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13. Chrysobalanaceae R. Brown

Coco-plum Family Coco-plum Family

R. David Whetstone

Christopher F. Nixon†

Shrubs or trees, tardily deciduous to evergreen. Leaves alternate (2-ranked), simple; stipules present; petiole present, <short>; blade <often coriaceous>, margins entire or remotely toothed; venation pinnate. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, thyrses [cymes, racemes, or panicles]. Flowers bisexual; perianth and androecium perigynous; hypanthium free, <well developed, densely hairy on both surfaces>; sepals 5, distinct; petals [0 or 4–]5, distinct; nectary present, <lining hypanthium>; stamens [2–]14–22[–300], connate basally to proximally [distinct], free; anthers <versatile>, dehiscing by longitudinal slits; pistil 1, 3-carpellate with 1 [rarely 2–3] carpel developing, ovary superior, 1[–3]-locular, placentation basal; ovules 2 per locule, anatropous; style 1, <basal>; stigmas [1] 3. Fruits drupes. Seeds 1 per fruit.

Genera 18, species ca. 530 (2 genera, 2 species in the flora): se United States, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, s Asia, Africa, Pacific Islands, Australia.

Chrysobalanaceae was traditionally considered a subfamily of the Rosaceae. Family status is supported by morphology (G. T. Prance 1972; Prance and C. A. Sothers 2003) and molecular data, which place it as a member of the Malpighiales and thus not closely related to the Rosaceae (see, for example, M. W. Chase et al. 1993; N. Korotkova et al. 2009; K. Wurdack and C. C. Davis 2009). Only Chrysobalanus icaco is important commercially; it is planted as an ornamental and its fruits are eaten raw or bottled in syrup and sold (A. Cronquist 1981).

SELECTED REFERENCES Prance, G. T. 1970. The genera of Chrysobalanaceae in the southeastern United States. J. Arnold Arbor. 51: 521–528. Prance, G. T. 1972. Chrysobalanaceae. In: Organization for Flora Neotropica. 1968+. Flora Neotropica. 109+ nos. New York. No. 9. Prance, G. T. and C. A. Sothers. 2003. Chrysobalanaceae. In: Australian Biological Resources Study. 1999+. Species Plantarum: Flora of the World. 11+ parts. Canberra. Parts 9, 10.

1 Shrubs or trees, 1–5 m; leaf blades broadly elliptic, broadly ovate, or broadly obovate, length 1.2–1.5 times width; stamen filaments densely hairy proximally; endocarps longitudinally ribbed.   1 Chrysobalanus, p. xxx
+ Shrubs, to 0.3(–0.5) m; leaf blades oblanceolate, lanceolate, or narrowly oblong, length 2.5–3.5 times width; stamen filaments glabrous; endocarps not longitudinally ribbed.   2 Licania, p. xxx

Lower Taxa


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