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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 12/18/2012)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 12/18/2012)
Family THYMELAEACEAE
Description Shrubs and small trees, usually with soft wood and leathery flexible branches. Leaves alternate, spiral, exstipulate, pinnately veined. Inflorescence terminal or lateral, determinate, simple, or compound with the ultimate divisions umbelliform or capituliform. Flowers perigynous, perfect or (in our genera) unisexual and dioecious, regular or rarely somewhat zygomorphic; perianth dichlaymdeous or (in our genera) monochlamydeous through loss of the corolla, usually tetramerous, tubular to salverform or subrotate, more or less petalaceous, usually lepidote or puberulent without, the limb (calyx) 4- to 5-parted; stamens in 1 or 2 cycles, the outer antesepalous and inserted upon the perianth lobes, the inner antepetalous and inserted within the perianth tube; pistil usually 1-carpellate, superior, usually borne upon a short gynophore and subtended by an inconspicuous disc, containing a single pendulous ovule upon the ventral placenta, the stigma capitate, usually sessile or subsessile. Fruit a dry nutlet or small drupe (our genera); seed exalbuminous or essentially so, the embryo with thick convex cotyledons.
Habit Shrubs trees
Note Thymelaeaceae are a rather small family chiefly abundant in South Africa and Australia and very poorly represented in the northern hemisphere, particularly in America. Although the small flowers include only vestigial petals at most, occa- sionally they are attractive because of petalaceous pigmentation of their hypanthium (perianth tube), aggregation into dense clusters, and sweet scent. The wood of the branches is soft and the young twigs are remarkably leathery and flexible as a rule, hence the popular name Leatherwood for Dirca palustris, the unique representative of the family in the eastern United States. This quality of the stems is due in part to the anomalous development of the phloem which fre- quently forms an abundant interwoven fabric of soft fibers. In fact, Standley (Fl. Costa Rica 2:759. 1937) reports the vernacular name mastate for Daphnopsis seibertii in Costa Rica, which suggests the making of bark cloth.
Key a. Stamens 8, sessile or subsessile; pistillate flowers with staminodes. - 1. DAPHNOPSIS aa. Stamens 4, widely exserted upon slender filaments winged at the base; pistillate flowers without staminodes ................................ 2. SCHOENOBIBLUS
 
 
 
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