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Family ulmaceae

Description: Trees or (rarely in Australia) shrubs, deciduous or semideciduous, often with watery sap.

Leaves simple, alternate or (not in Australia) opposite, often distichous (2-ranked) petiolate; stipules paired, usually falling early (caducous); base usually oblique; margins serrate or crenate; venation pinnate.

Inflorescences axillary or terminal on lateral branches, cymose, racemose, in fasciculate clusters in the leaf axils or flowers solitary and axillary. Flowers usually small, inconspicuous, green or brown, actinomorphic or nearly so, bisexual or unisexual. Perianth 1-whorled with (2–)4–8(–9) lobes. Stamens usually the same number as perianth lobes; staminodes present or absent in female flowers; anthers dorsifixed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary superior, sometimes stipitate, carpels 2, united to form a compound ovary with separate styles and decurrent stigmas; pistillode present or absent in male flowers; ovules 1 per locule.

Fruit (in Australia, Ulmus) a dry usually flattened winged nutlet or samara, the wing membranous.

Distribution and occurrence: World: 7 genera, c. 58 species,mostly N. temperate, esp. Asian, few species tropical, not in Australia and the Pacific. Australia: 1 genus, 5 species (all naturalized).

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Ulmaceae, Order: Rosales)

Note that several genera of Cannabaceae (incl. Aphananthe, Celtis, and Trema) were previously included as members of Ulmaceae here (PlantNET) and in the Flora of Australia (1989).

Text by G. J. Harden; edited by H. Sauquet (Jan 2019: circumscription, occurrence, and key, not description); description updated by Kerry Gibbons 29 May 2023.
Taxon concept: Angiosperm Phylogeny Group IV/ Australian Plant Census (2018); description from Ulmus, PlantNET and Flora of Australia online [accessed 29 May 2023]; Christenhusz, Fay & Chase (2017) Plants of the World. Kew Publishing: Surrey; Todzia, C.A. (1993) Ulmaceae in Kubitzki et al. (eds) Families and genera of vascular plants, Vol 2; Kew Plants of the World Online [accessed 29 May 2023]

One genus in NSW: Ulmus

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