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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 | Aizoaceae

3. Sesuvium Linnaeus, Syst. Nat. ed. 10. 2: 1052, 1058, 1371. 1759.

Sea-purslane [Latin Sesuvium, apparently the country of the Sesuvii, a Gallic tribe mentioned by Caesar; reason for application to this genus unknown]

Wayne R. Ferren Jr.

Herbs [shrubs], annual or perennial, succulent, usually papillate. Roots fibrous. Stems prostrate to erect, forming mats; rooting at nodes in some species. Leaves cauline, opposite, those of each pair equal; stipules absent; petiole bases clasping to ± connate, ± widened, margins usually scarious; blade usually flat, linear to spatulate or ovate, tapered, margins entire. Inflorescences axillary, flowers solitary or in cymes, sessile or pedicellate; bracts absent or 2. Flowers: hypanthium obconic; calyx lobes 5, reddish adaxially, usually hooded near tip; petals and petaloid staminodia absent; stamens [1-]5-30, often connate proximally; pistil 2-5-carpellate; ovary half inferior, 2-5-loculed; placentation axile; ovules to 60; styles 2-5, papillate; stigmas 2-5. Fruits capsules, ovoid to obconic, dehiscence circumscissile. Seeds to 60, black to brown, arillate, usually reniform, shiny or dull, smooth or rugose.

Species ca. 8 (4 in the flora): tropical, subtropical, and temperate North America, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Eurasia, Africa, Pacific Islands, Australia.

Sesuvium crithmoides Welwitsch, a west African perennial with linear leaves and sessile flowers, has been reported from waste places along wharves in Georgia (J. K. Small 1933); it apparently is not naturalized in the flora.

1 Stamens 5; styles and locules 2-3; plants annual   (2)
+ Stamens 30; styles and locules 5; plants perennial   (3)
2 (1) Seeds smooth, 1 mm   1 Sesuvium maritimum
+ Seeds rugose, 1.5 mm   2 Sesuvium trianthemoides
3 (1) Pedicels 1-20 mm; stems rooting at nodes; seeds 1.2-1.5 mm   3 Sesuvium portulacastrum
+ Pedicels absent or to 2 mm; stems not rooting at nodes; seeds 0.8-1 mm   4 Sesuvium verrucosum

Lower Taxa


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