The families of flowering plants.
~Rafflesiaceae sensu lato
Habit and leaf form. Very peculiar endoparasitic herbs. Plants of very peculiar vegetative form; the vegetative parts filamentous, or fungoid. Leaves much reduced (at the bases of flowering stems, or beneath the flower), or absent (depending on interpretation). Plants rootless; totally parasitic (permeating the host tissues, with only the flowering stems exserted). Parasitic on roots of the host. Leaves (if the scales beneath the flowers are so interpreted,) alternate, or opposite, or whorled (usually); membranous (scales).
Leaf anatomy. Stomata absent.
Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening absent (the vascular system vestigial or absent). Xylem when present, without vessels. Sieve-tube plastids when present, lacking both protein and starch.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants monoecious, or dioecious (?). Pollination entomophilous.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. Inflorescences spicate. Flowers small to medium-sized; malodorous (often), or odourless; regular; cyclic. Floral receptacle developing an androphore, or developing a gynophore, or with neither androphore nor gynophore (depending on interpretation of the floral columns).
Perianth sepaline, or petaline, or of ‘tepals’ (depending on interpretation); 4 (always?); joined (forming a tube), or free (?); 1 whorled (preceded by numerous scales); somewhat fleshy, or non-fleshy (?).
Androecium of male flowers 15–100 (to ‘many’). Androecial members free of the perianth; united with the gynoecium, or free of the gynoecium (depending on morphological interpretation of the central column); free of one another (the elongate, sessile anthers arranged in a ring around the swollen head of the central column); 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 15–100 (to ‘many’); with sessile anthers. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; extrorse; unilocular, or bilocular (?); tetrasporangiate. Microsporogenesis simultaneous. Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains aperturate; 2–3(–4) aperturate; colpate, or porate.
Gynoecium (in female flowers) 4–8 carpelled (? - several). The pistil 4–8 celled (?). Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious, or eu-syncarpous (the stout, columnar style clavate); inferior. Ovary 4–8 locular (by deep intrusion of the placentas). Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical. Stigmas truncate. Placentation parietal (or with the very minute ovules covering the inner surfaces of the partitions). Ovules 25–100 per locule (‘very numerous’, and very minute); non-arillate; orthotropous; bitegmic; tenuinucellate. Outer integument not contributing to the micropyle.
Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a berry; many. Seeds non-endospermic; minute. Embryo rudimentary at the time of seed release.
Geography, cytology. Temperate (warm), or sub-tropical to tropical. Mediterranean, Africa and Madagascar.
Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Santaliflorae; Santalales (cf. Hydnoraceae). Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Rafflesiales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; malvid; Order Malvales.
Species about 10. Genera 2; Bdallophytum, Cytinus.