All Floras      Advanced Search
FOC Vol. 11 Page 335 Login | eFloras Home | Help
FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 11

25. Anacardiaceae

漆树科 qi shu ke

Authors: Tianlu Min & Anders Barfod

Trees or shrubs, also woody climbers or perennial herbs, resiniferous secretory ducts in bark and foliage, plants turpentine-smelling, blackening when wounded, hermaphroditic, polygamo-dioecious or dioecious. Leaves often clustered distally, alternate, exstipulate, simple, trifoliolate or imparipinnate. Inflorescences terminal or axillary thyrsoids or panicles; floral subtending bracts small, or sometimes large, membranous and fused to pedicel (Dobinea). Flowers small, actinomorphic, 3-5-merous, bisexual to unisexual; receptacle sometimes elongate and barrel-shaped (Mangifera). Perianth usually double (single in Pistacia or lacking in female flowers in Dobinea); sepals fused basally and lobed (bractlike in Pistacia), imbricate or valvate in bud, caducous or persistent. Petals free or adnate basally to extended receptacle, imbricate or valvate, deciduous to persistent. Stamens in 1 or 2 whorls, 1 (Anacardium, Mangifera), several, or all fertile; filaments slender, sometimes connate basally (Anacardium); anthers ovoid or oblong, introrse, dorsi- or basifixed, longitudinally dehiscent, 2-celled with 4 pollen sacs. Disk usually distinct, intrastaminal to extrastaminal, fleshy, crenulate, stipe-shaped or 5-10-notched, round, flattened or subcupular. Ovary superior, sometimes half inferior or inferior (Pegia and Semecarpus), either (a) 1-carpellate and 1-locular, (b) syncarpous and 2-5-locular (rarely more), (c) 4-6-carpellate and apocarpous (Buchanania), or (d) 5-carpellate and incompletely connate (Dracontomelon); stigmas 1-5 (rarely more), ± distinct, each locule with one apotropous ovule, usually with one carpel developing to maturity. Fruit drupaceous or dry and indehiscent (Dobinea), sometimes borne on enlarged fleshy hypocarp formed by pedicel and receptacle (Anacardium and Semecarpus) or fused to membranous accrescent floral subtending bract (Dobinea), composed of 1-5, rarely more, cells, each containing 1 seed; epicarp thin; mesocarp usually fleshy, fibrous and resinous; endocarp crustaceous to bony.

About 77 genera and 600 species: mainly in tropical, subtropical, and temperate areas, with the center of diversity in the Malesian region; 17 genera (one introduced) and 55 species (18 endemic, two introduced) in China.

Both of the families Pistaciaceae and Podoaceae (with Dobinea) have been included here in the Anacardiaceae based on the molecular studies conducted by Pell (Molecular Systematics of the Cashew Family [Anacardiaceae]. Ph.D. Dissertation, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University. 2004). The two families are separated mainly based on their aberrant reductions in the perianth. The molecular trees clearly show that they are both nested within the Anacardiaceae. In accordance with figs. 3-10 (pp. 66-75) in Pells’s dissertation (loc. cit.) and current taxonomy, we have included Pistacia in the Rhoeae and Dobinea in a tribe of its own, the Dobineeae.

Some species of Dobinea, Pistacia, Rhus, and Toxicodendron reach altitudes above 2000 m in Guangxi, Guizhou, and Yunnan.

Several representatives for the family are economically important, delivering products such as fruits and nuts, timber, lacquers, and tannins. In China, the resinous sap of Toxicodendron vernicifluum and T. succedaneum is called Chinese lacquer. Rhus chinensis is the host plant of the aphid Melaphis chinensis that produces the "Chinese gall," which in turn is a rich source of gallic acid. Anacardium occidentale and Mangifera indica are widely cultivated as fruit trees, and Pistacia chinensis yields a natural yellow dye. Several plants have ornamental value, such as Cotinus coggygria var. cinerea, which produces spectacular red leaves in the autumn.

The resinous sap of Anacardiaceae hardens and turns black when exposed to the air. Some species in the family, especially of Toxicodendron and Semecarpus, can cause severe dermatitis after contact, especially in persons who have been sensitized by long-term exposure to the plants.

Ming Tien lu. 1980. Anacardiaceae. In: Cheng Mien & Ming Tien lu, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 45(1): 66-135.

1 Flower unisexual; female flower subtended by large foliose, membranous bract to which pedicel is adnate, without perianth and stamens (Dobinea)   5 Anacardiaceae Tribe DOBINEEAE
+ Flower bisexual or polygamous; female flower not subtended by foliose bract, with perianth and stamens   (2)
2 (1) Carpels free, 4-6 or usually only 1 developed; leaves simple, entire (Anacardium, Buchanania, Mangifera)   1 Anacardiaceae Tribe ANACARDIEAE
+ Carpels 3-5, connate; leaves pinnately compound, sometimes trifoliolate or simple   (3)
3 (2) Carpels 4 or 5, ovary (1 or)4- or 5-locular (Choerospondias, Dracontomelon, Haplospondias, Lannea, Pegia, Spondias)   2 Anacardiaceae Tribe SPONDIADEAE
+ Carpels 3, ovary 1-locular   (4)
4 (3) Leaves pinnately compound, trifoliolate or simple; ovary superior; receptacle not inflated at maturity (Cotinus, Pistacia, Rhus, Terminthia, Toxicodendron)   3 Anacardiaceae Tribe RHOEAE
+ Leaves simple; ovary semi-inferior or inferior; fruit buried in inflated receptacle at maturity (Drimycarpus, Semecarpus)   4 Anacardiaceae Tribe SEMECARPEAE

  • List of lower taxa


    Related Objects  
  • Anacardiaceae.pdf
  • PDF

    Chinese Plant Names  
  • Mauria (Trees and shrubs of the Andes of Ecuador)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Schinus (Trees and shrubs of the Andes of Ecuador)
  • Image/JPEG
    Flora of Chile  
  • Family PDF
  • PDF
    Interactive Keys by Xiangying Wen  
  • Cotinus coggygria (Xiangying Wen)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Mauria (Trees and shrubs of the Andes of Ecuador)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Rhus aromatica (Xiangying Wen)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Rhus copallina var. latifolia (Xiangying Wen)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Rhus sp. (Xiangying Wen)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Schinus (Trees and shrubs of the Andes of Ecuador)
  • Image/JPEG

  • Flora of China @
    Browse by
    Advanced Search

    Flora of China Home




     |  eFlora Home |  People Search  |  Help  |  ActKey  |  Hu Cards  |  Glossary  |