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Menyanthaceae (Dumortier) Dumortier

睡菜科 shui cai ke

Description from Flora of China

Herbs perennial [or annual], aquatic or nearly so. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite, simple or 3foliolate; stipules absent. Flowers (4 or) 5merous. Calyx lobes free or united. Corolla lobes united, valvate in bud. Stamens 5, free, alternate with petals. Ovary 1celled. Pollen grains bilaterally compressed, ± triquetrous, with 3 apertures. Ovary superior, 1celled. Fruit a dehiscent or indehiscent capsule. Seeds few to many, sometimes winged; endosperm abundant.

Five genera and about 60 species: worldwide in temperate and tropics; two genera and seven species in China.

On the basis of differences in anatomy, chemistry, and palynology, recent phylogenetic accounts treat the Menyanthaceae as a separate family from Gentianaceae. Recent molecular evidence (Olmstead et al. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 79: 249-265. 1992; Downie & Palmer 79: 266-283. 1992) also supports this conclusion. The Menyanthaceae have been placed in the Gentianales (Takhtajan, Flowering Pl. 230. 1969), Solanales (Cronquist, Evol. Class. Flowering Pl., ed. 2, 420-425. 1988), or Campanulales (Thorne, Aliso 13: 365-389. 1992).

Ho Ting-nung. 1988. Gentianaceae [Menyanthoideae]. Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 62: 411-418.

(Authors: Ho Ting-nung; Robert Ornduff)


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