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Description: Annual or perennial herbs, shrubs [or rarely trees].
Leaves alternate, opposite or whorled, simple, entire, toothed [or pinnatifid]; stipules minute or absent.
Inflorescences usually terminal spikes or racemes, or flowers solitary and axillary. Flowers actinomorphic or zygomorphic, usually bisexual, mostly 4- or 5-merous, hypanthium often extended above ovary. Sepals valvate, often caducous. Petals usually conspicuous, occasionally absent. Stamens mostly twice as many as sepals; anthers basifixed or versatile, longitudinally dehiscent. Ovary inferior, usually 4- or 5-locular; stigma capitate or lobed.
Fruit usually a capsule, sometimes a berry or nut; seeds, usually numerous, sometimes with a coma.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 22 genera, 640 species, warmer regions especially North America. Australia: 5 genera, 38 species, all States.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Onagraceae, Order: Myrtales)
A number of species of Clarkia, Fuchsia and Oenothera are widely cultivated as garden plants, many of which tend to escape and become minor weeds.
Text by J. M. Dalby
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Sepals persistent on fruit||Ludwigia|
|Sepals shed after anthesis||2|
|2||Fruit indehiscent and few-seeded||Gaura|
|Fruit dehiscent, usually many-seeded|
Back to 1
|3||Hypanthium conspicuous; seeds not comose||Oenothera|
|Hypanthium short or absent; seeds usually comose|
Back to 2