Flora of China
  FOC Vol.11 (2008)              | Family List  Nitrariaceae  PDF     | Link Font:+ Big | - Small
   7. Nitrariaceae  Berchtold & J. Presl
白刺科   bai ci ke
Authors:Liu Yingxin (刘媖心 Liou Yingxin, Liu Ying-hsin); Lihua Zhou (周丽华)


Shrubs, 0.5-2 m tall, prostrate or ascending, succulent, sometimes spiny. Branches often spiny at end. Stipules intrapetiolar, distinct, caducous or persistent. Leaves alternate, spiral, or fasciculate, simple, fleshy or succulent, petiolate or subsessile, deciduous; leaf blade 1-veined or palmately veined, margin entire or 2- or 3-dentate at apex. Flowers solitary or aggregated in cymes, small, bracteate. Sepals 5, fleshy, imbricate, persistent. Petals 5, white or yellowish green. Stamens (10-)15, both alternate and opposite petals; anthers dorsifixed. Ovary inferior, sessile, 2-6-locular; styles 1; stigma ovoid. Fruit a drupe, purple, red, or yellow, fleshy, 1-seeded; mesocarp fleshy to succulent; endocarp forming a bony stone.

One genus and ca. 11 species: arid and semiarid regions of N Africa, C, N, and W Asia, Australia, and SE Europe; five species (one endemic) in China.

This family was included in Zygophyllaceae in FRPS. However, it differs from the Zygophyllaceae in many morphological characters. Molecular evidence also supports its recognition as a separate family.

Liou Yingxin. 1998. Nitraria. In: Xu Langran & Huang Chengchiu, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 43(1): 117-123.

   Lower Taxon
  • Nitraria  Linnaeus  白刺属