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Family Escalloniaceae

Synonyms: Polyosmaceae APNI*
Eremosynaceae APNI*
Tribelaceae APNI*

Description: Shrubs or small trees, or monoecious annual herbs (Eremosyne, not in NSW).

Leaves alternate, occasionally opposite (Polyosma) or pseudowhorled, simple, petiolate; margins entire or toothed, often with gland-tipped teeth, or (Eremosyne, not in NSW) pinnatifid; stipules absent.

Inflorescences usually terminal, mostly racemes, sometimes paniculate, or (not in Australia) flowers solitary. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual, rarely unisexual (not in Australia), 4–9-merous. Sepals fused in lower part. Petals free, sometimes ± cohering and forming a tube, thereby appearing fused. Stamens 4–9, alternating with the petals; filaments free; anthers 2-locular, dehiscing by longitudinal slits, usually introrse. Nectary disc usually present. Ovary inferior or ± superior (Anopterus), 2(–5)-carpellate, 1–3(–5)-locular (1 locular in N.S.W) ; ovules numerous per locule, or (Eremosyne, not in NSW) one per locule; style simple or of two stylodia.

Fruit a septicidal or loculicidal capsule or a 1- seeded berry or drupe (Polyosma). Seeds 1–many, rarely winged (Anopterus).

Distribution and occurrence: World: 8 genera, c. 139 species, Central and South America, Malesia to New Zealand, Réunion. Australia: 4 genera, c. 12 species, W.A., Qld, N.S.W.(native and naturalised), S.A. (naturalised),Tas.

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Escalloniaceae, Order: Escalloniales)

Escalloniaceae as circumscribed in Flora of NSW 3 (1992) has been shown to include a number of unrelated genera, now placed in Argophyllaceae, Paracryphiaceae and Rousseaceae.

Text by G. J. Harden (1992); edited KL Wilson (April 2010); updated by K.L. Gibbons May 2023.
Taxon concept: APG IV; D.J. Olsen, Flora of Australia Online [accessed 29 May 2023]; Watson & Macfarlane Eremosyne, FloraBase [accessed 29 May 2023]. Distribution and occurrence: Kew Plants of the World Online; Australian Plant Census [both accessed 25 May 2023].

 Key to the genera 
1Leaves opposite or nearly so or in pseudowhorls; fruit a 1-seeded berry; [leaves 3–9 cm long, with acuminate to acute apex; calyx 4-toothed]Polyosma
1Leaves alternate, sometimes clustered at end of branches; fruit a many-seeded capsule2
2Leaves 15–50 cm long and at least 4 times long as wide, with acuminate apex; calyx 6–9-toothedAnopterus
Leaves < 8 cm long and less than 4 times long as wide, with more or less obtuse apex; calyx 5-toothed
                       Back to 1

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