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Apocynaceae A. L. Jussieu

夹竹桃科 jia zhu tao ke

Authors: Bingtao Li, Antony J. M. Leeuwenberg & David J. Middleton

Plumeria rubra

Credit: Olga Martha Montiel

Trees, shrubs, or vines, rarely subshrubs or herbs, with latex or rarely watery juice. Leaves simple, opposite, rarely whorled or alternate, pinnately veined; stipules absent or rarely present. Inflorescences cymose, terminal or axillary, with bracteoles. Flowers bisexual, 5- [or 4]-merous, actinomorphic. Calyx 5- or rarely 4-partite, quincuncial, basal glands usually present. Corolla 5- or rarely 4-lobed, salverform, funnelform, urceolate, or rarely rotate, lobes overlapping to right or left, rarely valvate. Stamens 5 or rarely 4; filaments short; anthers mostly sagittate, free or connivent into a cone adherent to pistil head, dehiscing longitudinally, base rounded, cordate, sagittate, or prolonged into an empty spur; pollen granular; disc ringlike or cup-shaped, 2-5-lobed, or absent. Ovaries superior, rarely half-inferior, connate or distinct, 1- or 2-locular; ovules (1 or) 2-numerous per locule. Style 1; pistil head capitate, conical, or lampshade-shaped, base stigmatic, apex 2-cleft and not stigmatic. Fruit a berry, drupe, capsule, or follicle. Seeds with or without coma; endosperm thick and often horny, scanty, sometimes absent; embryo straight or nearly so, cotyledons often large, radicle terete.

About 155 genera and 2000 species distributed primarily in the tropics and subtropics, poorly represented in the temperate regions. Of the 44 genera and 145 species present in China, one genus and 38 species are endemic, and nearly 95% of the taxa grow in the southern and southwestern portions of the country.

Fruit type is highly diversified in the family, and it is diagnostic of many genera. Genera 1-4 produce 1, 2-celled berries from a flower; genus 5 produces 2, 1-celled berries from a flower; 6 and 7 produce mostly fleshy follicles containing deeply indented seeds with ruminate endosperm; 8 has follicles and winged seeds; 9 produces follicles and seeds with 2 comas; 10-12 have follicles with globose seeds; 13-18 have drupes mostly with fleshy mesocarp; 19 has samaroid fruit; 20 has spiny capsules with seeds winged all around; and 21-44 have free or fused follicles and comose seeds. Double flowers are known only from cultivated forms of Nerium oleander, Tabernaemontana divaricata, and Wrightia religiosa.

Plants of the Apocynaceae are often poisonous and are rich in alkaloids or glycosides, especially in the seeds and latex. Some species are valuable sources of medicine, insecticides, fibers, and rubber.

Tsiang Ying & Li Ping-tao. 1977. Apocynaceae. Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 63: 1-249.

1 Herbs, sometimes with a woody base.   (2)
+ Trees, shrubs, or woody climbers.   (5)
2 (1) Plants with stolons; corolla violet   12 Vinca
+ Plants without stolons; corolla mostly pink or white, sometimes bluish.   (3)
3 (2) Leaf blade with pale venation; corolla tube narrow, 2-3 cm   11 Catharanthus
+ Leaf blade without pale venation; corolla tube narrow or broad, up to 1 cm.   (4)
4 (3) Corolla salverform, lobes overlapping to left; all leaves alternate   10 Amsonia
+ Corolla campanulate or basin-shaped, lobes overlapping to right; usually some leaves opposite   36 Apocynum
5 (1) Shrubs or climbers with straight spines   1 Carissa
+ Plants without spines.   (6)
6 (5) Leaves alternate.   (7)
+ Leaves opposite or whorled.   (9)
7 (6) Branchlets mostly 2-3 cm in diam.; flowers waxy; fruit a follicle; seeds winged   8 Plumeria
+ Branchlets less than 1 cm in diam.; flowers not waxy; fruit a drupe; seeds wingless.   (8)
8 (7) Corolla white, often with a deep pink-red or yellow throat, tube cylindric or nearly so; fruit subglobose   18 Cerbera
+ Corolla yellow, tube funnelform; fruit rhomboid or nearly so   17 Thevetia
9 (6) Leaves whorled, at least toward tips of branches.   (10)
+ All leaves opposite.   (16)
10 (9) Corolla yellow, tube at least 4 cm; fruit globose, prickly   20 Allamanda
+ Corolla variously colored, usually not yellow, tube up to 2.2 cm; fruit globose or not, smooth.   (11)
11 (10) Corolla tube funnelform, 1.2-2.2 cm, with corona; leaves thick, lanceolate, with dark reticulate venation abaxially; fruit a united pair of follicles   28 Nerium
+ Corolla tube almost cylindric, mostly up to 1 cm, if longer then without a corona; leaves often not very thick, variously shaped; fruit a pair of drupes or free follicle.   (12)
12 (11) Climbers, if erect shrubs then fruit moniliform with 1-4 drupelike articles.   (13)
+ Erect trees or shrubs, fruit not moniliform.   (14)
13 (12) Leaves with hairy domatia; fruit follicular, constricted; seeds comose   39 Parameria
+ Leaves without hairy domatia; fruit moniliform, sometimes globose, transversely constricted into 2-5 drupelike articles   14 Alyxia
14 (12) Fruit slender follicles; seeds hairy; disc of 2 separate glands alternating with carpels, small annular, or absent; often big trees   9 Alstonia
+ Fruit drupes; seeds not hairy; disc ringlike, cup-shaped, or absent; small trees or shrubs.   (15)
15 (14) Corolla lobes overlapping to right, often suberect; disc absent; drupes mostly more than 3 cm; mesocarp fibrous   16 Ochrosia
+ Corolla lobes overlapping to left, spreading; disc ringlike or cup-shaped; drupes up to 2 cm; mesocarp fleshy   13 Rauvolfia
16 (9) Corolla lobes overlapping to left.   (17)
+ Corolla lobes overlapping to right.   (51)
17 (16) Climbers.   (18)
+ Trees or shrubs.   (21)
18 (17) Corolla tube cylindric or narrowed at throat; fruit berrylike.   (19)
+ Corolla tube funnelform or nearly so, not narrowed at throat; fruit follicular.   (20)
19 (18) Disc absent; calyx without colleters inside; corolla with faucal corona scales, tube almost cylindric   3 Melodinus
+ Disc cylindric, thick, fleshy; calyx with basal colleters inside; corolla without faucal corona scales, tube inflated at base, contracted at mouth   4 Bousigonia
20 (18) Corolla tube 2-2.5 mm; follicles moniliform   39 Parameria
+ Corolla tube ca. 12 mm; follicles narrowly fusiform   42 Parepigynum
21 (17) Leaf blades with numerous parallel secondary veins; fruit samaroid follicles   19 Cameraria
+ Leaf blades with secondary veins clearly separate from each other and usually with tertiary veins; fruit berries or wingless follicles.   (42)
22 Stamens well exserted; corona usually present; fruit long dry follicles; seeds comose   29 Wrightia
+ Stamens included or barely exserted; corona absent; fruit mostly berrylike; seeds not comose.   (44)
23 Inflorescences fascicled, axillary; fruit of united carpels   2 Acokanthera
+ Inflorescences corymbose, terminal, at branch forks, or sometimes axillary; fruit of at least partly separated carpels.   (46)
24 Branching not dichotomous; submarginal leaf veins present; corolla tube ca. 7 as long as calyx   5 Hunteria
+ Branching dichotomous; submarginal leaf veins absent or obscure; corolla tube long or short.   (48)
25 Corolla tube slightly shorter or longer than calyx; calyx shed before fruit develops, lobes recurved   6 Voacanga
+ Corolla tube at least 4 as long as calyx; calyx persistent at fruit base, lobes erect in fresh flowers   7 Tabernaemontana
26 Trees or shrubs; corolla lobes not caudate.   (52)
+ Climbers, if plants erect, corolla lobes caudate (Strophanthus).   (59)
27 Corolla tube 2.3-5 cm, very narrow; fruit drupaceous; seeds not comose   15 Kopsia
+ Corolla tube up to 1.9 cm; fruit follicular; seeds comose.   (54)
28 Peduncle 0.9-1.7 cm; sepals mostly pubescent outside; corolla tube 0.9-1.9 cm; seeds not beaked   35 Holarrhena
+ Peduncle absent or to 0.8 cm; sepals glabrous or sparsely puberulent outside; corolla tube up to 1.3 cm; seeds beaked.   (55)
29 Stamens exserted; pedicel 1.5-3 cm; corolla lobes 1.2-1.8 as long as tube; domatia mostly absent   33 Kibatalia
+ Stamens included; pedicel 2-8 mm; corolla lobes 0.4-0.9 as long as tube; domatia consisting of pits   34 Funtumia
30 Corolla funnelform to subcampanulate and/or tube more than 2 cm, nearly urceolate (Urceola) or subrotate (Vallaris).   (60)
+ Corolla salverform, tube up to 1.4 cm (1.5-2.5 cm in Aganosmabenthamiana).   (73)
31 Corolla with corona, lobes caudate or sometimes (S.gratus) not; seeds beaked   32 Strophanthus
+ Corolla without corona, lobes not caudate; seeds mostly not beaked.   (62)
32 Stamens exserted.   (63)
+ Stamens included.   (66)
33 Filaments long, without a dorsal gland; corolla broadly funnelform   30 Beaumontia
+ Filaments short, with a dorsal gland; corolla subrotate   31 Vallaris
34 Corolla tube 1-4 mm, nearly urceolate; inflorescences many flowered, lax   38 Urceola
+ Corolla tube at least 20 mm; inflorescences usually few flowered, not lax.   (68)
35 Plants glabrous or nearly so   21 Mandevilla
+ Plants conspicuously hairy.   (70)
36 Corolla tube cylindric, limb spreading horizontally, often very wide; follicles more than 5 as long as wide   24 Chonemorpha
+ Corolla tube clearly widened toward throat, limb probably not horizontal; follicles ca. 3 as long as wide   25 Amalocalyx
37 Stamens exserted.   (74)
+ Stamens included.   (77)
38 Corolla tube 7-13 mm; filaments straight; follicles very slender, of separate carpels   27 Pottsia
+ Corolla tube to 5 mm; filaments strongly twisted; follicles rather thick, of united carpels   26 Parsonsia
39 Anther apex with long soft hairs.   (78)
+ Anther apex glabrous.   (81)
40 Corolla tube 5-15 mm, 3-8.7 as long as sepals   44 Sindechites
+ Corolla tube 1.6-2.5 mm, 1.3-2.3 as long as sepals   43 Cleghornia
41 Disc divided into 5 erect segments or 5 free scales.   (82)
+ Disc entire or shortly 5-lobed.   (87)
42 (21) Corolla tube ca. 5 as long as sepals, 1.5-1.7 cm; inflorescences terminal   41 Epigynum
+ Corolla tube mostly to 3 as long as sepals, to 1.4 cm; inflorescences axillary and/or terminal.   (84)
43 Corolla tube 4.5-14 mm, lobes 5-14 mm, forming in bud a large, rather narrowly ovoid, subacuminate head much wider than tube which is clearly widened around or above middle of stamens   22 Trachelospermum
+ Corolla tube 2.5-3 mm, lobes 3-5 mm, forming in bud a small subglobose or ovoid, rounded or blunt head not or slightly wider than tube which is ± barrel-shaped   40 Ichnocarpus
44 (22) Sepals more than twice as long as wide, acuminate or acute, often spreading and longer than corolla tube, if about half as long, then leaf blade with a submarginal vein (A. marginata)   23 Aganosma
+ Sepals less than twice as long as wide, acute to rounded, erect or apically slightly spreading, up to half as long as corolla tube.   (89)
45 Corolla lobes neither twisted nor forming a head in bud; bud rounded, almost cylindric   40 Ichnocarpus
+ Corolla lobes twisted in bud, forming a large ovoid head; bud subacute.   (91)
46 (23) Corolla tube bottle-shaped, clearly narrowed at apex; follicles cylindric   24 Chonemorpha
+ Corolla tube cylindric or nearly so; follicles very narrowly ovoid   37 Anodendron

  • List of lower taxa


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