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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Theligonaceae

Theligonum Linn.


Description from Flora of China

Cynocrambe Gagnebin.

Herbs, annual or perennial, monoecious. Stems somewhat succulent. Raphides present. Leaves petiolate, somewhat succulent, lower ones opposite, upper ones apparently alternate due to anisophylly, entire; stipules interpetiolar, membranous, united at base to petioles. Flowers unisexual, rarely bisexual, axillary in upper nodes, small 1-3 flowered cymes, bracts reduced. Staminate flowers sessile; calyx limb reduced; perianth (equivalent to corolla) deeply lobed, lobes 2-5, valvate, spreading or reflexed at anthesis, 3-5 parallel nerves; stamens (2-)6-30, sometimes united basally in groups, anthers linear, dorsifixed at anthesis, free slender filaments, pistillode reduced. Pistillate flowers subsessile; calyx limb reduced; perianth (equivalent to corolla) tubular, oblique, upper part an elongate constricted mouth, 2-4 denticulate-lobed; staminodes reduced; ovary 1-celled; style simple, exserted; ovule solitary, basal. Fruit a nutlike drupe, compressed; seed U-shaped; endosperm fleshy.

Traditionally, Theligonaceae have been treated as a monogeneric family of controversial relationship: Rubiales (Cronquist), Myrtales (Engler), Caryophyllales (Dalla Torre & Harms). However, recent reliable molecular data place it within a highly derived group of Rubiaceae (along with Galium, Hedyotis, and Rubia; Pl. Syst. Evol. 225: 43-75. 2000).

Four species: E Asia, Atlantic Ocean islands, Mediterranean region; three species (two endemic) in China.

(Authors: Chen Jiarui (陈家瑞 Chen Chia-jui); A. Michele Funston)

Lower Taxon


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