Description: Trees, shrubs or climbers.
Leaves opposite or alternate (Pteleocarpa), rarely verticillate, simple; margins entire or slightly dentate. Stipules interpetiolar, often reduced to a stipular line, or absent (Pteleocarpa).
Inflorescence cymose, few to many flowered, or flowers solitary. Flowers actinomorphic or slightly zygomorphic, bisexual, often heterostylous, 5-merous. Calyx united or free, lobes often unequal in size. Corolla united, usually yellow, white or orange, occasionally lilac, sometimes with red markings; lobes rounded, imbricate in bud. Stamens 5, inserted in middle to lower half of corolla tube or in sinuses; anthers 2-locular, connivent or separate; base sagittate; dehiscence latrorse. Ovary superior, 2-locular, syncarpous; ovules 2–several; style 1 and twice divided at the apex into 4 long narrow lobes or styles 2 (Pteleocarpa).
Fruit a 2- or 4-valved capsule or indehiscent, strongly winged samara (Pteleocarpa); seeds 1–8, compressed, winged in Gelsemium sempervirens and G. elegans.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 3 genera, 13 species, pantropical. Australia: 1 species, doubtfully naturalised, NSW.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Gelsemiaceae, Order: Gentianales)
Text by Kerry Gibbons, July 2019
Taxon concept: Struwe, L. (2018) Gelsemiaceae, pp. 447–452 in: Kadereit, J.W. & Bittrich, V., (eds) The families and genera of vascular plants, vol 15. (Springer: Switzerland)
|One genus in NSW: Gelsemium|