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Nyctaginaceae A. L. Jussieu

紫茉莉科 zi mo li ke

Authors: Dequan Lu & Michael G. Gilbert

Herbs, shrubs, trees, or sometimes spiny vines. Leaves opposite, alternate, or ± whorled; stipules absent; petiole usually present, well defined; leaf blade simple, herbaceous or slightly fleshy, margin entire. Inflorescences mostly terminal, less often axillary, of cymes, umbels, or verticils, sometimes 1-flowered or fasciculate, often grouped into panicles; bracts often inconspicuous, sometimes forming calyxlike involucre, or large and brightly colored. Flowers bisexual, rarely unisexual or polygamous, actinomorphic. Perianth constricted beyond the ovary, base persistent, closely enclosing ovary which appears inferior, limb petaloid beyond constriction, tubular, funnelform, or campanulate, apex 5-10-lobed, lobes plicate or valvate in bud, persistent or caducous. Disk absent. Stamens (1-)3-5(-many), hypogynous, free or connate at base, involute in bud; anthers 2-loculed, dehiscence longitudinal. Ovary superior, 1-loculed; ovule 1. Style 1; stigma globose. Fruit an achenelike anthocarp enclosed by persistent perianth, ribbed or winged, often glandular. Seed 1; endosperm present; embryo straight or curved.

About 30 genera and 300 species: tropics and subtropics, mainly in tropical America; six genera (two introduced) and 13 species (one endemic, three introduced) in China.

Lu Dequan. 1996. Nyctaginaceae. In: Tang Changlin, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 26: 1–14.

1 Shrubs, trees, or spiny vines; leaves often alternate.   (2)
+ Herbs or subshrubs; leaves always opposite.   (3)
2 (1) Inflorescences many-flowered cymes or panicles; bracts absent or inconspicuous; ovary sessile; fruit sticky.   1 Pisonia
+ Inflorescenes 3-flowered cymes; bracts conspicuous, reddish, purple, or orange, rarely white or yellow, adnate to flowers; ovary stipitate; fruit not sticky.   2 Bougainvillea
3 (1) Flowers enclosed by a calyxlike involucre; fruit globose, obovoid, oblong, fusiform, or terete, sometimes ribbed, without sticky glands.   (4)
+ Flowers in cymose panicles, umbels, or verticils; fruit clavate, obconic, turbinate, terete, or obovoid, 5- or 10-ribbed, with sticky glands.   (5)
4 (3) Involucre not accrescent or membranous; flowers large, showy, opening in the afternoon; perianth salverform, 2-6 cm, limb 2.5-3 cm in diam.; pedicel 1-2 mm.   3 Mirabilis
+ Involucre accrescent, membranous in fruit; flowers inconspicuous, opening in the morning; perianth campanulate or funnelform, 0.6-0.8(-1) cm, limb ca. 0.8 cm in diam.; pedicel 20-25 mm.   4 Oxybaphus
5 (3) Inflorescences cymose panicles, sometimes compact and headlike; perianth limb campanulate; filaments and style included or shortly exserted; fruit with unraised glands.   5 Boerhavia
+ Inflorescences umbels or verticils; perianth limb funnelform; filaments and style long exserted; fruit with large, raised, wartlike glands, usually near apex.   6 Commicarpus

Lower Taxa


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