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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 4/5/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 4/5/2013)
Family BURSERACEAE
Contributor DUNCAN M. PORTER
Description Trees or shrubs, resin ducts present in the inner bark. Leaves alternate, usually odd-pinnate, deciduous or persistent; stipules usually absent. Inflorescences axil- lary to rarely terminal cymose panicles or racemes; plants mostly dioecious. Flowers small, regular, hypogynous, 3-5-merous, usually functionally unisexual; sepals 3-5, connate at least basally, imbricate or valvate, persistent; petals 3-5, free or rarely connate into a tube, imbricate or valvate; stamens 6-10, in 1-2 whorls, usually sterile in carpellate flowers, the filaments usually free, inserted below or rarely on the disc, the anthers 2-loculed, versatile, introrse, longitudi- nally dehiscent; disc intrastaminal or rarely extrastaminal, nectariferous; gynoecium 2-5-carpelled, syncarpous, the ovary 2-5-lobed and -loculed, usually rudimen- tary in staminate flowers, the ovules 2 per locule, anatropous, epitropous, placen- tation axile, the style 1, usually short, the stigma 2-5-lobed. Fruits more or less drupaceous, the pericarp coriaceous to fleshy, ultimately dehiscent by 2-5 valves; pyrenes 1-5, usually 1-seeded; endosperm absent, the embryo usually straight, the cotyledons contortuplicate or flat, usually lobed, the radicle superior. A family of about 20 genera and 600 species, reaching its greatest develop- ment in tropical America, Malaysia, and northwestern Africa. Four genera are known from Panama. Also to be expected from Darien is the genus Dacryodes Vahl, the American species of which have been revised by Cuatrecasas (Trop. Woods 106: 46-65. 1957). The evergreen trees of this genus have unisexual 3-tnerous flowers with 3 connate sepals, 3 free petals, 6 stamens with connivent anthers, and a 2-3-loculed ovary; the fruit is drupaceous, with a single large pyrene, it is "oblong-ovoid or ellipsoid, with a glabrous, carnose, corrugate pericarp when dry, with a rather thin corneous or cartilaginous endocarp, apical stigma and digitate and folded cotyledons" (Cuatrecasas, op. cit., p. 47).
Habit Trees or shrubs
Note Bark, leaves, and fruits of all members of the family contain fragrant resins that lead many collectors to comment upon the turpentine-like odors of their specimens.
Reference Brizicky, G. K. The genera of Simaroubaceae and Burseraceae in the South- eastern United States. Jour. Arnold Arbor. 43: 173-186. 1962. Cuatrecasas, J. Prima flora colombiana. I. Burseraceae. Webbia 12: 375- 441. 1957. Swart, J. J. A monograph of the genus Protium and some allied genera. Rec. Trav. Bot. Neerl. 39: 211-446. 1942.
Key a. Petals free. b. Ovary 2-3-lobed and -loculed, the stigma 2-3-lobed; pyrenes 1 (rarely 2) per fruit on the same plant .......................1 . Bursera bb. Ovary 4-5-lobed and -loculed, the stigma 4-5-lobed; pyrenes 1-2(-5) per fruit on the same plant .............................. 2. Protium aa. Petals connate below to form a tube. c. Sepals and petals 4-5 .............. ................ 3. Tetragastris cc. Sepals and petals 3 .............................. 4. Trattinnickia
 
 
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