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Family Nitrariaceae

Synonyms: Peganaceae APNI*

Description: Perennial shrubs or herbs, glabrous or (in Nitraria) often spinose and pubescent.

Leaves alternate or clustered, simple, entire or (in Peganum) mostly irregularly and deeply much-divided, semisucculent; stipules minute to small, often linear, often caducous.

Inflorescences of Nitraria dichasial cymes; flowers shortly pedicellate; bracts small, caducous. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual, often functionally unisexual. Calyx 5-lobed, persistent. Petals 5 or rarely 6, hooded, induplicate-valvate. Stamens 10–15, without appendages; anthers ± basifixed. Ovary superior, 3-locular, pubescent, with 1 pendulous ovule per loculus; style short, thick, obconical; stigmas 3, decurrent.

Inflorescences of Peganum solitary flowers, 1–3 per branch; pedicellate. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual, 4- or 5-merous. Sepals 5 [or 4], imbricate, linear, entire, toothed or much-divided, persistent. Petals 5 [or 4], imbricate. Stamens usually 10–15, inserted at the base of the short annular disc; anthers basifixed; filaments slender, broadened at the base. Ovary superior, globose, usually 3-locular, ovules numerous; style long; stigma of subequal length, twisted, 3-keeled, papillate.

Fruit (in Nitraria) a drupe, with fleshy exocarp and hard bony endocarp (putamen), 1-seeded by abortion; putamen ovoid-conical, with irregular pits in the lower part and 6 longitudinal furrows in the upper third; seed without endosperm, or the fruit (in Peganum) is a loculicidal capsule [or a berry]; seeds numerous, mucilaginous, with endosperm.

Distribution and occurrence: World: 3 genera, c. 16 species, North Africa to East Asia, also Australia and E Mexico. Australia: 2 species, all mainland States.

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Nitrariaceae, Order: Sapindales)

Text by (based on) K.L. Wilson, Nitrariaceae & Peganaceae, Flora of New South Wales Vol. 3: 14-15 (1992); revised June 2017 (PGK).
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census (accessed June 2017)

 Key to the genera 
1Leaves entire, covered with appressed hairsNitraria
Leaves deeply and irregularly pinnatisect, glabrousPeganum

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