The families of flowering plants.                                                                                                                                                                

Convolvulaceae Juss.


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IncludingDichondraceae Dum., Erycibeae (Erycibaceae) Endl., Poranaceae J.G. AgardhExcluding Cuscutaceae, Humbertiaceae

Habit and leaf form. Herbs (mostly, climbing or trailing), or shrubs, or lianas, or trees (a few); laticiferous (usually), or non-laticiferous and without coloured juice. Plants succulent, or non-succulent; autotrophic. With neither basal nor terminal aggregations of leaves. Trailing or climbing (nearly always), or self supporting; stem twiners (characteristically), or scrambling; Convolvulus,Ipomoea, Rivea twining anticlockwise. Helophytic, mesophytic, and xerophytic. Leaves alternate; spiral; ‘herbaceous’, or fleshy; petiolate (mostly), or subsessile, or sessile; non-sheathing; simple. Lamina dissected, or entire (entire or lobed); when dissected, pinnatifid, or palmatifid; pinnately veined, or palmately veined; cross-venulate; cordate, or hastate, or sagittate. Leaves exstipulate; without a persistent basal meristem.

General anatomy. Plants with laticifers (usually, these articulated and non-anastomosing), or without laticifers.

Leaf anatomy. Lamina dorsiventral, or isobilateral. The mesophyll with sclerencymatous idioblasts, or without sclerenchymatous idioblasts. Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells (Convolvulus, Ipomaea).

Stem anatomy. Cork cambium present; initially deep-seated (rarely?), or superficial. Nodes unilacunar. Cortical bundles absent. Medullary bundles present (rarely), or absent. Internal phloem present (commonly), or absent. Secondary thickening anomalous (often), or developing from a conventional cambial ring; via concentric cambia (commonly), or from a single cambial ring. ‘Included’ phloem present, or absent. Xylem with tracheids; with fibre tracheids (in addition to tracheids), or without fibre tracheids; with vessels. Vessel end-walls simple. Sieve-tube plastids S-type. Pith with diaphragms, or without diaphragms.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite (usually), or dioecious (Hildebrandtia).

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes. The ultimate inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences nearly always simple or compound dichasia, or a cincinnus; with involucral bracts (often), or without involucral bracts. Flowers bracteate; bracteolate (usually?), or ebracteolate (e.g.Wilsonia); medium-sized, or large; regular to somewhat irregular. The floral irregularity (when noticeable) involving the perianth (K only). Flowers usually 5 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present; annular.

Perianthwith distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5; 1 whorled; polysepalous, or gamosepalous (rarely); persistent; imbricate; with the median member posterior. Corolla 5; 1 whorled; gamopetalous;valvate and plicate, or contorted and plicate; tubular (mostly, more or less), or campanulate, or urceolate; nearly always regular.

Androecium5. Androecial members adnate (to the base of the corolla); all equal, or markedly unequal (often); free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5; inserted near the base of the corolla tube (mostly), or midway down the corolla tube; oppositisepalous.Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Microsporogenesis simultaneous. The initial microspore tetrads tetrahedral, or decussate. Anther wall initially with one middle layer; of the ‘dicot’ type. Tapetum glandular. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate, or 4–20 aperturate (to polyforaminate); colpate (including rupate), or porate, or colporate (?), or foraminate, or rugate; 2-celled (7 genera), or 2-celled and 3-celled (with both conditions in Ipomoea).

Gynoecium 2(–5) carpelled. The pistil 1 celled, or 2(–5) celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to eu-syncarpous, or synstylous (i.e. the carpels sometimes joined only by the common style); superior. Carpel when the ovaries are free, (1–)2 ovuled. Placentation basal. Ovary (1–)2(–5) locular (sometimes bilocular above with the septum incomplete below, and occasionally the ‘locules’ free of oneanother). Gynoecium median. Styles 1–5; without an indusium; free to partially joined; apical, or ‘gynobasic’. Stigmas dry type; papillate; Group II type. Placentation basal. Ovules(1–)2 per locule; ascending; apotropous; with ventral raphe; non-arillate; anatropous; bitegmic; tenuinucellate, or crassinucellate. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Polar nuclei fusing only after one has been fertilized, or fusing simultaneously with the male gamete (?). Antipodal cells formed; 3; not proliferating; usually ephemeral. Synergids usually slender and elongated, rarely small and ephemeral. Endosperm formation nuclear. Embryogeny caryophyllad.

Fruit fleshy, or non-fleshy; when synstylous, an aggregate, or not an aggregate. The fruiting carpels coalescing into a secondary syncarp to not coalescing. The fruiting carpel when synstylous, dehiscent, or indehiscent; nucular, or baccate. Fruit dehiscent, or indehiscent; a capsule, or a berry, or a nut. Capsules loculicidal, or circumscissile, or splitting irregularly. Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Seeds conspicuously hairy, or not conspicuously hairy. Cotyledons 2 (plicate, often bifid); folded, or crumpled. Embryo chlorophyllous (5/11); straight, or curved.

Seedling.Germination phanerocotylar.

Physiology, biochemistry. Cyanogenic, or not cyanogenic. Cynogenic constituents phenylalanine-derived (?), or of Hegnauer’s ‘Group C’ (?). Alkaloids present (commonly), or absent. Iridoids not detected. Proanthocyanidins absent. Flavonols present, or absent (Ipomoea); kaempferol and quercetin. Ellagic acid absent (4 species, 3 genera). Arbutin absent. Saponins/sapogenins absent (usually), or present. Aluminium accumulation not found. C3. C3 physiology recorded directly in Convolvulus, Cressa, Dichondra,Evolvulus, Ipomea, Jacquemontia, Merremia, Seddera. Anatomy non-C4 type (Astripomoea, Convolvulus, Cressa, Falkia, Ipomoea,Lepistemonopsis, Merremia, Seddera).

Geography, cytology. Temperate to tropical. Cosmopolitan. X = 7–15(+).

Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Solaniflorae; Solanales. Cronquist’s Subclass Asteridae; Solanales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; lamiid; Order Solanales.

Species 1650. Genera about 55; Aniseia, Argyreia, Astripomoea, Blinkworthia,Bonamia, Breweria, Calycobolus, Calystegia, Cardiochlamys,Cladistigma, Convolvulus, Cordisepalum, Cressa, Decalobanthus,Dichondra, Dicranostyles, Dinetus, Dipteropeltis, Ericybe,Evolvulus, Falckia, Hewittia, Hildebrandtia, Hyalocystis,Ipomoea, Iseia, Itzaea, Jacquemontia, Lepistemon,Lepistemonopsis, Lysiostyles, Maripa, Merremia, Metaporana,Nephrophyllum, Neuropeltis, Neuropeltopsis, Odonellia,Operculina, Paralepistemon, Pentacrostigma, Pharbitis,Polymeria, Porana, Poranopsis, Rapona, Rivea,Sabaudiella, Seddera, Poranopsis, Rapona, Rivea,Sabaudiella, Seddera, Stictocardia, Stylisma, Tetralocularia,Tridynamia, Turbina, Wilsonia, Xenostegia.


  • Technical details: Convolvulus, Calystegia.
  • Technical details: Dichondra.
  • Technical details: Ipomoea (Lindley).
  • Technical details: Jacquemontia (Thonner).
  • Batatas (= Ipomoea) betacea Lindl.: Bot. Reg. xxvi, 56 (1840).
  • British Convolvulus, Calystegia (B. Ent. compilation.
  • Convolvulus arvensis: Eng. Bot. 923 (1866).
  • Convolvulus farinosus: Bot. Reg. 1323, 1830.
  • Convolvulus scoparius: Bot. Reg. 43, 1841.
  • Ipomoea aitonii: Bot. Reg. 1794, 1836.
  • Ipomoea batatoides: Bot. Reg. 36, 1841.
  • Ipomoea cymosa: Bot. Reg. 29 (24), 1843.
  • Pharbitis x hirsutula: as P. diversifolia, Bot. Reg. 1988, 1837.
  • Pharbitis ostrina: Bot. Reg. 51, 1842.
  • Quamoclit lobata: as Mina lobata, Bot. Reg. 24, 1842.
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