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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/11/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/11/2013)
Family ARALIACEAE
Contributor LORIN I. NEVLING JR.
Description In Panama, perennial herbs, shrubs or trees, sometimes scandent epiphytes when juvenile, rarely epiphytic at maturity. Leaves alternate, simple to pinnately or palmately compound or decompound; stipules adnate to the petiole, sometimes hardly distinct, sometimes connate and produced into a coriaceous ligulate sheath, sometimes absent. Flowers in umbels or heads, these disposed in solitary or compound inflorescences; pedicels continuous with or articulated with the calyx, sometimes swollen at the apex into minute cupules. Flowers epigynous, bisexual, polygamous or dioecious, actinomorphic, usually small; calyx tube obconic, cupuliform, or short-cylindric; petals 5-10, broadest at the base, deciduous at maturity, free or connate and calyptrate, valvate or narrowly imbricate; stamens usually as many as the petals and alternate with them (rarely more numerous), inserted on a disc within the calyx-limb, the filaments filiform or ligulate, the anthers oblong, ovate or subglobose, dorsally affixed, the locules 2, longitudinally dehiscent; disc epigynous, carnose and short-conic or annular; pistil 1, the ovary inferior, in our species 2- to 12-locular, the styles as many as the locules, sometimes distinct and at length recurved with the stigmas terminal or on the interior surfaces, sometimes completely connate into a carnose column, rarely suppressed with the stigmas sessile on the disc, the ovules solitary, pendulous from the apex of each locule, anatropous with a ventral raphe; fruit baccate or drupaceous, the exocarp usually carnose, the endocarp divided into distinct crustaceous, cartilaginous or mem- branous pyrenes, or hardly distinct from the exocarp; seeds solitary in pyrenes, laterally compressed, triquetrous in cross section, with copious endosperm and a small embryo near the hilum.
Habit herb
Note A family of about 65 genera with more than 800 species. This treatment is based on a study of the North American Araliaceae by Albert C. Smith whose very capable and helpful work was published in North American Flora 28B:3-41. 1944.
Reference North American Flora 28B:3-41. 1944.
Note The Araliaceae are represented in Panama by five indigenous genera and a single introduced ornamental species of a sixth. The introduction, Nothopanax guilyfolyei (Cogn. & Marche) Merr., is easily recognized by its once-pinnately compound leaves, the leaflets of which are conspicuously and coarsely serrate.
Key a. Leaves 3- or 4-pinnate, the leaflet margins mucronate-serrulate ............... 1. SCIADODENDRON aa. Leaves simple or palmately compound. b. Flowers in umbels (in heads in Dendropanax sessiliflorus with bi- sexual flowers and some species of Schefflera with connate petals, compound leaves and conspicuously ligulate petiole), bisexual or polygamo-monoecious. c. Styles and locules 2, rarely 3; petioles dilated at the base into a coriaceous ligulate sheath ........................................... 2. DIDYMOPANAX cc. Styles and locules 5-9, usually 5. d. Leaves simple, the petiole without an obvious ligule; petals free. 3. DENDROPANAX dd. Leaves compound (simple only in S. epiphytica among our species), the petiole with a conspicuous coriaceous ligule; petals usually connate and calyptrate- ......................-................ 4. SCHEFFLERA bb. Flowers in heads, polygamo-dioecious (rarely polygamo-monoecious); petioles without an obvious ligule .--------------------... 5. OREOPANAX
 
 
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