The families of flowering plants.                                                                                                                                                                

Globulariaceae DC.


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IncludingConfluaceae Dulac

Habit and leaf form. Small, heathlike shrubs, or herbs. Leaves small; alternate; simple. Lamina entire. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire.

Leaf anatomy. Stomata present; on both surfaces; anomocytic (usually), or paracytic, or diacytic. Hairs present; eglandular and glandular (the glandular hairs with a short stalk cell, and a head partitioned vertically into 2(–4) cells); multicellular.

Lamina dorsiventral, or isobilateral, or centric. The mesophyll with sclerencymatous idioblasts. Minor leaf veins with phloem transfer cells (Globularia).

Stem anatomy. Nodes unilacunar. Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. ‘Included’ phloem absent. Xylem with libriform fibres. Vessel end-walls simple.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowershermaphrodite. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in spikes, or in heads. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary; spikes or heads; with involucral bracts, or without involucral bracts; pseudanthial, or not pseudanthial. Flowers bracteate (the receptacle of Globularia paleaceous); small to medium-sized; very irregular; median zygomorphic. The floral irregularity involving the perianth and involving the androecium. Flowers neither papilionaceous nor pseudo-papilionaceous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present (usually), or absent; when present, intrastaminal (at the base of the ovary); annular (or rarely, reduced to an anterior gland).

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5; 1 whorled; gamosepalous; 5 blunt-lobed, or toothed; unequal but not bilabiate (rarely), or regular; persistent; with the median member posterior. Corolla 5; 1 whorled; gamopetalous; imbricate; bilabiate, or unequal but not bilabiate (the upper, two-petalled lip shorter than the lower three-petalled one, sometimes obsolete).

Androecium 4. Androecial members adnate (to the corolla tube); markedly unequal; free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Fertile stamens representing the lateral pairs. Stamens 4; inserted in the throat of the corolla tube; didynamous; reduced in number relative to the adjacent perianth (the posterior member missing); oppositisepalous; alternating with the corolla members; filantherous (the filaments filiform, the anthers exserted). Anthers dehiscing via short slits (the confluent thecae dehiscing via a single distal slit); ultimately unilocular (initially bilocular, but the thecae becoming confluent apically at maturity). Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains aperturate; 2–3 aperturate; colporate; 2-celled.

Gynoeciumostensibly 1 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous (but pseudomonomerous); eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary 1 locular (the posterior carpel reduced or suppressed). Gynoecium median. Ovary sessile. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical. Stigmas 1; 1 lobed, or 2 lobed; sometimes capitate. Placentation apical. Ovules in the single cavity 1; pendulous; non-arillate; anatropous; unitegmic; tenuinucellate. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Polar nuclei fusing prior to fertilization. Antipodal cells formed; 3; not proliferating; ephemeral. Synergids pear-shaped. Endosperm formation cellular. Endosperm haustoria present; chalazal and micropylar (aggressive). Embryogeny onagrad.

Fruit non-fleshy; indehiscent; achene-like, or a nut (enclosed in the persistent calyx); 1 seeded. Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight (in the middle of the endosperm).

Seedling.Germination phanerocotylar.

Physiology, biochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Iridoids detected; ‘Route I’ type (normal, dubiously), or ‘Route II’ type (+decarb.). Verbascosides detected (Globularia, Lytanthus). Proanthocyanidins absent. Flavonols absent. Ellagic acid absent (Globularia). C3. C3 physiology recorded directly in Globularia.

Geography, cytology. Holarctic and Paleotropical. Temperate to sub-tropical. Western Eurasia and North Africa.X = 8.

Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Lamiiflorae; Scrophulariales. Cronquist’s Subclass Asteridae; Scrophulariales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; lamiid; Order Lamiales (as a synonym of Plantaginaceae).

Species 30. Genera 2; Globularia (Lytanthus), Poskea (Cockburnia).


  • Technical details: Globularia.
  • Technical details: Globularia (Lindley).  
  • Globularia longifolia: Bot. Reg. 685, 1822.
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