Synonyms: Blepharocaryaceae APNI*
Description: Trees, shrubs [or climbers], often with an irritant sap in resin ducts.
Leaves mostly alternate, simple or pinnate; stipules absent.
Inflorescences terminal and/or axillary, usually paniculate. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual and/or unisexual and then plants mostly dioecious; 4–6-merous. Sepals usually 5, mostly fused at base. Petals usually 5, free, usually longer than the sepals. Stamens equal to or twice the number of petals; anthers 2-locular, dehiscing longitudinally; staminodes often present in female flowers. Disc usually present. Ovary usually superior, free, partly or wholly immersed in disc; mostly 1–3-locular, usually fused and with only 1 loculus fertile; 1 pendent ovule per loculus; styles and stigmas 1–12; sterile ovary often present in male flowers.
Fruit a drupe, sometimes subtended by enlarged perianth or receptacle, 1–12-locular; seed 1, rarely up to 12.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 70 genera, 600 species, mostly in tropical & subtropical regions. Australia: 10 genera, 15 species, mainland States.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Anacardiaceae, Order: Sapindales)
Economically important for food, species include Mangifera indica L. (Mango), Anacardium occidentale L. (Cashew Nut), Pistachia vera L. (Pistachio Nut) and the aboriginal food Semecarpus australiensis Engl. The sap of various species, especially of Rhus, Toxicodendron and Gluta, can cause severe skin irritation on contact; Rhus toxicodendron L. is the Poison Ivy. The Kaffir Plum, Harpephyllum caffrum Bernh. ex K. Krause is often cultivated as an ornamental tree.
Text by M. J. Taylor
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|Leaves pinnate or trifoliate||2|
|2||Leaflets sessile or subsessile with petiolules <1 mm long||3|
|Leaflets stalked, petiolules 1–12 mm long|
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|3||Fruit bright reddish pink when mature||Schinus|
|Fruit dull yellow to greyish-brown|
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|4||Deciduous shrubs or trees, cultivated, occasionally naturalized in disturbed areas; flowers yellowish green; drupe whitish or red turning purple at maturity||5|
|Leaves mostly paripinnate with 8–14 leaflets, scattered bristles along some lower veins and midrib, lower surface not glaucous; flowers without petals|
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|5||Leaves mostly imparipinnate with 9–15 leaflets, glabrous, lower surface ± glaucous; flowers with petals||Toxicodendron|
|Evergreen trees in rainforest; flowers white to pink or pink-red; drupe dark brown or purple-black|
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|6||Drupe brown, globose, 8–11 mm diam.; flowers red to dark pink; terminal leaflet present, leaflets usually <20 mm wide, shortly acuminate with apex mostly <6 mm long (rarely to 9 mm long); petioles and branchlets exuding milky latex when cut||Rhodosphaera|
|Drupe purple-black, obliquely ellipsoid or ovoid, 6–9 mm long, 4–5 mm diam.; flowers white to pink; true terminal leaflet mostly absent, leaflets usually >20 mm wide, acuminate mostly with the apex of at least 1 leaflet >1 cm long; petioles and branchlets exuding clear sap when cut|
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