Flora of China
  FOC Vol.13 (2007)              | Family List  Flacourtiaceae  PDF     | Link Font:+ Big | - Small
   9. Flacourtiaceae  Richard ex Candolle
大风子科   da feng zi ke
Authors:Yang Qiner (杨亲二); Sue Zmarzty


Trees or shrubs, hermaphroditic, monoecious, dioecious, or polygamous, evergreen or deciduous; trunk, branches, and branchlets sometimes spiny; hairs simple, rarely T-shaped or stellate. Leaves simple, usually alternate, rarely opposite or verticillate, sometimes crowded at apices of branches; stipules usually small and caducous, sometimes larger, leaflike and persistent, rarely absent; petiole generally present, sometimes with apex 2-glandular and/or with additional glands along petiole length; leaf blade usually pinnate-veined, sometimes 3-5-veined from base or palmate-veined, with or without pellucid dots or lines, sometimes with a pair of glands at junction of blade and petiole, margin entire or toothed, teeth glandular or not. Inflorescences axillary, terminal, or cauliflorous, of various forms: racemose, spicate, cymose, corymbose, or paniculate, sometimes flowers fasciculate, or solitary; pedicels often articulate; bracts and bracteoles usually small to minute. Flowers radially symmetric, bisexual or unisexual, hypogynous, perigynous, or epigynous; perianth cyclic, rarely spiral, in unisexual flowers remnants of opposite sex present or absent. Sepals imbricate or valvate, rarely spathaceous, mostly (2 or)3-6, rarely more, usually free or connate at base only, sometimes partly united into a tube, caducous or persistent, rarely accrescent. Petals 3-8, rarely more, often isomerous and alternating with sepals, free, imbricate or valvate, rarely contorted, similar to sepals or not, sometimes with a fleshy adaxial basal scale, or petals absent. Disk present, entire, lobed, or comprised of free or connate disk glands, these extrastaminal, interstaminal, or intrastaminal (bisexual or staminate flowers), or extragynoecial (pistillate flowers), or disk absent. Stamens 1 to many (ca. 100), 1- or many seriate, sometimes in epipetalous bundles, or on margin of cupular disk or rim of calyx tube; filaments free, rarely united into a column; anthers 2-thecate, usually longitudinally dehiscent, rarely opening by terminal pores, connective sometimes shortly projected or glandular. Ovary superior or semi-inferior, 1-loculed, with 2-9 parietal placentas, rarely incompletely 2-9(or more)-celled by placentas protruding deeply into locule; ovules 2 or more on each placenta, orthotropous, anatropous, or hemi-anatropous; styles isomerous with placentas, free or partly to completely united, rarely absent, stigmas small or large, capitate to flattened and branched. Fruit capsular or baccate, rarely a drupe, pericarp mostly smooth, sometimes winged or bristly. Seeds 1 to many, with or without a fleshy sometimes brightly colored sarcotesta and/or aril, sometimes with long hairs, or broadly winged; endosperm usually copious and fleshy; embryo straight or curved; cotyledons usually broad, often cordate.

About 87 genera and ca. 900 species: mostly in tropical and subtropical regions, some extending into the temperate zone; 12 genera (one endemic) and 39 species (nine endemic) in China; four additional species (all endemic) are poorly known (see Homalium).

Ahernia glandulosa Merrill (Philipp. J. Sci. 4: 295. 1909), described from the Philippines, reportedly occurs in Hainan, but the present authors have seen no specimens from the Flora area. Flacourtia cavaleriei H. Léveillé (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 9: 457. 1911) and Xylosma dunniana H. Léveillé (loc. cit.: 455) were both described from Guizhou. After studying specimens at K from the type gathering (Cavalerie 3327 and Cavalerie 1151, respectively), it is not clear where they belong, and for the time being they must be regarded as species incertae sedis. Erythrospermum hypoleucum Oliver is the basionym of Celastrus hypoleucus (Oliver) Warburg ex Loesener in the Celastraceae (see Fl. China 11). Oncoba spinosa Forsskal and Dovyalis hebecarpa (Gardner) Warburg are occasionally cultivated.

In some treatments, where the genera of Flacourtiaceae are completely transferred to other families, and Flacourtiaceae is treated as a synonym of Salicaceae sensu lato, Chinese genera have been reclassified as follows: two genera (Hydnocarpus and Gynocardia) moved to Achariaceae sensu lato, all others to Salicaceae sensu lato (Chase et al., Kew. Bull. 57: 141-181. 2002).

Lai Shushen. 1999. Flacourtiaceae. In: Ku Tsuechih, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 52(1): 1-80.

1Petals present(2)
+Petals absent(5)
2(1)Calyx tube present, obconic, adnate to ovary for lower 1/2-2/3 (i.e., flowers epigynous), with free sepal lobes and petals spreading from rim, ovary semi-inferior, lower 2/3 or more enclosed in adnate calyx tube.11  Homalium    天料木属
+Calyx tube absent, calyx not adnate to ovary (i.e., flowers hypogynous), sepals free or partly fused, sometimes completely fused in bud, ovary when present free(3)
3(2)Flowers always bisexual; petals and sepals similar; petals ca. 4 mm or less, adaxial basal scale absent; disk glands present, small, in an extrastaminal row; stamens longer than sepals; style 1.3  Scolopia    箣柊属
+Flowers unisexual or bisexual; petals and sepals distinct; petals ca. 5 mm or more, with scale at least 1/4 as long as petal attached to inside at base; disk glands absent; stamens shorter than or equal to petals; styles 3-6(4)
4(3)Sepals in bud completely fused, calyx closed or with a small circular opening at apex, later shortly 3-5-truncate lobed, sometimes splitting more regularly to 3-5 sepals; stamens ca. 100 (staminate flowers); styles 5, stigmas small, cordate or peltate, er2  Gynocardia    马蛋果属
+Sepals in bud imbricate, free or connate at base only; stamens 5-30 (staminate flowers); styles 3-6, or nearly absent, stigmas conspicuous, broadly flattened, usually reflexed (pistillate flowers).1  Hydnocarpus    大风子属
5(1)Flowers bisexual, disk cuplike (cup sometimes very shallow), adnate to inside of calyx (but not adnate to ovary), with oblong to narrowly triangular hairy disk lobes in same row as stamens and alternating with them, lobes ca. 1/2 as long as stamen filamen12  Casearia    脚骨脆属
+Flowers unisexual, rarely bisexual, disk not cuplike nor with lobes alternating with stamens, nor adnate to inside calyx; instead disk a small fleshy annulus or comprising small, free or connate, fleshy glands, these in an extrastaminal (staminate and bis(6)
6(5)Sepals valvate, disk glands absent(7)
+Sepals imbricate; disk glands present, extrastaminal, extragynoecial, or among stamen or staminode bases(9)
7(6)Leaves pinnate-veined.10  Itoa    栀子皮属
+Leaves 3-5-veined from base(8)
8(7)Inflorescence more than 30-flowered, very densely pale-grayish tomentose throughout, indumentum obscuring rachis surface, bracts to 4 mm; sepals 4-5 mm, thickish in texture.8  Poliothyrsis    山拐枣属
+Inflorescence less than 20-flowered, pubescent to tomentose but indumentum not obscuring rachis surface, bracts 5-30 mm; sepals more than 10 cm, papery.9  Carrierea    山羊角树属
9(6)Leaves broadly ovate, base cordate or less often broadly rounded, petiole 6-12 cm or more, often with 1 or 2 large glands in lower half; sepals 5-6 mm, outside densely pubescent, hairs yellowish brown when dry.7  Idesia    山桐子属
+Leaves not as above, petiole usually less than 4 cm, if longer then without glands in lower half; sepals less than 4 mm, outside glabrous or only sparsely pubescent, hairs not yellowish when dry(10)
10(9)Flowers usually in terminal panicles 6-12 cm (sometimes shorter); stamen or staminode filaments with long hairs in lower half; disk glands free among filament bases.6  Bennettiodendron    山桂花属
+Flowers in short racemes or cymes to 5 cm, these axillary or terminating short lateral branches; stamen or staminode filaments glabrous, or with short hairs in lower half; disk annular or comprised of connate or free glands, in an extragynoecial or extras  Flacourtia or Xylosma
List of Keys
  • Key to genera based on material in flower
  • Key to genera based on material in fruit
  •    List of lower taxa