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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 3/14/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 3/14/2013)
Family THEACEAE
Contributor ANDRE ROBYNS
Description Shrubs or small to large trees. Leaves usually alternate, estipulate, simple, often ? coriaceous, the margins entire to serrate, persistent or not. Flowers axil- lary, solitary or fasciculate, rarely in axillary or terminal racemes, usually X, actinomorphic, usually 2-bracteolate; sepals 4-7, free or mostly ? connate at the base, imbricate, often persistent; petals 5, rarely 4-many, imbricate, alterni- or sometimes episepalous, free or connate into a short ring at the base; stamens 5 or 10 or mostly numerous, uni- or many-seriate, free or often united basally, often adnate to the base of the petals, the anthers basifixed or versatile, 2-thecate, longitudinally dehiscent; pollen grains with the exine nearly smooth to finely reticulate; ovary superior, rarely half-inferior or inferior, syncarpous, (1-)2-10- celled, mostly 3- or 5-celled; the ovules (1-)2-oo per cell, axile, pendulous or erect; styles isomerous with the cells of the ovary, distinct or united into one, rarely absent. Fruits capsular, loculicidally dehiscent, with the central columella per- sistent, and with a ligneous or, less frequently, coriaceous pericarp (Camellioideae), or baccate or rarely pomelike, with the pericarp fleshy, coriaceous, or dry (Tern- stroemioideae); seeds 1-oo, small to fairly large, alate or not; endosperm copious or absent; embryo slender to broad, straight or curved or hippocrepiform.
Habit Shrubs trees
Distribution A family of about 30 genera and over 350 species distributed mainly in tropical and subtropical regions of both hemispheres, but not well represented in Africa, and with a few genera and species extending into temperate regions; six genera and seven species, at present, reported from Panama.
Note Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze, the tea plant, native to China and India, is the most important economic plant of the family; the genus Camellia L. and some other genera contribute significant ornamentals from warm climates.
Reference Keng, H. Comparative morphological studies in Theaceae. Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot. 33: 269-384, 7 pl., 30 figs., 1962. Melchior, H. Theaceae in Engler & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. ed. 2, 21: 109- 154, fig. 59-67, 1925.
Key a. Anthers versatile; fruit capsular .................... 1. Laplacea aa. Anthers basifixed; fruit indehiscent. b. Stamens 5; sepals caducous; flowers large; mangroves ............ 2. Pelliciera bb. Stamens more than 5; sepals persistent; flowers small. c. Leaves densely appressed-sericeous beneath; anthers glabrous .... 3. Freziera cc. Leaves glabrous or glabrate, .at least in age. d. Ovary inferior; anthers glabrous .......................... 4. Symplococarpon dd. Ovary superior. e. Anthers setose; petals alternisepalous ..................... 5. Cleyera ee. Anthers glabrous; petals episepalous ........................ 6. Ternstroemia
 
 
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