• M. E. Endress
  • V. Bittrich
Part of the The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants book series (FAMILIES GENERA, volume 2)


Annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs, glabrous, or rarely with stellate or glandular hairs, branching monopodially or often sympodially. Leaves simple, entire, alternate or rarely opposite, often crowded into a basal rosette and false whorls on the stem, mostly exstipulate or the stipules membranous, sometimes laciniate. Inflorescences mostly terminal or seemingly axillary cymes, rarely in few-flowered axillary cymes or solitary. Flowers small and mostly inconspicuous, usually greenish white, sometimes pink or red, actinomorphic, bisexual, rarely unisexual (then plants dioecious), hypogynous, very rarely perigynous; sepals (4)5, free or rarely connate, membranous; petals (petaloid staminodes?) 0 or 5 to many, stamens (3−)4–5 (to many), alternisepalous, or if more than 5, in alterni- and episepalous whorls, filaments usually connate at the base, forming a very short cupular tube, anthers tetrasporangiate, dehiscing by longitudinal slits; ovary superior, (1−)2–5-carpellate, loculate; styles or sessile stigmas as many as carpels, free or rarely united at the base; placentation axile, but seemingly basal in some uniovulate carpels; ovules 1-∞ per locule, anatropous to anacampylotropous, bitegmic, crassinucellate. Fruit a loculicidally dehiscent capsule, rarely separating into two indehiscent cocci or a nutlet; seeds generally reniform, sometimes with a small funicular aril; embryo peripheral, curved around the hard, starchy perisperm; endosperm scanty or absent.


Perennial Herb Staminate Flower Pistillate Flower Glandular Hair Annual Herb 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. E. Endress
  • V. Bittrich

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