The families of flowering plants.                                                                                                                                                                

Sphenostemonaceae P. van Royen & Airy Shaw


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~Aquifoliaceae, more recently Paracryphiaceae

Habit and leaf form. Trees and shrubs. Mesophytic. Leaves evergreen; alternate, or opposite, or whorled; leathery; non-sheathing; simple. Lamina entire; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire, or dentate. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem.

Stem anatomy. Xylem with tracheids.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowershermaphrodite. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes. The ultimate inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences (sub-) terminal; racemes. Flowers bracteate (the bracts caducous); regular; cyclic; tetracyclic, or polycyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk absent.

Perianthwith distinct calyx and corolla, or sepaline (corolla sometimes absent); 8, or 4; 4 whorled, or 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 4; 2 whorled; polysepalous; regular; not persistent (caducous); imbricate. Corolla when present, 4; 2 whorled; polypetalous; regular; fleshy; deciduous.

Androecium 4–12. Androecial members free of the perianth; free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 4–12; isomerous with the perianth to triplostemonous; petaloid, or filantherous, or with sessile anthers (the filaments short and thick or obsolete, the connective thick, the anther elongate or thick and petaloid). Anthers introrse (short), or latrorse (elongate). Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; porate, or colporate (?).

Gynoecium 2 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil2 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary 2 locular. Gynoecium non-stylate. Stigmas 1; capitate. Ovules 1 per locule; pendulous; non-arillate.

Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a drupe (asymmetrically ovoid). The drupes with separable pyrenes, or with one stone (with 1–2 bony pyrenes). Seeds endospermic.Endosperm ruminate.

Geography, cytology. Tropical. Eastern Malaysia, Queensland, New Caledonia.

Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli (?). Dahlgren’s Superorder Corniflorae; Cornales. Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Celastrales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; campanulid; Order Paracryphiales (?).

Species 7. Genera 1; only genus, Sphenostemon.