The families of flowering plants.                                                                                                                                                                

Tovariaceae Pax


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Habit and leaf form. Coarse herbs, or shrubs (or half-shrubs). Annual, or perennial. Leaves alternate; aromatic (the plants smelling of Apium or Cestrum when fresh, of coumarin when dried); compound; ternate; exstipulate. Lamina margins entire.

Leaf anatomy. Stomata present; paracytic.

Lamina dorsiventral.

Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring, or anomalous (?). Xylem with libriform fibres.

Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes. The ultimate inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences terminal; loose, elongate, many-flowered racemes. Flowers regular; (6–)8(–9) merous; cyclic. Floral receptacle developing a gynophore (this short), or with neither androphore nor gynophore. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present; extrastaminal; lobed.

Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; (12–)16(–18); isomerous. Calyx (6–)8(–9); polysepalous; regular; not persistent; imbricate. Corolla (6–)8(–9); polypetalous; imbricate; regular. Petals shortly clawed to sessile.

Androecium (6–)8(–9). Androecial members free of the perianth; free of one another. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens (6–)8(–9); isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous; filantherous (the filaments thickened basally, short-hairy or papillate). Anthers basifixed (sagittate); dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Microsporogenesis simultaneous. Tapetum glandular. Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains aperturate; (2–)3 aperturate; colporate (colporoidate); 2-celled.

Gynoecium (5–)6(–8) carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth to isomerous with the perianth. The pistil (5–)6(–8) celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious to eu-syncarpous (with short style and peltate-lobulate stigma (Airy Shaw) or spreading stigmas (Cronquist)); superior. Ovary (5–)6(–8) locular. Gynoecium shortly stylate. Styles 1; attenuate from the ovary; apical. Placentation axile (the placentas thickened, spongy). Ovules 20–70 per locule (‘many’); campylotropous; bitegmic; crassinucellate. Outer integument contributing to the micropyle. Embryo-sac development Polygonum-type. Synergids elongated, with filiform apparatus. Endosperm formation nuclear.

Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; slender pedicellate, a berry (mucilaginous when young, the pericarp membranous); many seeded. Seeds rather thinly endospermic. Endosperm oily. Seeds small. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo curved (around the periphery of the seed). Micropyle zigzag.

Physiology, biochemistry. Mustard-oils present. Cyanogenic. Aluminium accumulation not found.

Geography, cytology. Neotropical. Sub-tropical to tropical. Central and Warm South America, West Indies. N = 14.

Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Violiflorae; Capparales. Cronquist’s Subclass Dilleniidae; Capparales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; malvid; Order Brassicales.

Species 2. Genera 1; only genus, Tovaria.