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Family Phytolaccaceae

Description: Herbs, shrubs or rarely trees; mostly glabrous.

Leaves usually alternate, simple, entire; stipules commonly absent.

Inflorescence axillary, terminal or leaf-opposed, mostly racemes or flowers solitary in the upper axils. Flowers mostly actinomorphic, usually bisexual. Perianth of 4 or 5 free, petaloid segments, persistent. Stamens 3–many, often twice as many as the tepals, hypogynous; anthers 2-locular, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Gynoecium of 1–10, rarely more, superior [rarely inferior] carpels, free or more often ± fused to form a compound ovary, styles usually free and as many as the carpels; ovule 1 per carpel.

Fruit a berry, achene, [nut or drupe].


Distribution and occurrence: World: 5 genera, 32 species, widespread in tropical & warm temperate regions, especially America. Australia: 1 genus, introduced.

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Phytolaccaceae, Order: Caryophyllales)
Wikipedia

Previously a broader family, including the now segregate Petiveriaceae (as well as several other families not represented in NSW; see APG IV 2016).

Text by G. J. Harden; updated by H. Sauquet (Nov 2020)
Taxon concept: APG IV (2016)

One genus in NSW: Phytolacca

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