Flora of China
  FOC Vol.13 (2007)              | Family List  Combretaceae  PDF     | Link Font:+ Big | - Small
   26. Combretaceae  R. Brown
使君子科   shi jun zi ke
Authors:Chen Jie (陈介 Chen Cheih); Nicholas J. Turland


Trees, shrubs, or woody lianas, evergreen or deciduous, rarely subherbaceous. Indumentum of simple hairs, glandular hairs, or multicellular hairs secreting calcium oxalate and forming scales or present beneath cuticle and making leaf blade surface verruculose and sometimes translucent dotted. Leaves opposite, subopposite, whorled, spiraled, or alternate, usually petiolate, estipulate; petiole sometimes persistent and thornlike; leaf blade simple, margin entire or subentire, sometimes toothed, glands often present between crenations of proximal margin and at base or on petiole. Inflorescences terminal, axillary, or extra-axillary, spikes, branched spikes, racemes, panicles, or sometimes capitula, bracteate. Flowers usually regular, rarely slightly zygomorphic, usually bisexual, sometimes bisexual and male flowers present in same inflorescence. Receptacle surrounding and adnate to ovary and extended into a short or long calyx tube dilated distally (together termed "calyx tube" in this treatment); lobes 4 or 5(-8), valvate in bud, persistent or deciduous, sometimes almost absent. Petals 4 or 5, inserted near mouth of calyx tube, imbricate or valvate in bud, conspicuous or not, or absent. Stamens usually 2 × as many as calyx lobes in 2 series, inserted inside distal part of calyx tube, included in or exserted from calyx tube; filaments incurved in bud; anthers dorsifixed, usually versatile, dehiscing longitudinally. Disk usually present, intrastaminal, hairy or glabrous. Ovary inferior, 1-loculed; ovules 2(-6), pendulous, anatropous, usually only 1 developing; style 1, simple, usually free from distal part of calyx tube, subulate to filiform; stigma capitate or inconspicuous. Fruit a pseudocarp, very variable in shape and size, fleshy or dry, 1-seeded, usually indehiscent, often longitudinally 2-5-winged, -ridged, or -angled; endocarp not or at least partly sclerenchymatous. Cotyledons convolute, folded, or twisted. Endosperm absent.

About 20 genera and ca. 500 species: widespread in tropics and subtropics; six genera and 20 species (one endemic) in China.

Tan et al. (J. Plant. Res. 115: 475-481. 2002) inferred a phylogeny of the Chinese genera from nuclear, plastid, and spacer sequences based on 16 species in 19 samples. The mangrove genera Lumnitzera and Laguncularia Gaertner were placed as sister taxa in a clade sister to the other genera in China plus Conocarpus Linnaeus. The latter group comprised two clades: one with Conocarpus sister to an unresolved grouping of Terminalia and Anogeissus; the other with Getonia sister to Quisqualis and Combretum.

In this treatment, measurements of calyx tube length include the stipe (if any), the part surrounding the ovary, the tube above the ovary, and the lobes. Measurements of fruit include any ridges or wings.

Hsu Ting-zhi. 1984. Combretaceae. In: Chen Cheih, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 53(1): 1-28.

1Trees or non-climbing shrubs(2)
+Woody lianas, or if non-climbing shrubs then leaf blade not cuneate and petals present although sometimes inconspicuous(4)
2(1)Petals present; calyx tube bearing 2 bracteoles; leaf blade cuneate, somewhat fleshy.1  Lumnitzera    榄李属
+Petals absent; calyx tube without bracteoles; leaf blade oblong, elliptic, obovate, or orbicular, not fleshy(3)
3(2)Inflorescences spikes or racemes, sometimes panicles; middle part of calyx tube not persistent.2  Terminalia    诃子属
+Inflorescences pedunculate capitula; middle part of calyx tube persistent and beaklike at apex of fruit.3  Anogeissus    榆绿木属
4(1)Calyx lobes persistent, expanded, and winglike in fruit; petals absent.4  Getonia    萼翅藤属
+Calyx lobes not persistent; petals present although sometimes inconspicuous(5)
5(4)Calyx tube (1.7-)5-9 cm; stamens not or scarcely exserted from calyx tube; style partly adnate to inside of calyx tube.5  Quisqualis    使君子属
+Calyx tube usually shorter than 2 cm; stamens usually exserted from calyx tube; style not adnate to inside of calyx tube.6  Combretum    风车子属
   Lower Taxon
  • Anogeissus  (Candolle) Wallich ex Guillemin et al.  榆绿木属
  • Combretum  Loefling  风车子属
  • Getonia  Roxburgh  萼翅藤属
  • Lumnitzera  Willdenow  榄李属
  • Quisqualis  Linnaeus  使君子属
  • Terminalia  Linnaeus  诃子属