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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 4/2/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 4/2/2013)
Family ZYGOPHYLLACEAE
Contributor DUNCAN M. PORTER
Description Annual to perennial, often suffrutescent, herbs, shrubs, or occasionally trees; branches usually divaricate, with angled or swollen nodes, growth sympodial. Leaves opposite or occasionally alternate, usually even-pinnate, occasionally simple or 2-foliolate, rarely 3-7-foliolate, often fleshy to coriaceous, petiolate to subsessile, persistent; leaflets usually entire, inequilateral, petiolulate to subsessile; stipules paired, free, foliaceous, fleshy, or spinescent, persistent or rarely deciduous. Flowers (4-)5(-6)-merous, bisexual, hypogynous, regular or occasionally slightly irregular; peduncles terminal or pseudaxillary, 1-flowered, solitary or occasionally few to many; sepals (4-)5(-6), free or rarely slightly connate basally, imbricate, persistent or occasionally deciduous; petals (4-) 5 (-6), free or rarely connate basally, often clawed, sometimes twisted, imbricate or convolute, deciduous, rarely marcescent; extrastaminal and/or intrastaminal disc usually present; stamens in (1-)2(-3) whorls of 5 each, outer whorl usually opposite petals, often alternately unequal in length or sterile, the filaments free, subulate to filiform or rarely winged, frequently glandular or appendaged basally, occasionally outer whorl basally adnate to petals, inserted on or below disc, the anthers 2-loculed, sub- basifixed to versatile, introrse, longitudinally dehiscent; gynoecium (2-)5-carpelled, syncarpous, superior, (2-)5(-12)-lobed and -loculed, sessile or rarely on a short gynophore, the ovules (1-)2-many per locule, pendulous or ascending, anatropous, placentation axile or rarely basal, the style terminal, usually simple, the stigma minutely and obscurely lobed to distinctly ridged. Fruit a (2-)5-lobed loculicidal or septicidal capsule or a schizocarp splitting lengthwise into 5 or 10(-12) hard tubercled to spiny or winged mericarps, rarely a drupe or a drupaceous berry; seeds 1 (-many) per locule, endosperm present or absent.
Habit herbs, shrubs, or trees
Distribution A family of about 27 genera and 250 species, widely distributed, but mainly in the warmer, drier regions of the world.
Note Two genera, Kallstroemia Scop. and Tribulus L., have been collected in Panama. Guaiacum sanctum L., from the northern Caribbean, is cultivated in Balboa, while G. officinale L., from the south- ern Caribbean, is cultivated in Panama City and the Canal Zone. The latter also has been reported from Bocas del Toro Province by Allen (Ceiba 10: 35-36, 1964). Although specimens of Guaiacum collected in the wild have not been seen from Panama, the genus is included in the key to genera, as G. officinale may occur along the Caribbean coast. Both Guaiacum officinale (guayacdn, iron wood, lignum vitae) and G. sanctum (guayacan, lignum vitae) are widely cultivated in the tropics for their globose growth habits and myriads of blue or purple flowers. Their wood is very hard, tough, and resinous, and G. officinale, in particular, has been used to a con- siderable extent in the manufacture of small turned objects and stern bearings for ships.
Key a. Herbs; flowers yellow, stamens unappendaged; fruit a schizocarp separating at maturity into 5-10 mericarps. b. Fruit tubercled, at maturity separating into 10 mericarps, beak persisting; intrastaminal glands absent .......................... 1. Kallstroemia bb. Fruit spiny, at maturity separating into 5 mericarps, beak falling with meri- carps; intrastaminal glands present .......................... 2. Tribulus aa. Trees or shrubs; flowers blue or purple, stamens appendaged; fruit a 2-5-lobed loculicidal capsule ............................... Guaiacum
 
 
 
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