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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/19/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 7/19/2013)
Family HYPERICACEAE
Contributor NORMAN K. B. ROBSON
Description Trees, shrubs, perennial or annual herbs, or rarely lianas, unarmed, glabrous or with simple, stellate or dendroid hairs, containing various secretions in schizog- enous canals or locules. Leaves opposite, decussate or rarely the upper ones alternate, simple, entire or rarely gland fringed, sessile or petioled, often with translucent glandular dots, lines or with black or red glandular dots; stipules absent, but an interfoliar ridge often present. Inflorescences terminal and sometimes also axillary, rarely wholly axillary or cauliflorous, cymose to thyrsoid or racemose, 1-many-flowered; bracts and bracteoles present at least initially, sometimes reduced to ledges. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, radiate to cupulate or pseudotubular, homostylous or heterodistylous; sepals 5 and quincuncial or rarely 4 and decussate, free or united, imbricate, entire or with the margin variously divided, often glandular, the lamina glandular like the leaves, usually with more glands linear than punctiform, almost always persistent in fruit; petals 5 or rarely 4, free, imbricate (contorted), alternisepalous, entire or with the margin variously divided and often glandular, the lamina usually glandular like the leaves, sometimes with a nectariferous basal appendage, glabrous or adaxially villous, deciduous or persistent; stamen fascicles 5 (4), antepetalous, free or variously united, each with 1-many stamens, the filaments variously united or apparently free, the free part slender, the anthers small, dorsifixed, usually with a gland terminating the connective, 2-thecal with thecae parallel, dehiscing longitudinally; staminodial fascicles 3 or 5 or absent, when present alternating with the stamen fascicles; ovary 1, superior, 3-5-locular or 1-locular with 2-5 parietal placentas, the ovules 1-many on each placenta, anatropous, horizontal or ascending, the styles (2-)3-5, free or united, elongate, slender, the stigmas punctiform to broadly capitate or rarely bifid. Fruit capsular, dehiscing septi- cidally or loculicidally, or baccate or rarely drupaceous with 5 pyrenes; seeds 1-many on each placenta, the testa often sculptured or gland dotted and some- times winged or carinate, exarillate, rarely carunculate, without endosperm; embryo cylindric, straight or curved, the cotyledons longer to shorter than the hypocotyl, straight or rarely convolute.
Habit Trees, shrubs, perennial or annual herbs
Note The Hypericaceae is a family of 8 genera with about 500 species, of which about 400 belong to Hypericum.
Distribution mainly a temperate genus but it occurs in mountains in the tropics. The other genera are wholly tropical in distribution, except for the East Asian and North American Triadenum Raf. Two genera are native to Panama.
Note The type genus is Hypericum L. The Hypericaceae is frequently included in the Guttiferae as subfamily Hypericoideae; and indeed it is no more distinct from the other subfamilies than they are from each other. However, the three hypericaceous tribes themselves, Vismieae, Cratoxyleae and Hypericeae, are not closely related; and so the tradi- tional classification is adopted here for convenience rather than as a definitive scheme. The Hypericaceae can be recognized by their simple, opposite, exstipulate leaves with usually punctiform glands, bisexual flowers usually with a 5-merous perianth, slender filaments and small anthers, and slender styles. In general, the family has been used as a source of durable or easily worked woods and of drugs or dyes from the bark and leaves. Hypericum is much used in horticulture for the decorative value of many of its species. Certain species have proved troublesome in various parts of the world because they contain two naphthodianthrones, hypericin and pseudohypericin, which are photodynamically active and produce sores on browsing animals.
Key a. Herbs or shrublets; leaves (Panama) sessile, glabrous, 3-25 mm long; petals glabrous; styles 3; stamen filaments free to near the base; fruit capsular, 3-valved (Panama) ...... 1. Hypericim aa. Shrubs or trees; leaves (Panama) petiolate, pubescent (or glabrescent) to tomentose beneath, 60-400 mm long; petals internally villous; styles 5; stamen filaments united in 5 fascicles; fruit baccate, 5-locular ...... 2. Vismia
 
 
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