The families of flowering plants.
Habit and leaf form. Small to medium sized trees (with malodourous wood).Leaves alternate (crowded towards the branch tips); leathery (glabrous);not gland-dotted; simple. Lamina entire; conspicuously asymmetric to not conspicuously asymmetric; ovate, or obovate. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire. Vernation involute.
General anatomy. Plants with silica bodies.
Leaf anatomy. Adaxial hypodermis present. Lamina dorsiventral.
Stem anatomy. Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Cortical bundles present (inversely orientated). Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Vessel end-walls simple.
Reproductive type, pollination. Unisexual flowersabsent. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; when aggregated, in cymes. The ultimate inflorescence unit cymose. Flowers (bi) bracteolate (at the apices of the pedicels); 4 merous.
Perianthsepaline; 4; 1 whorled. Calyx 4; 1 whorled; polysepalous; persistent; valvate.
Androecium 50–100 (‘many’). Androecial members branched, or unbranched (?); free of the perianth; weakly coherent (basally), or free of one another; sometimes 4 adelphous (then in four oppositisepalous groups). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 50–100 (‘many’); polystemonous; filantherous (the filaments filiform). Anthers very small; introrse. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colpate, or colporate.
Gynoecium 4 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 4 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious; inferior. Ovary 4 locular. Epigynous disk present (the intrastaminal component inconspicuous, but with a large, quadrate staminal disk). Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical. Stigmas 4 (these short, slender, divaricate). Placentation axile (the placentas peltate). Ovules 15–20 per locule; horizontal; arranged in a vertical ring around the thick, peltate placenta; anatropous.
Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a drupe. The drupes with one stone (‘the endocarp with placenta and dissepiments hardening completely’, 1–4 locular). Fruit 1–4 seeded (the locules 1-seeded). Seeds non-endospermic (?).
Geography, cytology. Paleotropical. Tropical. Mascarene region.
Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli (?). Dahlgren’s Superorder Theiflorae; Theales. Cronquist’s Subclass Dilleniidae; Lecythidales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; Order Ericales (as a synonym of Lecythidaceae).
Species 5. Genera 1; only genus, Foetidia.
General remarks. Treated by Morton et al. (1998) as a subfamily of their expanded Lecythidaceae.