| Author||W.R. Philipson|
|Journal||Flora Malesiana - Series 1, Spermatophyta|
|Abstract||Evergreen shrubs or trees, rarely lianes. Leaves decussate, or rarely in whorls of three, exstipulate, simple, entire or dentate, with spherical oil cells in the lamina, bearing simple or stellate hairs or glabrous. Inflorescence terminal or axillary (when in axils of reduced bracts appearing supra-axillary), sometimes cauliflorous, cymose, paniculate, fasciculate or pleiochasial. Flowers unisexual or bisexual, actinomorphic or very rarely (extra-Mal.) oblique, receptacle usually well developed (perigynous), rarely reduced (hypogynous), ± globose or urceolate to widely campanulate; tepals usually inconspicuous, sometimes larger and petaloid, rarely distinct sepals and petals (extra-Mal.), decussate, radial or spiral. — Male flowers with few to many stamens arranged in whorls or sometimes spirally or disposed irregularly; filaments usually strap-shaped, short, occasionally with 2 basal lobes; anthers 2—4 sporangiate, the loculi sometimes confluent above (or rarely below) opening by slits or valves. — Female flowers with or without staminodes; carpels few to many (rarely extra-Mal., only one), sessile or stipitate, free or immersed in the receptacle, outer carpels of female flowers sometimes sterile; ovule solitary, erect or pendulous, crassinucellar, bitegmic or (extra-Mal.) unitegmic. Fruits of separate drupes or achenes, sometimes plumose, frequently enclosed in the persistent receptacle or exposed by various modes of splitting of the receptacle; endosperm copious, oily; embryo straight, cotyledons appressed or divergent, sometimes with serrate margins.|
Distribution. About 33 genera with an estimated 320 species, mainly in the warmer parts of the southern hemisphere. There is a concentration of genera in Malesia (11 genera with 86 spp.) with extensions south and east into Australia and the SW. Pacific; further concentrations occur in the islands of the western Indian Ocean and in South America. The family is represented in Africa only by two small aberrant genera and occurs on the Eurasian mainland only in the Malay Peninsula, the Nicobar Islands and Peninsular Thailand.
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