The families of flowering plants.
~ Variously Brexiaceae, Escalloniaceae, Cornaceae in older treatments
Habit and leaf form. Small trees, or shrubs. Leaves alternate (and in 3–4 leaved fasicles on short-shoots); simple. Lamina entire; linear, or oblong, or ovate to obovate, or lanceolate, or oblanceolate. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire, or serrate.
Leaf anatomy. Hairs present (T-shaped); multicellular.
Minor leaf veins without phloem transfer cells (Corokia).
Stem anatomy. Nodes unilacunar (C. virgata), or tri-lacunar (mostly), or penta-lacunar (A. laxum). Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring (?). Vessel end-walls scalariform. Wood semi-ring porous, or diffuse porous.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; when aggregated, in racemes, or in panicles, or in fascicles. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary; panicles or racemes, sometimes few-flowered fascicles. Flowers regular; mostly 5 merous; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent.
Perianthwith distinct calyx and corolla; 10, or 16; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx2, or 8; 1 whorled; shortly gamosepalous; blunt-lobed, or toothed. Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx regular; persistent; imbricate.Corolla 5, or 8; 1 whorled; appendiculate (with adaxial fringed appendages - coralline ligules); polypetalous, or gamopetalous (then joined only basally). Corolla lobes when gamopetalous, markedly longer than the tube. Corolla imbricate; regular; white, or yellow.
Androecium 5, or 8. Androecial members free of the perianth; free of one another; 1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens5, or 8; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous; alternating with the corolla members; filantherous.
Gynoecium 2–6 carpelled (?). Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 1–3 celled, or 6 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous;partly inferior to inferior. Ovary 1–3 locular, or 6 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1. Stigmas 1; 2–5 lobed; capitate. Placentationwhen unilocular, parietal; usually axile. Ovules 1–50 per locule (‘to many’); anatropous.
Fruit dehiscent; a capsule, or a drupe. Capsules loculicidal. Seeds endospermic (the endosperm fleshy); ovate or linear-elongate. Embryo well differentiated (minute or elongate). Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight (?).
Geography, cytology. Australian, Paleotropical, and Antarctic. Temperate to tropical. Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Polynesia, Rapa Island.
Taxonomy.Subclass Dicotyledonae; Tenuinucelli (?). Dahlgren’s Superorder Corniflorae; Cornales. Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Rosales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Asteranae; campanulid; Order Asterales.
Species about 20. Genera 2; Argophyllum and Corokia.
Miscellaneous.This description lacks data on taxonomically informative “esoteric characters” (anther development, embryology, phytochemistry, etc.); and the morphology needs pursuing further with special reference to features diagnostic for Escalloniaceae sensu lato.