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28. Melastomataceae

野牡丹科 ye mu dan ke

Authors: Jie Chen & Susanne S. Renner

Herbs, shrubs, or trees (to 20 m tall), erect, climbing, or rarely epiphytic. Stipules lacking. Leaves simple, commonly opposite and decussate with one of a pair slightly smaller than other, rarely verticillate or alternate by abortion of one of a pair, usually 1-4(or 5) secondary veins on each side of midvein, originating at or near base and anastomosing apically, tertiary veins numerous, parallel, and connecting secondary veins and midvein but in Memecylon secondary veins pinnate and tertiary veins reticulate. Inflorescences cymose, umbellate, corymbose, in paniculate clusters, or a cincinnus, rarely flowers single, fascicled, or born on a spike; bracts sometimes conspicuous and persistent. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic but androecium often slightly zygomorphic, usually (3 or)4- or 5(or 6)-merous, perianth biseriate, perigynous; bracteoles opposite, usually caducous. Hypanthium funnel-shaped, campanulate, cyathiform, or urceolate. Calyx lobes (3-)5(or 6), valvate (rarely connate, but not in Chinese species). Petals (3-)5(or 6), equal to number of sepals, distinct, imbricate. Stamens usually twice as many as petals and in 2 whorls, rarely as many as petals by loss of 1 whorl, isomorphic or dimorphic; filaments distinct, often geniculate, inflexed in bud; anthers typically 2-celled, introrse, basifixed, dehiscent by 1 or 2 apical pores or by short longitudinal slits (Astronia, Memecylon); connective often variously appendaged. Pistil and style 1; stigma minute, capitate or truncate. Ovary commonly inferior or semi-inferior, locules usually (3 or)4 or 5(or 6) with numerous anatropous ovules, rarely 1-loculed and ovules ca. 9 (Memecylon); placentation axillary, parietal (Astronia and, outside China, Pternandra Jack), or free central (Memecylon). Fruit a dry or fleshy capsule or a berry, loculicidally dehiscent or indehiscent. Seeds (when 3-6-loculed) usually small, curved through half a circle (cochleate) or wedge-shaped (cuneate), in Memecylon seeds large and ovoid; endosperm absent.

Between 156 and 166 genera (150-160 in Melastomataceae sensu stricto and six in Memecylaceae here considered part of Melastomataceae) and ca. 4500 species (ca. 4050 in Melastomataceae sensu stricto and 450 in Memecylaceae [Olisbeoideae if considered a subfamily of Melastomataceae]): primarily in tropical and subtropical regions; 21 genera (five endemic) and 114 species (72 endemic) in China.

Pternandra caerulescens Jack reported in FRPS (53(1): 282. 1984) from Hainan is a mistake. The northernmost limit of this genus is S Thailand (see Maxwell, Gard. Bull. Singapore 34: 1-90. 1981).

Driessenia sinensis H. Léveillé is a synonym of Gonostegia hirta (Blume ex Hasskarl) Miquel in the Urticaceae (see Fl. China 5: 178. 2003).

Chinese genera of economic value include Osbeckia (medicine) and Melastoma (wild fruit and ornamental flowers).

Chen Cheih. 1984. Melastomataceae. In: Chen Cheih, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 53(1): 135-293.


1 Leaf blade with secondary veins pinnate and tertiary veins reticulate; ovary 1-celled, with free central placentation; ovary 1-celled with 6-12 ovules, placentation free central; mature seed 1, to 5 mm in diam.; embryo large.   21 Memecylon
+ Leaf blade with 1-4(or 5) pairs of secondary veins originating at or near blade base and anastomosing apically, tertiary veins perpendicular to secondary veins and parallel to each other; ovary (2-)4- or 5(or 6)-celled, with numerous ovules, placentation parietal or axillary; seeds numerous, ca. 1 mm in diam.; embryo small   (2)
       
2 (1) Anthers shorter than 4 mm, longitudinally dehiscent; ovules with parietal placentation near base of ovary.   20 Astronia
+ Anthers longer than 4 mm, if shorter than 4 mm (Sarcopyramis napalensis, S. bodinieri, Sonerila erecta) then opening by a single terminal pore; ovules with axillary placentation   (3)
       
3 (2) Seeds curved through half a circle (cochleate); leaf blade often densely appressed setose   (4)
+ Seeds oblong, obovate, triangular-lanceolate, or cuneate; leaf blade sparsely pilose or glabrous   (5)
       
4 (3) Stamen whorls equal or subequal in length and shape, connective not lengthened; fruit a dry capsule (not a fleshy capsule bursting irregularly).   1 Osbeckia
+ Stamen whorls unequal in length and shape, connective of longer stamen lengthened below anthers and slightly curved; fruit a fleshy capsule, bursting irregularly, rarely a berry (M. intermedium).   2 Melastoma
       
5 (3) Fruit an indehiscent berry   (6)
+ Fruit a capsule opening apically or loculicidally   (7)
       
6 (5) Leaves abaxially with a stellate indumentum; stamen whorls strongly dimorphic, or inner or outer whorl staminodial.   18 Diplectria
+ Leaves abaxially glabrous; stamen whorls isomorphic or only slightly dimorphic.   19 Medinilla
       
7 (5) Ovary apex conic or truncate, lacking a membranous crown; hypanthium often as long as fruit, usually contracted at or near apex   (8)
+ Ovary apex usually with a membranous crown, crown margin often setose and exserted from calyx; hypanthium not contracted at or near apex   (14)
       
8 (7) Stamens 4; abaxial leaf surface, petioles, and hypanthia usually with minute yellow transparent peltate glands.   9 Blastus
+ Stamens 8; abaxial leaf surface, petioles, and hypanthia lacking glands   (9)
       
9 (8) Stamen whorls equal or subequal in size and shape   (10)
+ Stamen whorls unequal in size and shape   (11)
       
10 (9) Flowers in sessile clusters along an unbranched elongate spike.   3 Styrophyton
+ Flowers pedicellate, in terminal cymes.   4 Allomorphia
       
11 (9) Anthers setose at base; capsules 1-1.8 × 0.6-1 cm, with conspicuous longitudinal ribs.   8 Barthea
+ Anthers not setose at base; capsules shorter and narrower than above, not conspicuously ribbed   (12)
       
12 (11) Anthers of short stamens geniculate and curved.   7 Cyphotheca
+ Anthers of short stamens straight   (13)
       
13 (12) Plants 1-6 m tall shrubs; inflorescences elongate panicles.   5 Oxyspora
+ Plants usually less than 1 m tall shrublets; inflorescence an umbellate corymb, variable in size and structure, but flowers usually clustered.   6 Plagiopetalum
       
14 (7) Inflorescences axillary or at leaf scars on leafless branchlets; peduncle 0-2 cm.   10 Sporoxeia
+ Inflorescences terminal or sometimes axillary; peduncle longer than 2 cm   (15)
       
15 (14) Inflorescences 2-bracteate, bracts foliaceous and anthers shorter than 1 mm.   14 Sarcopyramis
+ Inflorescences lacking persistent bracts, if bracteate, then anthers much longer than 1 mm   (16)
       
16 (15) Flowers (in Chinese species) 3-merous; leaf blade less than 10 cm wide.   17 Sonerila
+ Flowers (3 or)4- or 5-merous; leaf blade usually wider than 10 cm   (17)
       
17 (16) Flowers 5-merous.   15 Tigridiopalma
+ Flowers (3 or)4-merous   (18)
       
18 (17) Inflorescences scorpioid cymose panicles, with numerous small flowers   16 Scorpiothyrsus
+ Inflorescences umbellate or cymose panicles, rarely capitate, never scorpioid, usually with few relatively large flowers   (19)
       
19 (18) Stamen whorls equal or only slightly unequal in length.   12 Phyllagathis
+ Stamen whorls unequal in size and shape   (20)
       
20 (19) Capsule campanulate to cup-shaped, thin-walled, apex truncate, lacking an exserted crown.   13 Fordiophyton
+ Capsule turbinate, usually obtusely 4-sided, thick-walled to woody, apex truncate but with crown usually exserted from calyx.   11 Bredia

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