All Floras      Advanced Search
FOC Vol. 11 Page 359, 439, 493, 494 Login | eFloras Home | Help
FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 11

28. Celastraceae

卫矛科 wei mao ke

Authors: Jin-shuang Ma, Zhixiang Zhang, Quanru Liu, Hua Peng & Michele Funston

Trees, erect or scandent shrubs, lianas, evergreen or deciduous; stems sometimes producing rootlets (Euonymus spp.), sometimes thorny (Maytenus spp.), rarely with buttressed trunks. Leaves simple, alternate or opposite, petiolate; leaf blade laminar, venation pinnate, secondary veins reticulate, margins entire, crenate, serrate, or dentate; stipules small and caducous, or estipulate. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, few to many flowered, cymose, thyrsoid, racemose, fasciculate, or flowers solitary, rarely paniculate. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual or unisexual; perianth (3 or)4- or 5-merous; sepals and petals free. Disk intrastaminal, stamens on disk, or extrastaminal, annular, margins upturned, pulvinate, or cupular, conspicuous, rarely obscure (Microtropis spp.), entire, lobed, or angular. Stamens 3-5, alternate with petals; anther (1 or)2-celled, basifixed to dorsifixed, dehiscing longitudinally or obliquely, introrse, extrorse, or latrorse. Ovaries 3-5, superior to half-inferior, often partially immersed in disk, completely or incompletely 2-5-locular, placentation axile, ovules erect, axile, or pendulous, ovules (1 or)2(or 3 or more) per locule; style terminal, simple, short to absent; stigma simple or lobed. Fruit a loculicidally dehiscent capsule, schizocarp of 2-5 indehiscent mericarps, drupe, berry, or samara with a single surrounding wing, rarely an indehiscent capsule or nut with lateral style, pericarp bony, leathery, chartaceous, or fleshy, capsules smooth, angular, deeply lobed, transversely flattened and lobed to base, or connate, rarely prickly, laterally winged. Seeds 1-12, smooth or occasionally furrowed, albuminous or exalbuminous, sometimes winged, wing membranous, basal, exarillate or aril basal to completely enveloping seed, aril membranous, fleshy, rarely mucilaginous; cotyledons flat, foliaceous or thick, connate, germination epigeous. 2n = 8, 12, 14.

About 97 genera and 1194 species: mainly in the tropics and subtropics, some in temperate regions; 14 genera (one endemic, one introduced) and 192 species (120 endemic, two introduced) in China.

Some species are used as ornamentals (Celastrus, Euonymus, and Tripterygium) and/or medicines, including traditional Chinese medicines (Celastrus, Euonymus, Maytenus, and Tripterygium).

Plagiopteron Griffith is treated in this volume as a separate family, the Plagiopteraceae; see the comments under that family (p. 493). Dipentodon Dunn and Perrottetia Kunth are also treated in this volume (pp. 494-495) as comprising a separate family, the Dipentodontaceae, following Zhang and Simmons (Syst. Bot. 31: 122-137. 2006). On the other hand, Bhesa is included here in the Celastraceae, although Zhang and Simmons (loc. cit.) found that it belongs in the Malpighiales, where it comprises a separate lineage sister to the W African Centroplacus. Hippocrateaceae (Loeseneriella, Pristimera, and Salacia) are included here in the Celastraceae following Simmons et al. (Amer. J. Bot. 88: 313-325. 2001).

Pao Shih-ying. 1981. Hippocrateaceae. In: Fang Wen-pei, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 46: 1-14; Cheng Chingyung, Ma Jinshuang, Huang Puhua, Kao Tsoching, Ma Qisheng. 1999. Celastraceae (excluding Dipentodon and Perrottetia). In: Cheng Chingyung & Huang Puhua, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 45(3): ii-x, 1-218.

1 Disk extrastaminal; flowers bisexual; fruit baccate with seeds surrounded by mucilaginous arils or capsules transversely flattened, 1-3-fascicled   (2)
+ Disk intrastaminal or stamens on disk; flowers unisexual or bisexual; fruit capsular, drupaceous, samaroid, or baccate   (4)
2 (1) Fleshy or ligneous berry; seeds wingless; scandent often arboreous shrubs or small trees.   12 Salacia
+ Trilobed capsules, compressed, dehiscing into 2 valves; seeds winged; ligneous lianas   (3)
3 (2) Flowers large, petals at least 4 mm, recurved in bloom; disk conspicuous, cupular and protuberant.   13 Loeseneriella
+ Flowers small, petals up to 3 mm, erect in bloom; disk inconspicuous.   14 Pristimera
4 (1) Fruit samaroid, drupaceous, or baccate   (5)
+ Fruit capsular   (6)
5 (4) Samara, 3-winged at maturity; scandent shrubs.   10 Tripterygium
+ Drupe or berry; shrubs, small trees, or lianas.   11 Pleurostylia
6 (4) Sepals, petals, and ovaries 4- or 5-merous; disk unlobed, thick; seeds arillate   (7)
+ Sepals and petals 4- or 5-merous, ovaries only 2- or 3-merous; disk lobed or nearly nonexistent; seeds typically arillate, sometimes aril absent   (9)
7 (6) Leaves alternate, stipulate; stipules long and fimbriate, persistent after blooming; petals persistent during fruiting, enlarging into 4 wings.   3 Monimopetalum
+ Leaves opposite, stipulate; stipules thin and small, caducous; petals caducous   (8)
8 (7) Flowers and fruit 4- or 5-merous; disk flat, not circling ovary; ovules 2-12 per locule; fruit axis splitting with valves when fruit dehisces; seeds 2 or more per cell, attached to top or base at inner angle; raphe not branched.   1 Euonymus
+ Flowers and fruit 4-merous only; disk lobes suberect, circling ovary; ovule 1 per locule; fruit axis splitting or not, free from valves when fruit dehisces; seeds only 1 per cell, hanging from top of persistent axis; raphe branch usually at base of seed, bands ascending on other side toward hilum.   2 Glyptopetalum
9 (6) Leaves opposite; aril partially covering seed or absent   (10)
+ Leaves alternate; aril covering seeds or incompletely so at base of seeds   (11)
10 (9) Aril decurrent in wing-form, partially covering seed (cultivated).   8 Catha
+ Aril absent (native).   9 Microtropis
11 (9) Leaf blade veins regular in dense nets, petiole bent, enlarged; aril dry, white or brown.   7 Bhesa
+ Leaf blade veins irregular in sparse nets, petiole erect, not enlarged; aril fleshy, reddish, yellow, or white   (12)
12 (11) Typically scandent shrubs; carpels usually 3 in separate locules; stigma 3, each dividing, similar to 6 lobes; aril completely covering seeds.   4 Celastrus
+ Typically erect small trees or shrubs; carpels 2 or 3 in 2 or 3 locules; stigma 2 or 3, slightly lobed; seeds only basally or lower half covered by arils   (13)
13 (12) Plants usually thorny; twigs thornlike, bearing leaves and flowers, or twigs with needlelike thorns; leaf blade small, usually shorter than 7 cm.   5 Gymnosporia
+ Twigs usually unarmed or few thorned, old branches often with sturdy thorns; leaf blade large, usually 7-25 cm.   6 Maytenus

  • List of lower taxa


    Related Objects  
  • Celastraceae.pdf
  • PDF

    Chinese Plant Names  
  • Maytenus (Trees and shrubs of the Andes of Ecuador)
  • Image/JPEG
    Flora of Chile  
  • Family PDF
  • PDF
    Interactive Keys by Xiangying Wen  
  • Celastrus sp. (Xiangying Wen)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Celastrus sp. (Xiangying Wen)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Euonymus bungeana (Xiangying Wen)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Euonymus fortunei (Xiangying Wen)
  • Image/JPEG
  • Maytenus (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  |