The families of flowering plants.
Habit and leaf form. Small, thyme-like sub- shrubs (with red-tinged stems). Leaves evergreen; alternate; leathery; imbricate; gland-dotted (with two rows of black, immersed marginal or submarginal glands); simple. Lamina entire; linear. Leaves stipulate. Lamina margins entire, or dentate (the upper leaves often spinulose-margined).
Leaf anatomy. Lamina with secretory cavities. Secretory cavities containing resin (bright red, crystalline); schizogenous. Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells.
Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowershermaphrodite. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes. The ultimate inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences terminal; crowded racemes. Flowers somewhat irregular to very irregular; more or less zygomorphic; 5 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic.
Perianthwith distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5; 1 whorled; gamosepalous; five toothed (the teeth short, deltoid, each bearing a large, black, dorsal gland). Calyx lobes markedly shorter than the tube. Calyx campanulate to urceolate; persistent; valvate; with the median member anterior. Epicalyx present (comprising a ring of 10–15 spreading aculei, below the calyx teeth). Corolla 5; 1 whorled; gamopetalous; campanulate, or tubular; sub- bilabiate (the three upper lobes longer); white, or red, or pink, or purple (bright magenta to rose or white). Petals (the corolla lobes) deeply bifid.
Androecium 5. Androecial members adnate (to the corolla); free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5; isomerous with the perianth; alternisepalous; opposite the corolla members; filantherous (the filaments filiform, glandular at the base). Anthers small, globose; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate.
Gynoecium 5 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious, or eu-syncarpous (?); superior. Ovary 1 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical (filiform). Placentation free central. Ovules in the single cavity 5; hemianatropous; embryology not recorded.
Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule (globular, enclosed by the persistent calyx). Capsules five valvular. Seeds endospermic. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight.
Physiology, biochemistry. Not cyanogenic.
Geography, cytology. Holarctic and Paleotropical. Temperate (warm), or sub-tropical. Mediterranean and Northeast Africa.
Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Primuliflorae; Primulales. Cronquist’s Subclass Dilleniidae; Primulales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; Order Ericales (as a synonym of Primulaceae).
Species 1. Genera 1; only genus, Coris.