margins entire, or dentate (prickly, in B. corallina). Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Domatia occurring in the family (recorded in B. beckleri only, in the axils of the midvein and lowest pair of secondary veins).
Leaf anatomy. Stomata present; paracytic (at least in in B. corallina).
Lamina dorsiventral. The mesophyll containing calcium oxalate crystals. The mesophyll crystals druses. Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells.
Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring (in B. corallina). Vessel end-walls oblique; simple. Wood parenchyma in B. corallina,absent or paratracheal.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. Inflorescences when aggregated, terminal, or axillary. Flowers small; regular; partially acyclic. The perianth acyclic (B. corallina), or the perianth acyclic and the androecium acyclic. Free hypanthium absent.
Perianthsequentially intergrading from sepals to petals, or petaline, or of ‘tepals’;15–18 (in B. beckleri); petaloid; cream and pink (S. moorei), or white and pink (B. beckleri), or red; (or its outer members) persistent (around the base of the fruit). Calyx (i.e., the outer perianth members) persistent. Corolla regular; white (to cream), or red to pink, or red. Petals sessile.
Androecium 5 (B. corallina), or 12–13 (B. beckleri), or 50–75 (S. moorei). Androecial members free of the perianth. Stamens 5, or 12–75; filantherous (S. moorei), or with sessile anthers (B. corallina, and more or less so in B. beckleri).
Gynoecium 3 carpelled. The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary 1 locular. Placentation parietal. Ovules in the single cavity 20–50 (‘many’); almost orthotropous, or hemianatropous.
Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a berry; many seeded. Seeds endospermic.
Physiology, biochemistry. Proanthocyanidins present.
Geography, cytology. Neotropical and Australian. Temperate to tropical. Chile (B. corallina) and Eastern Australia (B. beckleri and S. moorei).
Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Violiflorae; Violales. Cronquist’s Subclass Dilleniidae; Violales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Berberidopsanae; Order Berberidopsidales.
Species 3. Genera 2; Berberidopsis and Streptothamnus.
General remarks. This first draft attempt at compiling a description of a recently resurrected little family is inadequate for general morphology, and lacks information on anther development, pollen, embryology, anatomy and phytochemistry.
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