CONNARACEAE R. Brown
牛栓藤科 niu shuan teng ke
Authors: Lingdi Lu & Nicholas J. Turland
Trees small, shrubs, or vines, erect or scandent, evergreen or deciduous. Leaves alternate, exstipulate, petiolate; leaf blade odd-pinnate, 3-foliolate, or 1-foliolate; leaflets subopposite or alternate, usually leathery, margin entire, rarely lobulate. Inflorescences terminal, pseudoterminal, or axillary, paniculate or racemose, bracteate. Flowers bisexual, rarely unisexual, actinomorphic, small. Sepals (4 or)5, free or united at very base only, imbricate or valvate, persistent and clasping base of fruit. Petals (4 or)5, free, rarely slightly connate at middle, imbricate or valvate, rarely circinate. Stamens 5–10, hypogynous or perigynous, in 2 whorls alternately longer and shorter, those opposite petals often shorter and abortive; filaments free or shortly connate at base; anthers didymous, dorsifixed in proximal 1/2, introrse, short, dehiscing longitudinally. Disk thin or absent, surrounded by base of stamens. Carpels (1–) 5(–8), free, 1-celled, hirsute. Style subulate or filiform; stigma subcapitate, simple or 2-lobed. Ovules 2 in each carpel (1 sometimes sterile), collateral, erect. Fruit a usually solitary follicle, sessile or stipitate, dehiscing usually along adaxial suture, sometimes along abaxial one, very rarely circumscissile at base, sometimes indehiscent. Seed 1(or 2), erect, usually arillate, rarely exarillate; testa thick; aril colored, fleshy; endosperm present or absent; embryo straight; cotyledons thick and fleshy in exalbuminous seeds, thin in albuminous ones.
Between 12 and 24 genera and 180–390 species: mainly in Africa and tropical Asia, some species in the subtropics, only a few species in the New World; six genera and nine species (one endemic) in China.
Chen Shao-xing. 1986. Connaraceae. In: Yü Te-tsun, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 38: 133–150.