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Family PORTULACACEAE

Description: Small annual or perennial succulent herbs or subshrubs, often with a tuberous or thickened taproot, occasionally rooting at the nodes, glabrous apart from axillary hairs in Anacampseros and Portulaca.

Leaves alternate or opposite, sometimes in basal rosettes, simple, mostly sessile, entire; stipules absent.

Inflorescences few- to many-flowered cymes, cymose panicles or terminal heads; bracts leafy or scarious. Flowers usually actinomorphic, bisexual. Sepals 2, free or fused at the base. Petals 4–11, usually 5, free or fused at the base. Stamens 3–numerous, filaments often fused at base; anthers 2-locular, dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary superior or half-inferior, 1-locular; ovules 1–numerous, placentation basal or free-central; style with 3–7 stigmatic arms or stigmas free to the base.

Fruit a capsule, 3- or 4-valved or with a circumsciss operculum; seeds 1–numerous, smooth to variously patterned.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 20 genera, c. 250 species, cosmopolitan. Australia: 6 genera, c. 70 species, all States.

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Portulacaceae, Order: Caryophyllales)
Wikipedia

Text by J. G. West
Taxon concept:

 Key to the genera 
1Ovary inferior or half-inferior; capsule circumsciss; flowers sessile, in terminal heads (except for Portulaca bicolor)Portulaca
Ovary superior; capsule valvate or with a terminal pore; flowers pedicellate2
2Capsule separating into an epicarp that falls early and a persistent endocarp with intervalvular bristles3
Capsule with united pericarp
                       Back to 1
4
3Leaves with axillary hairs; stamens 8–10Anacampseros
Leaves lacking axillary hairs; stamens 10–20
                       Back to 2
Talinum
4Leaves usually sessile, rarely petiolate, never dilated at the base, not stem-clasping; petals freeCalandrinia
Leaves with dilated membranous or scarious base, stem-clasping; petals united at the base
                       Back to 2
5
5Plants erect with ascending stems; leaves opposite; petals unequal, the basal tube split on one sideMontia
Plants prostrate with rhizomatous stems; leaves alternate; petals equal, basal tube complete
                       Back to 4
Neopaxia

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