The families of flowering plants.                                                                                                                                                                

Vochysiaceae A. St-Hil.


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IncludingHirtellaceae Horan. (p.p.)

Habit and leaf form. Trees, or shrubs, or lianas, or herbs (rarely); resinous. Plants non-succulent.Young stems not breaking easily at the nodes. Self supporting, or climbing. Leaves evergreen; opposite, or whorled, or alternate (rarely); leathery; simple. Lamina entire. Leaves stipulate, or exstipulate. Stipules when present, small; sometimes represented by glands.

Leaf anatomy. Mucilaginous epidermis present (often), or absent. Stomata present; anomocytic, or paracytic. Hairs present; exclusively eglandular.

Lamina dorsiventral (usually), or isobilateral.

Stem anatomy. Cork cambium present; initially deep-seated, or superficial. Nodes unilacunar, or tri-lacunar. Cortical bundles absent. Medullary bundles absent. Internal phloem present (often), or absent (?). Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring, or anomalous; from a single cambial ring. ‘Included’ phloem present (commonly), or absent. Xylem with libriform fibres; with vessels. Vessel end-walls simple. Vessels with vestured pits. Wood parenchyma paratracheal.

Reproductive type, pollination. Unisexual flowersabsent. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in panicles. The ultimate inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences usually compound racemes (panicles) of cincinni. Flowers bi- bracteolate; very irregular; obliquely zygomorphic; not resupinate. The floral irregularity involving the perianth and involving the androecium. Flowers cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium present to absent (the flowers hypogynous, somewhat perigynous, or epigynous). Hypogynous disk absent.

Perianthwith distinct calyx and corolla (usually), or sepaline (the corolla sometimes missing); (5–)6–8(–10); 1 whorled, or 2 whorled; isomerous, or anisomerous. Calyx 5; 1 whorled; gamosepalous (connate basally). Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx irregular, the posterior lobe commonly larger; spurred (the posterior member often gibbous or spurred ar the base), or neither appendaged nor spurred; persistent; imbricate; with the median member posterior. Corolla when present (i.e. usually), 1–3, or 5 (occasionally); 1 whorled; polypetalous; imbricate, or contorted; more or less unequal but not bilabiate.

Androecium1–5(–7). Androecial members free of the perianth; free of one another, or coherent (by connate filaments); when cohering, 2 adelphous.Androecium including staminodes. Staminodes usually 2–4. Stamens1(–4) (with a single fertile member, antepetalous across the flower from the spurred sepal); reduced in number relative to the adjacent perianth. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; sometimes with an expanded connective. Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate.

Gynoecium 1 carpelled (sometimes, ostensibly), or 3 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth to isomerous with the perianth. The pistil 1 celled, or 3 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous (but sometimes pseudomonomerous); of one carpel (ostensibly), or eu-syncarpous; superior, or inferior (when pseudomonomerous). Ovary 1 locular (when pseudomonomerous), or 3 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical, or lateral. Stigmas 1; small. Placentation when ovary inferior and pseudomonomerous, lateral to apical; when ovary superior and plurilocular, axile. Ovules in the single cavity 2; 1–50 per locule (to ‘many’); pendulous; epitropous (when axile); with ventral raphe; hemianatropous, or anatropous; bitegmic; crassinucellate. Outer integument contributing to the micropyle.

Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent, or indehiscent; a capsule, or a samara (then winged by the persistent sepals). Capsules when a capsule, loculicidal. Seeds endospermic (rarely), or non-endospermic (usually); conspicuously hairy, or not conspicuously hairy; winged (often), or wingless. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight (longitudinal to the seed).

Physiology, biochemistry. Aluminium accumulation demonstrated (always?).

Geography, cytology. Paleotropical and Neotropical. Tropical. West tropical Africa (the monotypic Erysmadelphus and Korupodendron only), mostly Central and tropical South America, West Indies. N = 11.

Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Rutiflorae; Polygalales. Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Polygalales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; malvid; Order Myrtales.

Species about 200. Genera 7, or 8; Callisthene, Erisma, Erismadelphus,Korupodendron, Qualea, Salvertia, Vochysia.


  • Technical details: Salvertia (Lindley).
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