EMBRYOPSIDA Pirani & Prado

Gametophyte dominant, independent, multicellular, not motile, initially ±globular; showing gravitropism; acquisition of phenylalanine lysase [PAL], microbial terpene synthase-like genes +, triterpenoids produced by CYP716 enzymes, phenylpropanoid metabolism [lignans +, flavonoids + (absorbtion of UV radiation)], xyloglucans in primary cell wall, side chains charged; plant poikilohydrous [protoplasm dessication tolerant], ectohydrous [free water outside plant physiologically important]; thalloid, leafy, with single-celled apical meristem, tissues little differentiated, rhizoids +, unicellular; chloroplasts several per cell, pyrenoids 0; glycolate metabolism in leaf peroxisomes [glyoxysomes]; centrioles/centrosomes in vegetative cells 0, microtubules with γ-tubulin along their lengths [?here], interphase microtubules form hoop-like system; metaphase spindle anastral, predictive preprophase band + [with microtubules and F-actin; where new cell wall will form], phragmoplast + [cell wall deposition centrifugal, from around the anaphase spindle], plasmodesmata +; antheridia and archegonia jacketed, surficial; blepharoplast +, centrioles develop de novo, bicentriole pair coaxial, separate at midpoint, centrioles rotate, associated with basal bodies of cilia, multilayered structure + [4 layers: L1, L4, tubules; L2, L3, short vertical lamellae] (0), spline + [tubules from L1 encircling spermatid], basal body 200-250 nm long, associated with amorphous electron-dense material, microtubules in basal end lacking symmetry, stellate array of filaments in transition zone extended, axonemal cap 0 [microtubules disorganized at apex of cilium]; male gametes [spermatozoids] with a left-handed coil, cilia 2, lateral; oogamy; sporophyte multicellular, cuticle +, plane of first cell division transverse [with respect to long axis of archegonium/embryo sac], sporangium and upper part of seta developing from epibasal cell [towards the archegonial neck, exoscopic], with at least transient apical cell [?level], initially surrounded by and dependent on gametophyte, placental transfer cells +, in both sporophyte and gametophyte, wall ingrowths develop early; suspensor/foot +, cells at foot tip somewhat haustorial; sporangium +, single, terminal, dehiscence longitudinal; meiosis sporic, monoplastidic, MTOC [MTOC = microtubule organizing centre] associated with plastid, sporocytes 4-lobed, cytokinesis simultaneous, preceding nuclear division, quadripolar microtubule system +; wall development both centripetal and centrifugal, 1000 spores/sporangium, sporopollenin in the spore wall laid down in association with trilamellar layers [white-line centred lamellae; tripartite lamellae]; nuclear genome size [1C] <1.4 pg, main telomere sequence motif TTTAGGG, LEAFY and KNOX1 and KNOX2 genes present, ethylene involved in cell elongation; chloroplast genome with close association between trnLUAA and trnFGAA genes [precursors for starch synthesis], tufA gene moved to nucleus; mitochondrial trnS(gcu) and trnN(guu) genes +.

Many of the bolded characters in the characterization above are apomorphies of subsets of streptophytes along the lineage leading to the embryophytes, not apomorphies of crown-group embryophytes per se.

All groups below are crown groups, nearly all are extant. Characters mentioned are those of the immediate common ancestor of the group, [] contains explanatory material, () features common in clade, exact status unclear.


Abscisic acid, L- and D-methionine distinguished metabolically; pro- and metaphase spindles acentric; sporophyte with polar transport of auxins, class 1 KNOX genes expressed in sporangium alone; sporangium wall 4≤ cells across [≡ eusporangium], tapetum +, secreting sporopollenin, which obscures outer white-line centred lamellae, columella +, developing from endothecial cells; stomata +, on sporangium, anomocytic, cell lineage that produces them with symmetric divisions [perigenous]; underlying similarities in the development of conducting tissue and of rhizoids/root hairs; spores trilete; shoot meristem patterning gene families expressed; MIKC, MI*K*C* genes, post-transcriptional editing of chloroplast genes; gain of three group II mitochondrial introns, mitochondrial trnS(gcu) and trnN(guu) genes 0.

[Anthocerophyta + Polysporangiophyta]: gametophyte leafless; archegonia embedded/sunken [only neck protruding]; sporophyte long-lived, chlorophyllous; cell walls with xylans.


Sporophyte well developed, branched, branching apical, dichotomous, potentially indeterminate; hydroids +; stomata on stem; sporangia several, terminal; spore walls not multilamellate [?here].


Vascular tissue + [tracheids, walls with bars of secondary thickening]; stomata involved in gas exchange.


Sporophyte with photosynthetic red light response, stomata open in response to blue light; plant homoiohydrous [water content of protoplasm relatively stable]; control of leaf hydration passive; plant endohydrous [physiologically important free water inside plant]; (condensed or nonhydrolyzable tannins/proanthocyanidins +); xyloglucans with side chains uncharged [?level], in secondary walls of vascular and mechanical tissue; lignins +; stem apex multicellular, with cytohistochemical zonation, plasmodesmata formation based on cell lineage; vascular development acropetal, tracheids +, in both protoxylem and metaxylem, G- and S-types; sieve cells + [nucleus degenerating]; endodermis +; leaves/sporophylls spirally arranged, blades with mean venation density ca 1.8 mm/mm2 [to 5 mm/mm2], all epidermal cells with chloroplasts; sporangia adaxial, columella 0; tapetum glandular; ?position of transfer cells; MTOCs not associated with plastids, basal body 350-550 nm long, stellate array in transition region initially joining microtubule triplets; suspensor +, shoot apex developing away from micropyle/archegonial neck [from hypobasal cell, endoscopic], root lateral with respect to the longitudinal axis of the embryo [plant homorhizic].


Sporophyte endomycorrhizal [with Glomeromycota]; growth ± monopodial, branching spiral; roots +, endogenous, positively geotropic, root hairs and root cap +, protoxylem exarch, lateral roots +, endogenous; G-type tracheids +, with scalariform-bordered pits; leaves with apical/marginal growth, venation development basipetal, growth determinate; sporangium dehiscence by a single longitudinal slit; cells polyplastidic, MTOCs diffuse, perinuclear, migratory; blepharoplasts +, paired, with electron-dense material, centrioles on periphery, male gametes multiciliate; chloroplast long single copy ca 30kb inversion [from psbM to ycf2]; mitochondrion with loss of 4 genes, absence of numerous group II introns; LITTLE ZIPPER proteins.


Sporophyte woody; stem branching lateral, meristems axillary; lateral root origin from the pericycle; cork cambium + [producing cork abaxially], vascular cambium bifacial [producing phloem abaxially and xylem adaxially].


Plants heterosporous; megasporangium surrounded by cupule [i.e. = unitegmic ovule, cupule = integument]; pollen lands on ovule; megaspore germination endosporic [female gametophyte initially retained on the plant].


Plant evergreen; nicotinic acid metabolised to trigonelline, (cyanogenesis via tyrosine pathway); microbial terpene synthase-like genes 0; primary cell walls rich in xyloglucans and/or glucomannans, 25-30% pectin [Type I walls]; lignin chains started by monolignol dimerization [resinols common], particularly with guaiacyl and p-hydroxyphenyl [G + H] units [sinapyl units uncommon, no Maüle reaction]; root stele diarch to pentarch, xylem and phloem originating on alternating radii, cork cambium deep seated; stem apical meristem complex [with quiescent centre, etc.], plasmodesma density in SAM 1.6-6.2[mean]/μm2 [interface-specific plasmodesmatal network]; eustele +, protoxylem endarch, endodermis 0; wood homoxylous, tracheids and rays alone, tracheid/tracheid pits circular, bordered; mature sieve tube/cell lacking functioning nucleus, sieve tube plastids with starch grains; phloem fibres +; cork cambium superficial; leaf nodes 1:1, a single trace leaving the vascular sympodium; leaf vascular bundles amphicribral; guard cells the only epidermal cells with chloroplasts, stomatal pore with active opening in response to leaf hydration, control by abscisic acid, metabolic regulation of water use efficiency, etc.; axillary buds +, exogenous; prophylls two, lateral; leaves with petiole and lamina, development basipetal, lamina simple; sporangia borne on sporophylls; spores not dormant; microsporophylls aggregated in indeterminate cones/strobili; grains monosulcate, aperture in ana- position [distal], primexine + [involved in exine pattern formation with deposition of sporopollenin from tapetum there], exine and intine homogeneous, exine alveolar/honeycomb; ovules with parietal tissue [= crassinucellate], megaspore tetrad linear, functional megaspore single, chalazal, sporopollenin 0; gametophyte ± wholly dependent on sporophyte, development initially endosporic [apical cell 0, rhizoids 0, etc.]; male gametophyte with tube developing from distal end of grain, male gametes two, developing after pollination, with cell walls; female gametophyte initially syncytial, walls then surrounding individual nuclei; embryo cellular ab initio, suspensor short-minute, embryonic axis straight [shoot and root at opposite ends; plant allorhizic], cotyledons 2; embryo ± dormant; chloroplast ycf2 gene in inverted repeat, trans splicing of five mitochondrial group II introns, rpl6 gene absent; whole nuclear genome duplication [ζ - zeta - duplication], two copies of LEAFY gene, PHY gene duplications [three - [BP [A/N + C/O]] - copies], 5.8S and 5S rDNA in separate clusters.


Lignans, O-methyl flavonols, dihydroflavonols, triterpenoid oleanane, apigenin and/or luteolin scattered, [cyanogenesis in ANA grade?], lignin also with syringyl units common [G + S lignin, positive Maüle reaction - syringyl:guaiacyl ratio more than 2-2.5:1], hemicelluloses as xyloglucans; root cap meristem closed (open); pith relatively inconspicuous, lateral roots initiated immediately to the side of [when diarch] or opposite xylem poles; origin of epidermis with no clear pattern [probably from inner layer of root cap], trichoblasts [differentiated root hair-forming cells] 0, hypodermis suberised and with Casparian strip [= exodermis]; shoot apex with tunica-corpus construction, tunica 2-layered; starch grains simple; primary cell wall mostly with pectic polysaccharides, poor in mannans; tracheid:tracheid [end wall] plates with scalariform pitting, wood parenchyma +; sieve tubes enucleate, sieve plate with pores (0.1-)0.5-10< µm across, cytoplasm with P-proteins, not occluding pores of plate, companion cell and sieve tube from same mother cell; ?phloem loading/sugar transport; nodes 1:?; dark reversal Pfr → Pr; protoplasm dessication tolerant [plant poikilohydric]; stomata brachyparacytic [ends of subsidiary cells level with ends of pore], outer stomatal ledges producing vestibule, reduction in stomatal conductance with increasing CO2 concentration; lamina formed from the primordial leaf apex, margins toothed, development of venation acropetal, overall growth ± diffuse, secondary veins pinnate, fine venation hierarchical-reticulate, (1.7-)4.1(-5.7) mm/mm2, vein endings free; flowers perfect, pedicellate, ± haplomorphic, protogynous; parts free, numbers variable, development centripetal; P +, ?insertion, members each with a single trace, outer members not sharply differentiated from the others, not enclosing the floral bud; A many, filament not sharply distinguished from anther, stout, broad, with a single trace, anther introrse, tetrasporangiate, sporangia in two groups of two [dithecal], each theca dehiscing longitudinally by a common slit, ± embedded in the filament, walls with at least outer secondary parietal cells dividing, endothecium +, cells elongated at right angles to long axis of anther; tapetal cells binucleate; microspore mother cells in a block, microsporogenesis successive, walls developing by centripetal furrowing; pollen subspherical, tectum continuous or microperforate, ektexine columellate, endexine lamellate only in the apertural regions, thin, compact, intine in apertural areas thick, pollenkitt +; nectary 0; carpels present, superior, free, several, ascidiate [postgenital occlusion by secretion], stylulus at most short [shorter than ovary], hollow, cavity not lined by distinct epidermal layer, stigma ± decurrent, carinal, dry; suprastylar extragynoecial compitum +; ovules few [?1]/carpel, marginal, anatropous, bitegmic, micropyle endostomal, outer integument 2-3 cells across, often largely subdermal in origin, inner integument 2-3 cells across, often dermal in origin, parietal tissue 1-3 cells across, nucellar cap?; megasporocyte single, hypodermal, functional megaspore lacking cuticle; female gametophyte lacking chlorophyll, not photosynthesising, four-celled [one module, nucleus of egg cell sister to one of the polar nuclei]; ovule not increasing in size between pollination and fertilization; pollen grains land on stigma, bicellular at dispersal, mature male gametophyte tricellular, germinating in less than 3 hours, pollen tube elongated, unbranched, growing towards the ovule, between cells, growth rate (20-)80-20,000 µm/hour, apex of pectins, wall with callose, lumen with callose plugs, penetration of ovules via micropyle [porogamous], whole process takes ca 18 hours, distance to first ovule 1.1-2.1 mm; male gametes lacking cell walls, ciliae 0, siphonogamy; double fertilization +, ovules aborting unless fertilized; P deciduous in fruit; mature seed much larger than fertilized ovule, small [<5 mm long], dry [no sarcotesta], exotestal; endosperm +, cellular, development heteropolar [first division oblique, micropylar end initially with a single large cell, divisions uniseriate, chalazal cell smaller, divisions in several planes], copious, oily and/or proteinaceous, embryo short [<¼ length of seed]; plastid and mitochondrial transmission maternal; Arabidopsis-type telomeres [(TTTAGGG)n]; nuclear genome size [1C] <1.4 pg [mean 1C = 18.1 pg, 1 pg = 109 base pairs], whole nuclear genome duplication [ε/epsilon event]; ndhB gene 21 codons enlarged at the 5' end, single copy of LEAFY and RPB2 gene, knox genes extensively duplicated [A1-A4], AP1/FUL gene, palaeo AP3 and PI genes [paralogous B-class genes] +, with "DEAER" motif, SEP3/LOFSEP and three copies of the PHY gene, [PHYB [PHYA + PHYC]]; chloroplast chlB, -L, -N, trnP-GGG genes 0.

[NYMPHAEALES [AUSTROBAILEYALES [[CHLORANTHALES + MAGNOLIIDS] [MONOCOTS [CERATOPHYLLALES + EUDICOTS]]]]]: wood fibres +; axial parenchyma diffuse or diffuse-in-aggregates; pollen monosulcate [anasulcate], tectum reticulate-perforate [here?]; ?genome duplication; "DEAER" motif in AP3 and PI genes lost, gaps in these genes.

[AUSTROBAILEYALES [[CHLORANTHALES + MAGNOLIIDS] [MONOCOTS [CERATOPHYLLALES + EUDICOTS]]]]: phloem loading passive, via symplast, plasmodesmata numerous; vessel elements with scalariform perforation plates in primary xylem; essential oils in specialized cells [lamina and P ± pellucid-punctate]; tension wood + [reaction wood: with gelatinous fibres, G-fibres, on adaxial side of branch/stem junction]; tectum reticulate; anther wall with outer secondary parietal cell layer dividing; nucellar cap + [character lost where in eudicots?]; 12BP [4 amino acids] deletion in P1 gene.

[[CHLORANTHALES + MAGNOLIIDS] [MONOCOTS [CERATOPHYLLALES + EUDICOTS]]] / MESANGIOSPERMAE: benzylisoquinoline alkaloids +; sesquiterpene synthase subfamily a [TPS-a] [?level], polyacetate derived anthraquinones + [?level]; outer epidermal walls of root elongation zone with cellulose fibrils oriented transverse to root axis; P more or less whorled, 3-merous [?here]; pollen tube growth intra-gynoecial; extragynoecial compitum 0; carpels plicate [?here]; embryo sac bipolar, 8 nucleate, antipodal cells persisting; endosperm triploid.

[MONOCOTS [CERATOPHYLLALES + EUDICOTS]]: (extra-floral nectaries +); (veins in lamina often 7-17 mm/mm2 or more [mean for eudicots 8.0]); (stamens opposite [two whorls of] P); (pollen tube growth fast).

[CERATOPHYLLALES + EUDICOTS]: ethereal oils 0.

EUDICOTS: (Myricetin, delphinidin +), asarone 0 [unknown in some groups, + in some asterids]; root epidermis derived from root cap [?Buxaceae, etc.]; (vessel elements with simple perforation plates in primary xylem); nodes 3:3; stomata anomocytic; flowers (dimerous), cyclic; protandry common; K/outer P members with three traces, ("C" +, with a single trace); A ?, filaments fairly slender, anthers basifixed; microsporogenesis simultaneous, pollen tricolpate, apertures in pairs at six points of the young tetrad [Fischer's rule], cleavage centripetal, wall with endexine; G with complete postgenital fusion, stylulus/style solid [?here]; seed coat?

[PROTEALES [TROCHODENDRALES [BUXALES + CORE EUDICOTS]]]: (axial/receptacular nectary +).

[TROCHODENDRALES [BUXALES + CORE EUDICOTS]]: benzylisoquinoline alkaloids 0; euAP3 + TM6 genes [duplication of paleoAP3 gene: B class], mitochondrial rps2 gene lost.

[BUXALES + CORE EUDICOTS]: mitochondrial rps11 gene lost.

CORE EUDICOTS / GUNNERIDAE: (ellagic and gallic acids +); leaf margins serrate; compitum + [one position]; micropyle?; γ whole nuclear genome duplication [palaeohexaploidy, gamma triplication], x = 21, PI-dB motif +; small deletion in the 18S ribosomal DNA common.

[ROSIDS ET AL. + ASTERIDS ET AL.] / PENTAPETALAE: root apical meristem closed; (cyanogenesis also via [iso]leucine, valine and phenylalanine pathways); flowers rather stereotyped: 5-merous, parts whorled; P = calyx + corolla, the calyx enclosing the flower in bud, sepals with three or more traces, petals with a single trace; stamens = 2x K/C, in two whorls, internal/adaxial to the corolla whorl, alternating, (numerous, but then usually fasciculate and/or centrifugal); pollen tricolporate; G [5], G [3] also common, when [G 2], carpels superposed, placentation axile, style +, stigma not decurrent; compitum +; endosperm nuclear; fruit dry, dehiscent, loculicidal [when a capsule]; RNase-based gametophytic incompatibility system present; floral nectaries with CRABSCLAW expression; (monosymmetric flowers with adaxial/dorsal CYC expression).

[DILLENIALES [SAXIFRAGALES [VITALES + ROSIDS s. str.]]]: stipules + [usually apparently inserted on the stem].


[VITALES + ROSIDS] / ROSIDAE: anthers ± dorsifixed, transition to filament narrow, connective thin.

ROSIDS: (mucilage cells with thickened inner periclinal walls and distinct cytoplasm); if nectary +, usu. receptacular; embryo long; chloroplast infA gene defunct, mitochondrial coxII.i3 intron 0.

ROSID I / FABIDAE / [ZYGOPHYLLALES [the COM clade + the nitrogen-fixing clade]]: endosperm scanty.

[the COM clade + the nitrogen-fixing clade]: ?

[CELASTRALES [OXALIDALES + MALPIGHIALES]] / the COM clade: seed exotegmic, cells fibrous.


Age. This node was dated to ca 115 m.y. by Foster et al. (2016a: q.v. for details), around (109-)102, 91(-84) m.y., with Bayesian estimates to 112 m.y. (Hengcheng Wang et al. 2009: stem ages for the two orders differ slightly...) and ca 109.7 m.y. by Tank et al. (2015: Table S1); estimates by Wikström et al. (2001) were only (94-)91, 88(-85) m.y., rather like the ca 88.3 m.y. suggested by Naumann et al. (2013).

Ages in Magallón and Castillo (2009) were ca 102 m.y. and in Bell et al. (2010) were (109-)102, 98(-94) m.y., although in both these, note the topology, OCM, not COM; Tank et al. (2015: table S1) suggest that the age for the OM clade is ca 111.5 m. years.

OXALIDALES Heintze  Main Tree.

Characters? - 7 families, 60 genera, 1815 species.

Note: Boldface denotes possible apomorphies, (....) denotes a feature common in the clade, exact status uncertain, [....] includes explanatory material. Note that the particular node to which many characters, particularly the more cryptic ones, should be assigned is unclear. This is partly because homoplasy is very common, in addition, basic information for all too many characters is very incomplete, frequently coming from taxa well embedded in the clade of interest and so making the position of any putative apomorphy uncertain. Then there are the not-so-trivial issues of how character states are delimited and ancestral states are reconstructed (see above).

Age. The age of crown group Oxalidales was estimated as (105-)93, 89(-78) m.y. by Bell et al. (2010; note topology) or ca 109.8 m.y. (stem Huaceae: Tank et al. 2015: Table S1, S2).

Chemistry, Morphology, etc. Simple diplostemony may not occur in the order. The androecium of Cunoniaceae is obdiplostemonous, according to Huber (1963), and so agrees with that of Oxalidaceae (and Brunelliaceae [Orozco 2002] and Connaraceae); see Ronse De Craene and Bull-Hereñu (2016) for literature. Connaraceae and Brunelliaceae have ovaries with adaxial furrows (c.f. the ventral slit: Matthews & Endress 2002b). Is the distribution of taxa that have carpels with five vascular traces of any interest?

Some information is taken from Nandi et al. (1998). There is much information on floral morphology and development for the whole order in Matthews and Endress (2002b, summarized in 2006b), but Huaceae are something of a black box in these and other features.

Phylogeny. This is a somewhat unexpected association of families. Molecular data recover a clade [Oxalidaceae + Connaraceae] in particular (Price & Palmer 1993; Williams et al. 1994; Fernando et al. 1995, etc.), and this also has strong morphological support. The other families are in a clade sister to this pair (e.g. Zhang & Simmons 2006: Cephalotaceae not included; Soltis et al. 2011). For the relationships of Brunelliaceae, see Bradford and Barnes (2001), although morphological analyses (Miranda-Esquivel 2001; Orozco 2001a; Orozco Pardo 2002) variously mixed Brunelliaceae and Cunoniaceae. The family pair [Brunelliaceae + Cephalotaceae] was retrieved by Davis et al. (2004), Crayn et al. (2006) and M. Sun et al. (2016: support weak). However, Heibl and Renner (2012) suggest relationships in this part of the tree of [Cunoniaceae [Brunelliaceae [Cephalotaceae + Elaeocarpaceae]]], which implies a rather different scenario of character evolution.

Zhang and Simmons (2006: see also Soltis et al. 2007a) found that Huaceae were sister to the other Oxalidales they examined, with quite strong support (jacknife values over 80%); they suggest that Huaceae should be included here. Zhu et al. (2007) also found quite strong bootstrap support for this position when the mitochondrial matR gene was examined, but support was lost when two chloroplast genes were added. Support was only weak in the recent analysis of Wang et al. (2009) and Qiu et al. (2010), but moderate to strong in the multiple gene analysis of Soltis et al. (2011). All in all, however, Huaceae seem to be finding a more fixed place on the tree (see also Wurdack & Davis 2009). However, they lack even the rather unimpressive morphological features that characterize other Oxalidales.

Although the flowers of Anisophyllea (Anisophylleaceae-Cucurbitales) are remarkably similar to those of Ceratopetalum (Matthews et al. 2001; see also Matthews & Endress 2004, 2006b), and Matthews and Endress (2002b) note the filaments are longer than the anthers in bud in Oxalidales (but not in Elaeocarpaceae) and in Anisophylleaceae. There are perhaps comparable similarities in the fossil Platydiscus peltatus (Schönenberger et al. 2001a; Schönenberger & von Balthazar 2006; see below). However, none of these similarities is likely to reflect a close relationships between the two; Ceratopetalum is somewhat embedded in Cunoniaceae (see below) and the two families are not even in immediately related clades.

Includes Brunelliaceae, Connaraceae, Cephalotaceae, Cunoniaceae, Elaeocarpaceae, Huaceae, Oxalidaceae.

Synonymy: Bauerales Martius, Cephalotales Martius, Connarales Link, Cunoniales Martius, Elaeocarpales Berchtold & J. Presl, Huales Doweld, Tremandrales Martius

HUACEAE A. Chevalier


Evergreen, woody (lianes); ellagic acid?; hairs stellate or peltate (unequally 2-armed); cork?; cambium storying?; vessel elements with simple (scalariform) perforations; phloem with broad rays; cristarque cells +; petiole vasculature complex; stomata paracytic, cuticle waxes 0; leaves two-ranked, lamina margins entire, glands +, basal on margin or on abaxial surface, (strong vein pair from the very base); inflorescence axillary, fasciculate; (flowers 4-merous); K valvate or completely connate, C clawed or strongly obovate; pollen porate; nectary?; G [5], unilocular, placentation basal, style +, stigma punctate; ovules 1, (4-)6, micropyle?; fruit a ?septicidal capsule or drupe, pericarp with stony layer in middle; seed 1; testa with vascular bundles, (hairy - Hua), exotegmen of lignified palisade cells; endosperm copious, ?development, cotyledons flattened; n = ?

2[list]/3. Tropical Africa (map: from Trop. Afr. Fl. Pl. Ecol. Distr. 1. 2003).

Chemistry, Morphology, etc. Hua has long-clawed petals with a peltate blade, unremarkable anthers, a single ovule, and the fruit is a capsule; Afrostyrax has strongly obovate petals, aristate anthers dehiscing from the apex, and the fruit is a drupe.

For additional information, see Heywood et al. (2007: general), Baas (1972: anatomy) and Hegnauer (1989: a little chemistry).

The family is poorly known, especially its chemistry and floral development/embryology.

Previous Relationships. The family has been of uncertain position in the past, being included in Malvales (e.g. Baas 1972; Takhtajan 1997), in the more heterogeneous Violales (Cronquist 1981), and hardly unsurprisingly less out of place there, or left unplaced in the rosids by A.P.G. I and II (1999, 2003).

[[Connaraceae + Oxalidaceae] [Cunoniaceae [Elaeocarpaceae [Brunelliaceae + Cephalotaceae]]]]: vessel element type?; mucilage cells +; stomata ?; leaves compound, odd-pinnate, tri-, or unifolioliate; nectary extrastaminal; styluli +, stigma secretory; micropyle bistomal; testa multiplicative, endotesta crystalliferous and palisade, exotegmen also tracheidal.

Age. The age of this node was estimated as (74-)69, 62-(57) m.y. (two penalized likelihood dates: Hengchang Wang et al. 2009). Wikström et al. (2001) suggested an age of some (80-)77, 72(-69) m.y., Magallón and Castillo (2009) an age of ca 90.5 m.y., Bell et al. (2010) ages of (78-)64, 59(-44) m.y., and Tank et al. (2015: Table S1, S2) ages of around 63.8 to 58.9 m. years.

Chemistry, Morphology, etc. Leaf development in this clade would repay attention. Oxalis regnelli has peltately-palmate compound leaves, leaves of Cephalotus are epiascidiate (Kim et al. 2013; Franck 1976).

[Connaraceae + Oxalidaceae]: plant construction sympodial; benzoquinone rapanone +, ellagic acid 0; roots diarch [lateral roots 4-ranked]; vessel elements with simple perforations; wood rays uniseriate; sieve tube plastids with protein crystalloids; calcium oxalate druses 0; cuticle wax platelets as rosettes; leaves pinnate, leaflets articulated, pulvinate, margins entire, secondary veins pinnate to palmate, stipules 0; flowers di- and tristylous, pedicels articulated; C postgenitally subbasally united, with uniseriate glandular hairs; A obdiplostemonous, in two whorls of different lengths, connate basally, (5, with antepetalous A staminodial), with uniseriate glandular hairs; (pollen colpate); G opposite C; (stigma with rounded multicellular ornamentations); ovules with endothelium; K persistent in fruit; exotesta ± fleshy.

Chemistry, Morphology, etc. Sieve tube plastids may have protein crystalloids + starch [Connaraceae], crystalloids + fibres + starch [both], or crystalloids alone [Oxalis].

For the androecium, see Ronse De Craene and Bull-Hereñu (2016).

CONNARACEAE R. Brown, nom. cons.   Back to Oxalidales


Shrubs or lianes, scrambling or twining, (trees); hairs uniseriate, submesifixed or not; wood commonly siliceous or with SiO2 grains; (nodes 5:5, 7:7); petiole bundles?; stomata variable; leaves two-ranked or spiral, (unifoliolate); (plants dioecious); (flowers 4-merous); (K connate); (nectary 0); (androgynophore +); A connate or not; tapetal cells binucleate; G separate, 1 (3) 5 (7, 8), (stipitate), placentation near-basal, stigmas capitate, ?type; ovules 2/carpel, collateral, apotropous, funicle 0, (micropyle exostomal), outer integument 5-15 cells across, inner integument 3-5 cells across, parietal tissue 1-3 cells across, chalazal columnar; postament ± +; fruit a follicle (also dehiscing abaxially; drupe), wall expanding early, often only one carpel developing, K ± indurated; seed 1 (2), large; testa vascularized, black, sarcoexotesta ± developed, exotesta various, inc. palisade (lignified), tegmen multiplicative; endosperm 0 to abundant, oily; n = 14, 16.

12[list]/180: Connarus (80), Rourea (40-70). Pantropical, especially Africa and Old World (map: from Leenhouts 1958; Forero 1983; Trop. Afr. Fl. Pl. Ecol. Distr. 6. 2011). [Photo - Flower, Fruit.]

Age. Fossil wood ca 65 m.y.o. with distinctive radial tubules in the ray cells arranged in a herringbone pattern has been collected in the Deccan Traps and named Connaroxylon dimorphum (Baas et al. 2017).

Evolution: Divergence & Distribution. The oldest fossil wood attributed to climbing Connaraceae is ca 19 m.y.o. and from Panama (Jud & Nelson 2017).

Seed Dispersal. For myxospermy, reported from three genera, see Grubert (1974).

Chemistry, Morphology, etc. The plants are often poisonous. The cuticle waxes of Connaraceae are similar to those of Fabaceae-Fabales (Ditsch & Barthlott 1994). Growth is rarely sylleptic (Keller 1994).

There are often five traces to each carpel. The ovules may be straight or anatropous. Number of nuclei in pollen?

There is much useful information in Schellenberg (1910), Jongkind and Lemmens (1989) and Lemmens et al. (2004); see Ronse De Craene and Bull-Hereñu (2016: androecium), Mauritzon (1939a) described ovule morphology, Dickison (1971a) carpel anatomy. However, the family is not well known.

Phylogeny. Z.-D. Chen et al. (2016) found that the clade [Connarus + Rourea glabra] was sister to the rest of the family; Rourea was polyphyletic.

Synonymy: Cnestidaceae Rafinesque

OXALIDACEAE R. Brown, nom. cons.   Back to Oxalidales


Trees to herbs (vines); tannins +; petiole bundle(s) annular (with medullary bundles); mucilage cells?; juice acrid because of soluble calcium oxalate accumulation; leaves spiral (two-ranked), (simple; peltately palmate), (stipules +, small), colleters + [Oxalis]; inflorescence cymose; C contorted, often clawed; nectaries often glands opposite petals; anthers extrorse; G [(3-)5], styluli +, stigmas spathulate/capitate; ovules (1-)2-many/carpel, (micropyle zig-zag; exostomal), outer integument 3-5 cells across, inner integument 3-5(-6) cells across, parietal tissue often 0; (megaspore mother cells several), (embryo sac bisporic, 8-celled), antipodals degenerate; fruit a ± ribbed/angled capsule or berry; seed (arillate), (subruminate), (explosive); testa (not multiplicative), often mucilaginous, (endotesta walls thickened; not palisade), (exotegmen 2-layered), testa and tegmen less differentiated when fruit a berry, or tegmen 0 (Biophytum); endosperm +, starchy (±0, embryo chlorophyllous - some Oxalis); n = (5-)7(-12).

6[list]/770: Oxalis (700), Biophytum (50). Usu. tropical or subtropical: species like Oxalis corniculata are very weedy and widespread (map: from Hultén 1958, 1971; Hultén & Fries 1986; Lourteig 2000 and references; Trop. Afr. Fl. Pl. Ecol. Distr. 1. 2003; GBIF Biophytum vii.2008; FloraBase vii.2008). [Photo - Flower.]

Age. Crown Oxalidaceae were dated to (56-)52, 43(-39) m.y. (Wikström et al. 2001). A rather older age for stem Oxalis (i.e. crown Oxalidaceae) of (62.3-)56(-49.2) m.y. was suggested by by Heibl and Renner (2012), and the estimate in Bell et al. (2010) was (52-)37, 34(-22) m. years.

Evolution: Divergence & Distribution. It is estimated that divergence within Oxalis began (55.2-)48.6(42.3) m.y.a., possibly in South America (Heibl & Renner 2012, q.v. for other dates within the genus); African Oxalis has its origin in South America (see also Oberlander et al. 2011), indeed, Oxalis is most diverse there. Oxalis in the Cape region is a major element of the geophytic flora (Procheŝ et al. 2006); of the some 210 species in southern Africa, about 180 grow in the Greater Cape floristic region. Diversification of Oxalis in the Fynbos began about (31-)15.75 m.y.a., that in the Succulent Karoo some (20-)10 m.y.a. (Verboom et al. 2009). All have tunicate bulbs, some species having very distinctive methods of vegetative reproduction and perennation, and they show more vegetative than floral variation (Oberlander et al. 2009).

Oxalis is particularly diverse in drier parts of southern South America, with some 54 species known from Chile alone. Here the genus seems to have moved into drier habitats over a period of years. There have been 6-8 invasions of the alpine habitate alone, but with no obvious major radiations there or correlation of the origins of those clades with the uplift of the Andes; one clade is predominantly to be found in the hyperarid Atacacama desert (Heibl & Renner 2012). However, the O. tuberosa alliance seems to have radiated along the Andes (Emshwiller & Doyle 2002), perhaps as little as 10-6 m.y.a. (Heibl & Renner 2012). New World species that are bulbous have scaly bulbs, or fleshy scales are borne along a rhizome; these scales may be equivalent to stipules or to whole leaves (Emshwiller et al. 2009). There are few other non-monocot bulbous taxa. Some species are shrubs to vines.

Pollination Biology & Seed Dispersal. There has been parallel evolution of distyly from tristyly within the New World bulbous species of Oxalis, and distyly is particularly common in a North American clade (Gardner et al. 2012).

The mucilaginous testa is often mistaken for an aril; the turgor pressure that builds up in it forces the rest of the seed out explosively, rather like squeezing a grape pip (for myxospermy, see Grubert 1974).

Genes & Genomes. Diploid plants with x = 5 had far larger genomes that polyploid clade with x = 6 in a group of Oxalis (Vaio et al. 2013).

Economic Importance. For Oxalis tuberosa (oca) and its relatives, see Emswhiller (2002).

Chemistry, Morphology, etc. Averrhoa is rather different from other members of the family. It has sieve tube plastids with protein crystalloids + fibres and starch, the ovules are weakly but definitely crassinucellate (but there is an endothelium) (Boesewinkel 1985b; Chung & Lim 1998), and the testa is multiplicative (Corner 1976). The leaves of Averrhoa carambola are two-ranked; the two species of the genus differ considerably in how they grow (Keller 1994).

The pollen of Oxalidaceae often contains starch. Link (1992a) describes the nectary glands as being opposite the calyx, but they are opposite the corolla at the bases of the filaments (e.g. Rama Devi 1991).

Some information is taken from Govindappa and Boriah (1956), Herr and Dowd (1968), L. L. Narayana (1970), and Rosenfeldt and Galati (2012), all embryology, etc., Robertson (1975: general) and Cocucci (2004: general); for cork position, see Averrhoa bilimbi. See Lourteig (2000 and references) for extensive monographic work on Oxalis.

Phylogeny. Heibl and Renner (2012) found the relationships [Oxalis [Biophytum [Dapania [Averrhoa + Sarcotheca]]]] in the family, M. Sun et al. (2016) the relationships [Oxalis [Sarcotheca [Dapania + Averrhoa]]].

Oberlander et al. (2004, esp. 2011) discuss relationships within some southern African species of Oxalis. The ca 210 African species of the genus, all bulbous and largely from the Cape region, form a clade with small, basal pectinations and then two major subclades (Oberlander et al. 2011). For a preliminary phylogeny of the genus as a whole, see Emshwiller et al. (2009).

Previous Relationships. Cronquist (1981) placed Oxalidaceae in Geraniales, and he included Hypseocharis (here Geraniaceae-Geraniales), Lepidobotrys (Lepidobotryaceae-Celastrales) and Dirachma (Dirachmaceae-Rosales) in the family.

Synonymy: Averrhoaceae Hutchinson.

[Cunoniaceae [Elaeocarpaceae [Brunelliaceae + Cephalotaceae]]]: K valvate, postgenitally coherent by hairs, (C fringed/lobed); (antepetalous A shorter than the others).

Age. Estimates for the age of this node are (70-)66, 64(-60) m.y. (Wikström et al. 2001) or (64-)50, 46(-34) m.y. (Bell et al. 2010). Ages for all family noeds range between 81.8 and 76.4 m.y. in Tank et al. (2015: Table S1, S2), but the topology differs from that here - and the MRCA of Elaeocarpaceae and [Cephalotaceae + Cunoniaceae] is dated at around 38.2 m.y. (Table S1)...

Platydiscus peltatus (Schönenberger et al. 2001a; Schönenberger & von Balthazar 2006), perhaps a member of Cunoniaceae, has been used to date the crown age of this clade (i.e. as stem Cunoniaceae) at (84.2-)83.5(82.8) m.y. (see Heibl & Renner 2012).

CUNONIACEAE R. Brown, nom. cons.   Back to Oxalidales


Woody, branching from the current flush; plants often Al-accumulators; ellagic acid + or 0 [Bauera, Eucryphia]; wood with crystals; vessel elements with (simple to) mixed or scalariform perforation plates; sieve tubes with non-dispersive protein bodies; young stem with vascular cylinder; (nodes 1:3 [Bauera], 5:5; split laterals; etc.); petiole bundles (arcuate) annular (adaxial or medullary bundles +); stomata variable; leaves opposite, (palmate), leaflet margins gland-toothed, 2ndaries proceeding to the teeth, or not, (stipels +), stipule single, interpetiolar, rounded, (acicular), (2, cauline-intrapetiolar - Lamanonia; 1, intrapetiolar), colleters +; flowers rather small, (4-)5(-10)-merous; C (0), ± = K in size (large), (margin notched/toothed); A 5 (opposite C - Spiraeanthemum), 10 (obdiplostemonous), (-many, centripetal, with trunk bundles), (anthers basifixed; not articulated), (apical connective developed)filaments incurved in bud, often longer than the petals; tapetal cells binucleate; pollen dicolp(or)ate; (nectary +); G (?1-(Hooglandia)[2 (3-)5(-many)] (free), (inferior), opposite petals [?always], placentae intruding, styluli common, (style hollow), stigmas punctate to capitate or decurrent; ovules (1-)2 epitropous erect -many pleurotropous/carpel, micropyle various, inc. zig-zag, outer integument 2-3 cells across, inner integument 4-5 cells across, parietal tissue 1-5 cells across, (nucellar cap 2 cells across), chalaza ± columnar, massive; obturator +; archesporium multicellar, postament ± +; fruit a septicidal capsule, or follicle (drupe); exotestal and endotegmic cells tangentially elongated; endosperm (0), starchy (not Davidsonia); n = (12, 14-)16.

29[list]/280: Weinmannia (160), Pancheria (26). Largely temperate and tropical S. hemisphere, few African (map: from Good 1974). [Photo - Flower, Flower.]

Age. Fossil flowers of Platydiscus peltatus from the Late Cretaceous of Sweden ca 83 m.y.a. seem assignable to this family (Schönenberger et al. 2001a; Friis et al. 2011). The stamens are obdiplostemonous and no longer than the petals, which are elliptic, concave, with narrow bases and peltate hairs on the outside; the placentation looks very intrusive parietal, with the placentae shaped like arrow-heads. Flowers from Burmese amber dated at 110-97 m.y. old (Tropidogyne: K 5, spreading, A 10, G [3], inferior, styluli spreading) look rather like those of Ceratopetalum (Chambers et al. 2010), while C. edgardoromeroi, from 52 m.y.o. deposits in Argentinian Patagonia, has been placed in crown-group Ceratopetalum (Gandolfo & Hermsen 2017).

Evolution: Divergence & Distribution. Fruits of Ceratopetalum (Schizomerieae), currently known only from New Guinea-Australia, are reported from the early Eocene of the Laguna del Hunco, Argentinia (Merkhofer et al. 2015; Gandolfo & Hermsen 2017); for other "southern" fossils, see Kooyman et al. (2014).

Chemistry, Morphology, etc. There are numerous lignified cells in the bark of Cunoniaceae. That Bauera has 1:3 nodes may be connected with the fact that it sometimes lacks stipules, however, there is considerable vegetative variation in the genus: When the leaves are trifoliate, there are no stipules; when the leaves are simple, the stipules are foliaceous. Eucryphia and other Cunoniaceae have very small sieve tube plastids, those of the former have protein inclusions only and are about the smallest known (Behnke 1988b). The leaf teeth have a glandular apex: the lower branch of the main vein goes into the tooth, the other proceeds above it. Nodal anatomy is variable, as is stipule development; single interpetiolar stipules may be paired as primordia (Rutishauser & Dickison 1989).

The flowers in an inflorescence often open almost simultaneously (Bradford & Barnes 2001) and sometimes centrifugally. The nectary varies in position from extrastaminal to intrastaminal. The pollen grains are typically very small. Cunonia has two oblique carpels (Engler 1930b). There are often five traces to each carpel. The endosperm is described as being oily by Cronquist (1981) and Mabberley (1997), but starchy by Hopkins and Hoogland (2002) and Bradford et al. (2004). It is not clear how common pachychalazal seeds are (see Doweld 1998a).

Dickison (1989b) and Bradford et al. (2004) provide general information; see also Jay (1968b) for chemistry, Hufford and Dickison (1992) for morphology, Gregory (1998) and Wilkinson (1998) for general anatomy, Dickison (1980a) for wood anatomy, Dickison (1980b) and Rutishauser and Dickison (1989) for nodal anatomy, Rutishauser and Dickison (1989) and Dickison and Rutishauser (1990) for stipules, Dickison (1975a) for floral anatomy of Bauera and Dickison (1975b) for that of other Cunoniaceae, Mathews et al. (2001), Schönenberger et al. (2001a) Moody and Hufford (2000b: Davidsonia) and Rozefelds and Barnes (2002: Ceratopetalum) for floral morphology, etc., Mauritzon (1939a) for ovules and Dickison (1984) for fruits and seeds.

Phylogeny. Morphological phylogenetic analyses of Cunoniaceae in the old sense, i.e. including Aphanopetalum (now Saxifragales), do not signal the latter out as being anything particularly distinctive (Hufford & Dickison 1992; Orozco Pardo 2002). Morgan and Soltis (1993) early associated Baueraceae and Cunoniaceae. Sweeney et al. (2004) placed the distinctive and then recently-discovered Hooglandia firmly within the family. The clade [Acsmithia + Spiraeanthemum] (for which, see Pillon et al. 2009) was sister to the rest of the family (see also Bradford & Barnes 2001; Hopkins et al. 2013: tree rooted by the latter genus). They have follicular fruits and vessel elements with scalariform perforation plates, but both features occur elsewhere in the family. Bauera, Davidsonia and Hooglandia are probably all close to the base of the tree (Hopkins et al. 2013), although exactly which of these genera, their immediate relationships, and with what support depended on the method of analysis. Bradford (2002) discussed evolution in Cunonieae.

Synonymy: Baueraceae Lindley, Belangeraceae J. Agardh, Callicomaceae J. Agardh, Davidsoniaceae Bange, Eucryphiaceae Gay, nom. cons., Spiraeanthemaceae Doweld

[Elaeocarpaceae [Brunelliaceae + Cephalotaceae]]: K/P valvate; inner integument 3-5 cells across.

ELAEOCARPACEAE Jussieu, nom. cons.   Back to Oxalidales


Trees to shrubs; pyrrolizidine and tropane alkaloids, etc., ellagic acid +; growth rings common; vessel elements in radial multiples and with simple (scalariform) perforations; fibres often septate; petiole bundle annular, often with medullary (and wing) bundles; (epidermis mucilaginous), stomata anomo- para-, actino- or cyclocytic; leaves spiral or opposite (two-ranked), simple, lamina vernation variable, margins toothed (entire), secondary veins pinnate or palmate, stipules lateral (0), (colleters +); inflorescence racemose or cymose or flowers axillary; flowers pendant, (4-merous), pedicels articulated (not); K (4-9), (connate), (± petal-like), C (3-6), aestivation (induplicate-)valvate (cochlear), margins fringed/toothed (entire), with three traces; nectary large, androgynophore + (0); A ([1] 2 x K) many, centrifugal, (± in groups opposite sepals), anthers basifixed, filaments shorter than anthers, anthers tubular-porose or with short apical slits, (connective prolonged), with lignified hairs; G [2-9], placenta various, lignified hairs in the loculi, style single, stigma ± punctate; ovules 1-many/carpel, (epitropous), ± hairy, micropyle zig-zag, outer integument 2-6 cells across, inner integument 3-7 cells across, parietal tissue 3-4 cells across, nucellar cap 0, endothelium + (?0), (hypostase +), (long supra-chalazal zone), (curved chalazal appendage +); (megaspore mother cells several); fruit a loculicidal capsule (loculicidal + septicidal), or drupe (berry); when capsules, seeds with chalazal, raphal or "integumentary aril", or apical chalazal strophiole, or sarcotesta; testal cells ± elongated, thickened and lignified, (endotesta not crystalliferous), tegmen with vascular bundles, (multiplicative), (endotegmen lignified); endosperm ± copious, oily, embryo chlorophyllous [1 record].

12[list]/605. Tropical, not mainland Africa, southern (warm) temperate (map: from Vester 1940; van Balgooy 1993: for early Caenozoic fosssils [green], see Manchester & Kvacek 2009).

Age. The age of this node has been estimated at (63-)59, 56(-52) m.y. (Wikström et al. 2001). Other estimates are (55-)42, 38(-27) m.y. (Bell et al. 2010) or much older, (126-)118(-110) m.y.o (Crayn et al. 2006).

1. Sloaneeae Endlicher

(C 0 - Sloanea); style ± branched or not; capsule spiny; (seedling leaves compound/deeply lobed); n = 14.

3/160: Sloanea (150). Indo-Malesia-Australasia, Madagsacar, Tropical (temperate South) America. [Photo - Fruit.]

Age. Crown-group Sloaneeae are estimated to be (95-)89(-83) m.y.o. (Crayn et al. 2006).

Synonymy: Aristoteliaceae Dumortier

2. Elaeocarpeae Bartling

([Ericoid] shrublets; (nodes 1:1); (indumentum stellate); (endothecium of stone cells - Elaeocarpus); (style branched); (inner integument -17 cells across - Tremandra et al.); (fruit a drupe); (seeds hairy - esp. Tremandra, etc.); endosperm initially starchy [Tremandra, etc.]), embryo (short), (curved - Sericolea, some Elaeocarpus); n = 12, 15, 21.

9/445: Elaeocarpus (350), Tetratheca (50). Indo-Malesia-Australasia, Madagsacar, southern South America. [Photo - Flower ]

Age. Crown-group Elaeocarpeae are (110-)103(-96) m.y.o. (Crayn et al. 2006).

Synonymy: Tetrathecaceae R. Brown, Tremandraceae Candolle, nom. cons.

Evolution: Divergence & Distribution. Fruits and leaves identified as Sloanea are known quite widely from the early Palaeocene (late Danian) onwards (Kvacek et al. 2001b), and the family may also occur in North America in the Late Cretaceous (Manchester & Kvacek 2009).

Crayn et al. (2006) discussed the biogeography of the family, finding substantial dispersal in its history. Divergence of the distinctive xeromorphic Australian Tremandra et al. clade occurred some (42-)29, 26(-15) m.y.a. (Bell et al. 2010) or 64 m.y.a., diversification within it beginning some 37 m.y.a. (Crayn et al. 2006). Crayn et al. (2006) emphasized this diversification in the context of the drier habitats to which Tremandra et al. became adapted (see also Donoghue & Edwards 2014), however, its rain-forest sister taxon, Elaeocarpus et al., contains about two thirds of the diversity in the family...

Pollination Biology & Seed Dispersal. The more or less porose anthers and pendulous flowers suggest buzz pollination, but nectar is sometimes produced; buzz pollination is indeed likely, but observations are few (Coode 2004).

The blue colour of the fruits of Elaeocarpus are not caused by pigments, but by the structure of the epidermis (D. W. Lee 1991).

Genes & Genomes. Although there seems to have been elevated molecular divergence in the Tremandra et al. clade, it is distinctly less speciose than its sister clade, which includes Elaeocarpus, by far the largest genus in the family (Crayn et al. 2006).

Chemistry, Morphology, etc. The corolla is more or less (induplicate-)valvate, at least near its insertion, each petal enclosing a group of stamens, and the corolla is larger than the calyx in advanced bud (it is usually smaller in rosids). There are lignified hairs on the insides of the ovary loculi. These and many other similarities strongly link the old Tremandraceae and Elaeocarpaceae (Matthews & Endress 2002a).

Leaf teeth have a single vein running to an opaque (non)glandular deciduous apex. Juvenile leaves of Sloanea may be pinnate. The sepals may be more or less petaloid and the petals can vary considerably in width within the same flower; in some species they are connate. The androecium is very variable, and sometimes, when there are many stamens, they are clearly fasciculate; Venkata Rao (1953a) suggested that in Elaeocarpus there were antesepalous groups of stamens and single antepetalous stamens. Seeds and fruits are also very variable. Some species of Elaeocarpus have curved embryos.

See Coode (2004) for a general account, for information on wood anatomy, see Gasson (1996), embryology, see Mauritzon (1934f) and Venkata Rao (1953b), and on seed anatomy, etc., of Tremandraceae from Boeswinkel (1999: similarity with that of Linaceae noted).

Phylogeny. In Bradford and Barnes (2001) monophyly of Elaeocarpaceae was not established, but sampling in that part of Oxalidales was poor. However, monophyly is strongly supported in the more detailed analysis of Crayn et al. (2006: 88% bootstrap, 99% p.p.). The well-supported clade [Sloanea [Vallea + Aristotelia]] was sister to the rest of the family, [Crinodendron + Peripentadenia] and Dubouzetia perhaps being successively sister to [old Tremandraceae + [Sericolea, Aceratium, Elaeocarpus]], but there was little resolution of this latter group, nor was Elaeocarpus clearly monophyletic (see also M. Sun et al. 2016).

Previous Relationships. Elaeocarpaceae were previously usually placed either in (Cronquist 1981) or adjacent to (Takhtajan 1997) Malvales, but there are numerous differences (e.g. absence of mucilage, indumentum type). Tremandraceae have long been of very uncertain position, for example, they were placed in Rosidae-Vochysiales (Takhtajan 1997) or Pittosporales (Cronquist 1981).

[Brunelliaceae + Cephalotaceae]: inflorescence cymose; P uniseriate; A 2 x P, obdiplostemonos; G free, styles recurved, stigma decurrent; ovules ca 2/carpel, basal; fruit a follicle.

Evolution: Divergence & Distribution. An odd couple, but Cephalotaceae will make strange bed-fellows wherever they go. See Matthews and Endress (2006b) for other characters possibly linking the two.

BRUNELLIACEAE Engler, nom. cons.   Back to Oxalidales


Woody; chemistry?; cork?; vessel elements with simple and scalariform perforations; (nodes 5:5); petiole bundles annular or D-shaped, wing bundles +/0; stomata actinocyclic (anomocytic); hairs unicellular; leaves opposite, stipellate, leaflet vernation conduplicate, 2ndaries prominent, proceeding to the (doubly toothed) margin, stipules cauline; breeding system various; flowers small, 4-8-merous; A (3 x P); pollen reticulate(-rugulate) to punctate; nectary +; G 2-8, carpels also alternating with C; ovules 2/carpel, epitropous, inner integument ca 4 cells across, obturator +; endocarp separating from the rest in fruit, K persistent; seeds shiny, raphe ± aril-like; testa with subepidermal sclerenchymatous layer and palisade innermost layer; endosperm mealy, cotyledons ?incumbent; n = 14.

1[list]/55. Central and South America and the Antilles; more or less montane (map: from Cuatrecasas 1970; note that Orozco Pardo 2002 does not include the easterly locations in South America). [Photo - Flower, Fruit.]

Chemistry, Morphology, etc. The nodes are described as being unilacunar (Orozco Pardo 2002; Orozco & Coba 2002), but there is some confusion here, and some nodes illustrated by Orozco Pardo (2002) certainly do not look unilacunar.

The inner androecial whorl may have twice as many stamens as perianth members. There are pistillodes in staminate flowers and staminodes in carpellate flowers. The ovules are epitropous, unlike those of most Cunoniaceae. Pollen morphology is uninformative (Orozco 2001b). There are often five traces to each carpel. Orozco Pardo (2002) described the seeds as being arillate.

For general information, see Cuatrecasas (1970, 1985), Orozco Pardo (2002) and Kubitzki (2004b), for anatomy, Gregory (1998) and Orozco and Coba (2002), and for seed coat (which needs more study), Naranho and Huber (1971) and Danilova (1996).

Phylogeny. Orozco Pardo (2002) provides a morphology-based species level phylogeny of Brunelliaceae, together with comments on the biogeography of the genus.

CEPHALOTACEAE Dumortier, nom. cons.   Back to Oxalidales


Herbs, carnivorous [insectivorous]; flavanols and ellagic acid +, tannin 0; cork?; vessel elements with ?scalariform perforations; true tracheids +; young stem with separate vascular bundles; nodes ?1:1; petiole bundles annular; stomata anomocytic; leaves spiral, simple, margins entire, some ascidiate, pitcher opening towards the base of the leaf, lid at apex of petiole, stipules 0; inflorescence scapose, branches scorpioid cymes; flowers 6-merous, hypanthium +, broad; P apex incurved-cucullate; nectary with glandular projections, esp. alternating with P; anthers ± incurved, anther connective with a glandular tip; G 6, carpels plicate, loculi filled with secretion, styles initially straight; ovules 1(2)/carpel, ?type, micropyle bi/endostomal, inner integument 3-5 cells across; hypanthium accrescent in fruit; seed coat mostly collapsed, exotesta papillate; endosperm development?, slight, embryo long, cotyledons accumbent; n = 10.

1[list]/1: Cephalotus follicularis. S.W. Australia (map: from FloraBase viii.2012). [Photo - Habit, Plant © H. Schneider.]

Evolution. Ecology & Physiology. There are nectar glands in the mouth of the pitcher which may faciltate the capture of insects (Bauer et al. 2008); Cephalotus produces enzymes in the pitcher (Peroutka et al. 2008b; Adlassnig et al. 2011). The digestive enzymes involved seem to be coopted stress-responsive and pathogenesis-related proteins, as is the case in other carnivorous plants, both with pitchers (e.g. Sarraceniaceae) and gland-headed hairs (Droseraceae) (Fukushima et al. 2017 and references).

Genes & Genomes. Long-terminal repeat retrotransposons make up three quarters of the nuclear genome (Fukushima et al. 2017).

Chemistry, Morphology, etc. The pitchers of Cephalotus are upside down compared with those of Nepenthes and Sarracenia, both of which open towards the apex of the leaf. For leaf development, see Franck (1976) and Froebe and Baur (1988: the trap ad a modified pinnate leaf). Plants can be propagated from leaf cutttings, but it is unclear whether roots, etc., develop from stem tissue at the base of the petiole or from the leaf proper.

Some information is taken from Diels (1930a), Conran (2004), the Carnivorous Plants Database, also Lloyd (1942), Juniper et al. (1989), McPherson (2010) and Lowrie (2013: vol. 1), all general; see also Jay and Lebreton (1973: chemistry), Carlquist (1981c: related to Saxifragaceae) and Gregory (1998), both anatomy, Ronse De Craene and Bull-Hereñu (2016: androecium), and Danilova (1996: seeds).

Previous Relationships. Cephalotaceae were included in a heterogeneous Rosales by Cronquist (1981) where they were surrounded by families now included in Saxifragales; Cephalotales immediately followed Saxifragales in the system of Takhtajan (1997).