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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 11 | Anacardiaceae

3. Anacardiaceae Tribe RHOEAE

漆树族 qi shu zu

Trees or shrubs, rarely woody climbers, polygamous or dioecious. Leaves simple, palmately 3-foliolate or imparipinnately compound. Flowers with 1 or 2 whorls of stamens. Ovary 1-locular, rarely 2- or 3-locular, composed of 3 carpels, rarely 1 carpel; style terminal or lateral, free or connate. Drupe 1-seeded; embryo curved, rarely erect.

About 40 genera and over 300 species: tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions; five genera and 28 species (13 endemic) in China.

Although the genus Rhus is probably paraphyletic if species of Toxicodendron are not included, the distinction between the two genera is respected here mainly because it is practical to have the most poisonous species classified in one genus. This is also in accordance with recently published treatments of the family by Mitchell and Mori (Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 42: 1-76. 1987) and Barfod (in Harling & Andersson, Fl. Ecuador, 9-49. 1987; and in Nordic J. Bot. 8: 3-11. 1988). In this treatment, the fruit characters have been used to distinguish between the two genera. On this background, Terminthia poses a particular problem since its fruits combine features reminiscent of both Rhus (mesocarp glutinous) and Toxicodendron (fruit glabrous, exocarp finally separating). Terminthia is here maintained as a unispecific, segregate genus probably with affinity to the African species of Rhus (R. sect. Gerontogeae Engler). The molecular studies conducted by Pell (Molecular Systematics of the Cashew Family [Anacardiaceae]. Ph.D. Dissertation, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University. 2004) shows that if a separate genus such as Terminthia is erected to accommodate problematic species, then Rhus will have to be split into many entities. Such action should be deferred until more evidence is available.

Lower Taxa


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