Description: Annual or rarely perennial herbs.
Leaves opposite, usually basally joined by a ridge, simple and entire [or pinantifid to pinnately compound]; stipules absent.
Inflorescences cymose, terminal. Flowers ± actinomorphic to zygomorphic, bisexual, usually 5-merous. Calyx with a short tube and 1–25 lobes, sometimes feather-like, persistent in fruit. Corolla 5-lobed, with or without a spur. Stamens 1–3, alternating with the petals; anthers 2-locular, dehiscence introrse, by longitudinal slits. Ovary inferior, 3-locular each with 1 fully developed loculus containing 1 pendent ovule; style slender; stigma with 2 or 3 thread-like branches or rarely entire.
Fruit an achene with remains of 2 aborted loculi visible.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 13 genera, 400 species, Eurasia, Africa & America. Australia: 3 genera, 8 species, all States.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Valerianaceae, Order: Dipsacales)
Text by L. Retter
|One genus in NSW: Centranthus|