The families of flowering plants.                                                                                                                                                                

Morinaceae J.G. Agardh


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~Caprifoliaceae sensu lato, Dipsacaceae

Habit and leaf form. Thistlelike herbs. Perennial (with simple stems). Leaves opposite, or whorled; simple. Lamina dissected (usually), or entire (rarely); pinnatifid, or pinnatifid and spinose (or spinose-dentate). Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire (rarely), or serrate, or dentate (or spinose-dentate).

Leaf anatomy. Mucilaginous epidermis present, or absent.

Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells.

Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Xylem with libriform fibres.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite. Floral nectaries present. Nectar secretion from the disk.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in verticils (cf. Labiatae). Inflorescenceswith involucral bracts (each flower enclosed in a tubular-campanulate, spinose-margined involucel, cf. Dipsacaceae). Flowers bracteolate (if the involucel is interpreted as fused bracteoles), or ebracteolate; very irregular; zygomorphic. The floral irregularity involving the perianth and involving the androecium. Flowers cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent.

Perianthwith distinct calyx and corolla; 7–9 (depending on interpretation of the calyx); 2 whorled; anisomerous. Calyx 2, or 4 (sometimes ‘four lobed’); 1 whorled; gamosepalous; blunt-lobed; bilabiate (the lips entire or two-lobed); persistent. Corolla 5; 1 whorled; gamopetalous; imbricate; tubular (tube usually slender and exserted, the throat gaping); bilabiate; yellow, or red, or pink, or white.

Androecium4 (the posterior member missing). Androecial members adnate; markedly unequal; free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium including staminodes. Staminodes 2 (the two anterior members); in the same series as the fertile stamens; representing the anterior-lateral pair. Fertile stamens representing the posterior-lateral pair. Stamens 2; inserted in the throat of the corolla tube; reduced in number relative to the adjacent perianth; oppositisepalous; alternating with the corolla members. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Endothecium developing fibrous thickenings. Microsporogenesis simultaneous. Anther wall initially with one middle layer; of the ‘dicot’ type. Tapetum amoeboid. Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains aperturate; 3(–4) aperturate; porate, or colporate (to zonorate); 2-celled.

Gynoecium basically probably 2 carpelled (but one obsolete). Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; inferior. Ovary 1 locular. Epigynous disk present. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1 (slender); apical. Stigmas 1; capitate. Placentation apical. Ovules in the single cavity 1; pendulous; anatropous; unitegmic; tenuinucellate. Endothelium differentiated. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Antipodal cells formed; proliferating. Endosperm formation cellular.

Fruit non-fleshy; indehiscent; achene-like (the pericarp thickened, more or less rugose); 1 seeded. Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight.

Physiology, biochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Alkaloids absent. Iridoids not detected. Verbascosides not detected. Proanthocyanidins absent. Ellagic acid absent.

Geography, cytology. Holarctic. Temperate. Southeast Europe to Himalayas and Southwest China. X = 17.

Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Corniflorae; Dipsacales. Cronquist’s Subclass Asteridae; Dipsacales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; campanulid; Order Dipsacales (as a synonym of Caprifoliaceae?).

Species 17. Genera 3; Acanthocalyx, Cryptothladia, Morina.


  • Morina longifolia: Bot. Reg. xxvi, 36 (1840).
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