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Family Flacourtiaceae

Synonyms: Flacourtiaceae APNI*

Description: Trees or shrubs, often dioecious, glabrous or pubescent, sometimes deciduous with scaly winter buds (the scales often sticky).

Leaves mostly alternate, simple, margins entire or toothed or crenate, small glands often scattered along margin or teeth often gland-tipped; petiolate; stipules often present but often not persistent.

Inflorescence usually axillary, diverse in form, a raceme or flowers in clusters or sometimes solitary, or dense and spike-like (a catkin).

Catkin flowers: greatly reduced, each subtended by a scale-like bract; perianth absent or calyx represented by a single cup-like gland, or 1 or 2 tongue-like glands; male flowers with 1–many stamens, filaments free or fused below, anthers 2-locular; female flowers with a 1-locular superior ovary, often stalked, carpels 2–4, ovules mostly numerous, stigmas 2–4.

Non-catkin flowers: actinomorphic, bisexual or more often unisexual and then plants usually dioecious; sepals mostly 3–8, free or shortly united; petals absent or the same number as the sepals, free, sometimes similar to the sepals; disc or glands often present between petals and stamens, or amongst stamens; stamens same number as the sepals or numerous, filaments free or in bundles opposite the petals, mostly dehiscing by longitudinal slits, connective sometimes elongated, staminodes occasionally present; gynoecium of 2–10 carpels, united to form a 1-locular ovary, usually superior; styles 1–10, free or fused.

Fruit of catkin inflorescences a 2–4-valved capsule; seeds small, each with a tuft of silky or cotton-like hairs.

Fruit of non-catkin inflorescences a berry (or baccate, berry-like), drupe or capsule, rarely dry and indehiscent.

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 55 genera, c. 1200 species, widely distributed, pantropical to temperate & subarctic regions; Australia: c. 10 genera, Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A., W.A.

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Salicaceae, Order: Malpighiales)

A number of species are cultivated as ornamentals and for timber, some are also used for basketry and cricket bats.

Text by Based on G.J. Harden & A.N. Rodd, Salicaceae, and G.J. Harden, Flacourtiaceae, in Flora of New South Wales Vol. 1 (1990); revised May 2017
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census (accessed May 2017)

 Key to the genera 
1Erect shrubs or small trees; petioles less than 10 mm long; inflorescence a raceme or flowers clustered2
Climbing plants or scandent shrubs; petioles more than 10 mm long; flowers solitary or in pairs5
2Axillary spines absent or occasionally present on coppice growth; fruit less than 10 mm diam3
Axillary spines regularly present; fruit more than 20 mm diam
                       Back to 1
3Leaves 3-veined in basal half, margins often angled, sometimes obscurely crenateScolopia
Leaves not 3-veined in basal half, margins not angled, mostly entire, sometimes obscurely crenate
                       Back to 2
4Leaves usually with 5–7 pairs of secondary veins; glands at base of lamina 2, glands also scattered along margins of lamina, margins sometimes obscurely crenate; leaves drying greenish; flowers unisexualXylosma
Leaves usually with 8–11 pairs of secondary veins; glands absent from margins, margins entire; leaves drying black; flowers bisexual
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5Leaves green on both surfaces, margins not angled; domatia absent; disc absentStreptothamnus
Leaves much paler, often greyish, on lower surface, the margins often angled; hairy domatia in axils between the midvein and the lowest pair of secondary veins; disc present
                       Back to 1

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