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The families of flowering plants.                                                                                                                                                                

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IncludingReaumuriaceae Ehrenberg ex Lindley, Tamariscinae (Tamariscaceae) A. St.-Hil.

Habit and leaf form. Almost herbs (rarely, suffrutescent), or trees (small), or shrubs. ‘Normal’ plants, or switch-plants; sometimes with the principal photosynthesizing function transferred to stems. Leaves well developed (but small), or much reduced. Leptocaul. Mostly xerophytic (or halophytic). Leaves mostly evergreen; minute, or small; alternate; spiral; commonly subulate or scalelike; fleshy, or membranous; often imbricate (plants often heathlike);sessile (sometimes amplexicaul); sheathing, or non-sheathing; commonly with external but embedded, multicellular salt glands; simple; epulvinate. Lamina entire. Leaves exstipulate.

Leaf anatomy. Stomata present; anomocytic (mostly), or paracytic.

Laminawhen not abortive, commonly centric. Minor leaf veins with phloem transfer cells (Tamarix), or without phloem transfer cells (Myricaria).

Stem anatomy. Cork cambium present; initially deep-seated (rarely), or superficial. Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. ‘Included’ phloem absent. Xylem with libriform fibres. Vessel end-walls simple. Wood ring porous, or semi-ring porous; partially storied (VPI); parenchyma paratracheal.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite, or dioecious.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary (Hololachne, Reaumuria), or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; when aggregated, in racemes, or in spikes, or in panicles. The ultimate inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences in racemes, spikes or panicles. Flowers ebracteolate; small; regular; mostly, when A ‘definite’, 4–5(–6) merous; cyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present, or absent; extrastaminal, or intrastaminal, or extrastaminal and intrastaminal; of separate members, or annular.

Perianthwith distinct calyx and corolla; 8, or 10, or 12; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 4, or 5(–6); 1 whorled; polysepalous (usually), or gamosepalous (sometimes connate below); when gamosepalous, conspicuously blunt-lobed; regular; persistent; imbricate. Corolla 4, or 5(–6); 1 whorled; appendiculate (each petal of Reaumuria exhibiting a pair of scalelike appendages inside at the base), or not appendiculate; polypetalous; imbricate; regular; white, or pink; persistent, or deciduous.

Androecium 4–6, or 8–12 (often twice as many as the petals), or 15–100 (often more or less numerous). Androecial members branched (when numerous), or unbranched; free of the perianth; free of one another, or coherent (when ‘many’, often joined at their bases or in bundles); when joined 1 adelphous, or 5 adelphous. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 4–6, or 8–12 (often twice as many as the petals), or 15–100 (often more or less numerous); isomerous with the perianth to polystemonous; when ‘definite’, oppositisepalous. Anthers dorsifixed; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; extrorse, or latrorse, or introrse; tetrasporangiate. Endothecium developing fibrous thickenings. Anther epidermis persistent. Microsporogenesis simultaneous. The initial microspore tetrads tetrahedral, or isobilateral, or decussate. Anther wall initially with more than one middle layer (2). Tapetum glandular. Pollen shed in aggregates, or shed as single grains; when in aggregates, in tetrads. Pollen grains aperturate; (2–)3(–4) aperturate; colpate; 2-celled (in Myricaria).

Gynoecium (2–)3–4(–5) carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth, or isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 1 celled, or (2–)3–4(–5) celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious, or synstylovarious; superior. Ovary1 locular (but the placental partitions sometimes sufficiently deeply intruded as to simulate loculi, especially basally and apically); sessile. Gynoecium non-stylate (the stigmas sessile in Myricaria), or stylate. Styleswhen present, (2–)3–4(–5); free, or partially joined; apical. Stigmas (2–)3–4(–5); wet type; non-papillate; Group IV type. Placentation parietal, or basal to parietal (Tamarix). Ovules in the single cavity 4–100 (2–‘many’ on each placenta); funicled; ascending; anatropous; bitegmic; weakly crassinucellate. Outer integument not contributing to the micropyle. Embryo-sac development Adoxa-type, or Drusa-type, or Fritillaria-type, or Chrysanthemum-type. Polar nuclei fusing only after one has been fertilized, or fusing simultaneously with the male gamete (?). Antipodal cells formed; 3; not proliferating; ephemeral. Synergids pear-shaped, or hooked (rarely with filiform apparatus). Endosperm formation cellular, or nuclear. Embryogeny solanad.

Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules loculicidal. Seeds scantily endospermic. Endosperm not oily (starchy). Seeds conspicuously hairy (either covered with long hairs, or these forming a coma at one end). Seeds with starch. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight.

Seedling.Germination phanerocotylar.

Physiology, biochemistry. Not cyanogenic. Alkaloids present, or absent. Proanthocyanidins present, or absent; cyanidin. Flavonols present; kaempferol and quercetin (or tamarixin). Ellagic acid present, or absent (Tamarix being variable). Arbutin absent. Saponins/sapogenins absent. Aluminium accumulation not found. Sugars transported as sucrose (in Tamarix). C3. C3 physiology recorded directly in Myricaria, Reaumuria, Tamarix. Anatomy non-C4 type (Reaumuria, Tamarix).

Geography, cytology. Holarctic and Paleotropical. Temperate and sub-tropical. Desert, steppe and shores, widespread in temperate and subtropical Eurasia and Africa - absent from the Americas, Malaysia and Australasia. X = 12.

Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Violiflorae; Tamaricales. Cronquist’s Subclass Dilleniidae; Violales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Caryophyllanae; Order Caryophyllales.

Species 120. Genera 4; Hololachna, Myricaria, Reaumuria, Tamarix.

 Illustrations:

  • Technical details: Tamarix. 
  • Technical details: Tamarix (Thonner).
  • Technical details: Reaumuria (Lindley).
  • Tamarix gallica (as T. anglica): Eng. Bot. 261, 1864.
  • Tamarix gallica (B. Ent.).
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