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.
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|| |
|1||Inflorescence a spike-like catkin, with each flower subtended by a scale-like bract; flowers greatly reduced, perianth absent or calyx represented by a single cup-like gland, or 1 or 2 tongue-like glands; fruit a 2–4-valved capsule||2|
|Inflorescence a raceme or flowers in clusters or sometimes solitary; flowers small and often inconspicuous, sepals present, petals present or absent; fruit a berry (or baccate, berry-like), drupe or capsule, rarely dry and indehiscent||3|
|2||Leaves mostly more than 5 cm wide, broad-elliptic to ovate, triangular or rhombic, often cordate at base; petiole more than 2 cm long; winter buds with several outer scales; flowers with a cup-shaped gland; plants often suckering from roots||Populus|
|Leaves usually less than 5 cm wide, linear to elliptic or obovate; petiole less than 2 cm long; winter buds with a single outer scale; flowers mostly with 1 or 2 minute tongue-like glands, rarely a cup-like gland; plants never suckering from roots|
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|3||Axillary spines absent or occasionally present on coppice growth; fruit less than 10 mm diam.||4|
|Axillary spines regularly present; fruit 15 mm or more in diam.|
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|4||Leaves 3-veined in basal half, margins often angled, sometimes obscurely crenate||Scolopia|
|Leaves not 3-veined in basal half, margins not angled, mostly entire, sometimes obscurely crenate|
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|5||Leaves 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 unisexual||Xylosma|
|Leaves usually with 8–11 pairs of secondary veins; glands absent from margins, margins entire; leaves drying black; flowers bisexual|
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|6||Mature fruit yellow to orangey yellow; stamens intermingled with disc glands and alternating with them; leaves often clustered||Dovyalis|
|Mature fruit dark red or purple to blackish; stamens surrounded by a ring of disc glands; leaves not clustered|
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