Flora of China
  FOC Vol.13 (2007)              | Family List  Melastomataceae  PDF     | Link Font:+ Big | - Small
   28. Melastomataceae  A. L. Jussieu
野牡丹科   ye mu dan ke
Authors:Chen Jie (陈介 Chen Cheih); Susanne S. Renner


Herbs, shrubs, or trees (to 20 m tall), erect, climbing, or rarely epiphytic. Stipules lacking. Leaves simple, commonly opposite and decussate with one of a pair slightly smaller than other, rarely verticillate or alternate by abortion of one of a pair, usually 1-4(or 5) secondary veins on each side of midvein, originating at or near base and anastomosing apically, tertiary veins numerous, parallel, and connecting secondary veins and midvein but in Memecylon secondary veins pinnate and tertiary veins reticulate. Inflorescences cymose, umbellate, corymbose, in paniculate clusters, or a cincinnus, rarely flowers single, fascicled, or born on a spike; bracts sometimes conspicuous and persistent. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic but androecium often slightly zygomorphic, usually (3 or)4- or 5(or 6)-merous, perianth biseriate, perigynous; bracteoles opposite, usually caducous. Hypanthium funnel-shaped, campanulate, cyathiform, or urceolate. Calyx lobes (3-)5(or 6), valvate (rarely connate, but not in Chinese species). Petals (3-)5(or 6), equal to number of sepals, distinct, imbricate. Stamens usually twice as many as petals and in 2 whorls, rarely as many as petals by loss of 1 whorl, isomorphic or dimorphic; filaments distinct, often geniculate, inflexed in bud; anthers typically 2-celled, introrse, basifixed, dehiscent by 1 or 2 apical pores or by short longitudinal slits (Astronia, Memecylon); connective often variously appendaged. Pistil and style 1; stigma minute, capitate or truncate. Ovary commonly inferior or semi-inferior, locules usually (3 or)4 or 5(or 6) with numerous anatropous ovules, rarely 1-loculed and ovules ca. 9 (Memecylon); placentation axillary, parietal (Astronia and, outside China, Pternandra Jack), or free central (Memecylon). Fruit a dry or fleshy capsule or a berry, loculicidally dehiscent or indehiscent. Seeds (when 3-6-loculed) usually small, curved through half a circle (cochleate) or wedge-shaped (cuneate), in Memecylon seeds large and ovoid; endosperm absent.

Between 156 and 166 genera (150-160 in Melastomataceae sensu stricto and six in Memecylaceae here considered part of Melastomataceae) and ca. 4500 species (ca. 4050 in Melastomataceae sensu stricto and 450 in Memecylaceae [Olisbeoideae if considered a subfamily of Melastomataceae]): primarily in tropical and subtropical regions; 21 genera (five endemic) and 114 species (72 endemic) in China.

Pternandra caerulescens Jack reported in FRPS (53(1): 282. 1984) from Hainan is a mistake. The northernmost limit of this genus is S Thailand (see Maxwell, Gard. Bull. Singapore 34: 1-90. 1981).

Driessenia sinensis H. Léveillé is a synonym of Gonostegia hirta (Blume ex Hasskarl) Miquel in the Urticaceae (see Fl. China 5: 178. 2003).

Chinese genera of economic value include Osbeckia (medicine) and Melastoma (wild fruit and ornamental flowers).

Chen Cheih. 1984. Melastomataceae. In: Chen Cheih, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 53(1): 135-293.

1Leaf blade with secondary veins pinnate and tertiary veins reticulate; ovary 1-celled, with free central placentation; ovary 1-celled with 6-12 ovules, placentation free central; mature seed 1, to 5 mm in diam.; embryo large.21  Memecylon    谷木属
+Leaf blade with 1-4(or 5) pairs of secondary veins originating at or near blade base and anastomosing apically, tertiary veins perpendicular to secondary veins and parallel to each other; ovary (2-)4- or 5(or 6)-celled, with numerous ovules, placentation (2)
2(1)Anthers shorter than 4 mm, longitudinally dehiscent; ovules with parietal placentation near base of ovary.20  Astronia    褐鳞木属
+Anthers longer than 4 mm, if shorter than 4 mm (Sarcopyramis napalensis, S. bodinieri, Sonerila erecta) then opening by a single terminal pore; ovules with axillary placentation(3)
3(2)Seeds curved through half a circle (cochleate); leaf blade often densely appressed setose(4)
+Seeds oblong, obovate, triangular-lanceolate, or cuneate; leaf blade sparsely pilose or glabrous(5)
4(3)Stamen whorls equal or subequal in length and shape, connective not lengthened; fruit a dry capsule (not a fleshy capsule bursting irregularly).1  Osbeckia    金锦香属
+Stamen whorls unequal in length and shape, connective of longer stamen lengthened below anthers and slightly curved; fruit a fleshy capsule, bursting irregularly, rarely a berry (M. intermedium).2  Melastoma    野牡丹属
5(3)Fruit an indehiscent berry(6)
+Fruit a capsule opening apically or loculicidally(7)
6(5)Leaves abaxially with a stellate indumentum; stamen whorls strongly dimorphic, or inner or outer whorl staminodial.18  Diplectria    藤牡丹属
+Leaves abaxially glabrous; stamen whorls isomorphic or only slightly dimorphic.19  Medinilla    酸脚杆属
7(5)Ovary apex conic or truncate, lacking a membranous crown; hypanthium often as long as fruit, usually contracted at or near apex(8)
+Ovary apex usually with a membranous crown, crown margin often setose and exserted from calyx; hypanthium not contracted at or near apex(14)
8(7)Stamens 4; abaxial leaf surface, petioles, and hypanthia usually with minute yellow transparent peltate glands.9  Blastus    柏拉木属
+Stamens 8; abaxial leaf surface, petioles, and hypanthia lacking glands(9)
9(8)Stamen whorls equal or subequal in size and shape(10)
+Stamen whorls unequal in size and shape(11)
10(9)Flowers in sessile clusters along an unbranched elongate spike.3  Styrophyton    长穗花属
+Flowers pedicellate, in terminal cymes.4  Allomorphia    异形木属
11(9)Anthers setose at base; capsules 1-1.8 × 0.6-1 cm, with conspicuous longitudinal ribs.8  Barthea    棱果花属
+Anthers not setose at base; capsules shorter and narrower than above, not conspicuously ribbed(12)
12(11)Anthers of short stamens geniculate and curved.7  Cyphotheca    药囊花属
+Anthers of short stamens straight(13)
13(12)Plants 1-6 m tall shrubs; inflorescences elongate panicles.5  Oxyspora    尖子木属
+Plants usually less than 1 m tall shrublets; inflorescence an umbellate corymb, variable in size and structure, but flowers usually clustered.6  Plagiopetalum    偏瓣花属
14(7)Inflorescences axillary or at leaf scars on leafless branchlets; peduncle 0-2 cm.10  Sporoxeia    八蕊花属
+Inflorescences terminal or sometimes axillary; peduncle longer than 2 cm(15)
15(14)Inflorescences 2-bracteate, bracts foliaceous and anthers shorter than 1 mm.14  Sarcopyramis    肉穗草属
+Inflorescences lacking persistent bracts, if bracteate, then anthers much longer than 1 mm(16)
16(15)Flowers (in Chinese species) 3-merous; leaf blade less than 10 cm wide.17  Sonerila    蜂斗草属
+Flowers (3 or)4- or 5-merous; leaf blade usually wider than 10 cm(17)
17(16)Flowers 5-merous.15  Tigridiopalma    虎颜花属
+Flowers (3 or)4-merous(18)
18(17)Inflorescences scorpioid cymose panicles, with numerous small flowers16  Scorpiothyrsus    卷花丹属
+Inflorescences umbellate or cymose panicles, rarely capitate, never scorpioid, usually with few relatively large flowers(19)
19(18)Stamen whorls equal or only slightly unequal in length.12  Phyllagathis    锦香草属
+Stamen whorls unequal in size and shape(20)
20(19)Capsule campanulate to cup-shaped, thin-walled, apex truncate, lacking an exserted crown.13  Fordiophyton    异药花属
+Capsule turbinate, usually obtusely 4-sided, thick-walled to woody, apex truncate but with crown usually exserted from calyx.11  Bredia    野海棠属
   List of lower taxa