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Sapotaceae A. L. Jussieu


Description from Flora of China

Trees or shrubs, usually producing latex. Leaves spirally arranged or alternate and distichous, rarely ± opposite, sometimes crowded at apex of branchlets; stipules early deciduous or absent; leaf blade papery or leathery, margin entire. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, usually in sessile axillary clusters, rarely solitary; cluster pedunculate or in raceme-like inflorescence, bracteolate. Calyx a single whorl of usually 4--6 sepals, or 2 whorls each with 2--4 sepals. Corolla lobes as many to 2 X as many as sepals, usually entire, rarely with 2 lacerate or lobular appendages. Stamens inserted at corolla base or at throat of corolla tube, as many as and opposite corolla lobes to many and in 2 or 3 whorls; staminodes when present alternate with stamens, scaly to petal-like. Ovary superior, 4- or 5-locular, placentation axillary; ovules 1 per locule, anatropous. Style 1, often apically lobed. Fruit a berry or drupe, 1- to many-seeded. Seed coat brown (pale yellow in Pouteria annamensis), hard, shiny, rich in tannin; endosperm usually oily; seed scar lateral and linear to oblong or basal and round.

About 1100 species and 53 genera: pantropical; 11 genera and 24 species (six endemic) in China.

Li Shu-gang (as Lee Shu-kang). 1987. Sapotaceae. Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 60(1): 47-83.

(Authors: Li Shu-gang; T. D. Pennington)

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