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Family Annonaceae

Description: Trees, shrubs or climbers with aromatic wood and leaves.

Leaves alternate, 2-ranked, simple, margins entire, with fine oil dots; stipules absent.

Flowers mostly solitary or paired, actinomorphic, usually bisexual. Sepals commonly 3, free or basally fused; petals 6 in 2 whorls, free. Stamens hypogynous, numerous, free and irregularly arranged [rarely few and whorled]; filaments short, anthers 2-locular, often overtopped by an enlarged connective, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Carpels numerous, free; ovules 1–several in each carpel.

Fruit a berry, formed from individual carpels, separate and stipitate [or closely appressed to form an aggregate fruit].

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 110 genera, c. 2440 species, mainly tropical, especially Africa to Asia. Australia: c. 15 genera, c. 50 species, Qld, N.S.W., N.T.,W.A., chiefly tropical.

Generic limits in Annonaceae have considerably evolved over the last 10 years, as a result of intense molecular phylogenetic scrutiny, including for genera represented in Australia and NSW.

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Annonaceae, Order: Magnoliales)

Some non-Australian species yield timber and edible fruit. The Custard Apple, Annona reticulata L., from tropical America is cultivated widely in tropical countries for its fruit.

Text by G. J. Harden; updated by H. Sauquet (23 Mar 2021)
Taxon concept:

 Key to the genera 
1Leaves lanceolate to oblong to narrow-elliptic; domatia absent; berries 1–4-seeded, constricted between seeds2
Leaves ovate to elliptic; hairy domatia present; berries always 1-seededHuberantha
2Climbers, sometimes erect in juvenile stages; flowers pseudoterminal or leaf-opposed; apex of leaves obtuse or notchedUvaria
Shrubs or small trees; flowers axillary; apex of leaves acuminate, acute
                       Back to 1

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