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7. Nitrariaceae

白刺科 bai ci ke

Authors: Yingxin Liu & Lihua Zhou

Shrubs, 0.5-2 m tall, prostrate or ascending, succulent, sometimes spiny. Branches often spiny at end. Stipules intrapetiolar, distinct, caducous or persistent. Leaves alternate, spiral, or fasciculate, simple, fleshy or succulent, petiolate or subsessile, deciduous; leaf blade 1-veined or palmately veined, margin entire or 2- or 3-dentate at apex. Flowers solitary or aggregated in cymes, small, bracteate. Sepals 5, fleshy, imbricate, persistent. Petals 5, white or yellowish green. Stamens (10-)15, both alternate and opposite petals; anthers dorsifixed. Ovary inferior, sessile, 2-6-locular; styles 1; stigma ovoid. Fruit a drupe, purple, red, or yellow, fleshy, 1-seeded; mesocarp fleshy to succulent; endocarp forming a bony stone.

One genus and ca. 11 species: arid and semiarid regions of N Africa, C, N, and W Asia, Australia, and SE Europe; five species (one endemic) in China.

This family was included in Zygophyllaceae in FRPS. However, it differs from the Zygophyllaceae in many morphological characters. Molecular evidence also supports its recognition as a separate family.

Liou Yingxin. 1998. Nitraria. In: Xu Langran & Huang Chengchiu, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 43(1): 117-123.

Lower Taxon


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