The families of flowering plants.                                                                                                                                                                

Hypecoaceae (Prantl & Kundig) Barkley


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~Fumariaceae, Papaveraceae

Habit and leaf form. Low, mostly glabrous, glaucous herbs (branched from the base); with coloured juice to non-laticiferous and without coloured juice (i.e. with watery juce, becoming turbid!). Rather dwarf annual; with a basal aggregation of leaves. Leaves alternate; simple, or compound; when ‘compound’, bipinnate, or multiply compound (then multiply pinnatipartite). Lamina when simple, dissected; when ‘simple’, much-divided. Leaves exstipulate.

General anatomy. Plants with laticifers.

Leaf anatomy. Hairs present, or absent; unicellular.

Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening absent, or developing from a conventional cambial ring (?).

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite. Pollination entomophilous; mechanism conspicuously specialized (the pollen being shed in the bud into pockets in the inner surfaces of the inner petals, which close before the stigma develops and open when pressed by insects, dusting them with pollen).

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes (dichasial). The ultimate inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences more or less scapiflorous (leafless below); loosely cymose. Flowers bracteate (the bracts pinnatifid); small (usually), or medium-sized; regular; 2 merous (throughout); cyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk absent (?).

Perianthwith distinct calyx and corolla; 6; 3 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 2 (antero-posterior); 1 whorled; polysepalous; neither appendaged nor spurred (and the sepals not lobed); not persistent; open in bud (not enclosing the flower bud). Corolla 4; 2 whorled (the outer pair rhomboid to trilobed, the inner pair deeply trifid with the central segment more or less spathulate, stipitate and fimbriate); polypetalous; usually yellow, or orange.

Androecium 4. Androecial members branched, or unbranched (depending on interpretation of the units); free of the perianth; all equal; free of one another (not diadelphous). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 4; filantherous. Filaments winged. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; latrorse; bilocular, or unilocular and bilocular (the median units having been interpreted each as two monothecal units); tetrasporangiate, or bisporangiate and tetrasporangiate; biapiculate. Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains aperturate; 2 aperturate (sometimes synaperturate); colpate; 2-celled.

Gynoecium 2 carpelled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 1 celled.Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to synstylovarious; superior. Ovary 1 locular. Gynoecium transverse; stylate. Styles 2; partially joined; attenuate from the ovary; apical; much shorter than the ovary. Stigmas 2; dorsal to the carpels, or commissural (?); dry type; papillate; Group II type. Placentation parietal. Ovules in the single cavity 30–100 (‘many’); campylotropous; bitegmic; crassinucellate. Endosperm formation nuclear.

Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent (sometimes), or lomentaceous (mostly, nodose, divided by late developing transverse septa and breaking up into 1-seeded sections); when not lomentaceous, a siliqua (with a replum). Capsules when dehiscent, valvular (bivalved, dehiscing acroptetally). Seeds copiously endospermic. Endosperm oily. Embryo well differentiated (but small). Cotyledons 2.

Physiology, biochemistry. Not cyanogenic.

Geography, cytology. Holarctic. Temperate (warm). Mediterranean to central Asia and China.

Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Malviflorae; Urticales. Cronquist’s Subclass Magnoliidae; Papaverales. APG 3 core angiosperms; peripheral eudicot; Superorder Ranunculanae; Order Ranunculales (as a synonym of Papaveraceae).

Species 15. Genera 1; only genus, Hypecoum.


  • Technical details: Hypecoum.
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