Mohammad Amin Siddiqi
Stewart Herbarium, Gordon College, Rawalpindi.
Shrubs or trees. Leaves simple, toothed or spinose, alternate, stipulate. Inflorescence terminal and axillary, densely elongate-racemiform or shortly cymose. Flowers small, regular; unisexual and bisexual flowers on the same plant, 5-merous except carpels. Disc annular. Pistil bicarpellary, syncar¬pous; ovary semi-inferior, bilocular with axile placentation; ovules many, biseriate; styles 2, connate with the capitate stigma. Fruit a septicidal capsule. Seeds many, oblong, granular.
A tropical or subtemperate family of 2 genera and 17 species, found in East and South East Asia, tropical and South Africa, East and North America. It was previously treated as a part of Saxifragaceae, but in most of the recent treatments it is separated on the basis of its woody habit and stipulate leaves.
The Saxifragaceous genera are exclusively herbaceous and moreover possess exstipulate leaves. Some recent authors, e.g. J. Hutchinson, include it in Escalloniaceae owing to their similar habit, but the two differ markedly in the characters of leaf and placentation; leaves being exstipulate and placen¬tation parietal in Escalloniaceae, whereas in Iteaceae the leaves are always stipu¬late and the placentation is axile.
Acknowledgement: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L. 480.