juncaceae the rush family 8 300 cosmopolitan l.
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Commelinanae II Juncaceae -- the rush family (8/300; cosmopolitan) Plants flowering, synoecious or monoecious or dioecious; stems terete and solid Habit semi-aquatic rhizomatous herbs

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Juncaceae -- the rush family (8/300; cosmopolitan)

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juncaceae the rush family 8 300 cosmopolitan

Commelinanae II

Juncaceae -- the rush family (8/300; cosmopolitan)
  • Plants flowering, synoecious or monoecious or dioecious; stems terete and solid
  • Habit semi-aquatic rhizomatous herbs
  • Leaves alternate; 2-3-ranked, simple and entire; leaf bases with open sheath surrounding stem; parallel venation; blades flat to cylindrical
  • Inflorescences panicles, corymbs, capitate, terminal
  • Flowers actinomorphic, perfect or imperfect, hypogynous; small and inconspicuous; typically monocot-like with two distinct perianth whorls
  • Perianth 6 tepals, distinct, often membranous and chaffy
  • Androecium 3-6 stamens, distinct
  • Gynoecium superior; 1 pistil of 3 connate carpels; 1-3 locules; 1-many ovules/locule, axile or parietal placentation; 1-3 styles with 3 stigmas
  • Fruit capsule
  • [Floral formula: T 6 A 6 G 3 ]
juncaceae comments

Commelinanae II

Juncaceae -- comments
  • Comments: Members have a “grass” like habit but are clearly differentiable from the Poaceae or Cyperaceae based mostly on floral and vegetative characters. The members in North America provide important wildlife habitat around waterways and are utilized by humans mostly as weaving materials (juncio=Juncus maritimus; the fiber palmite=Prionium serratum).
cyperaceae the sedge family 70 100 4000 9300 cosmopolitan

Commelinanae II

Cyperaceae -- the sedge family (70-100/4000-9300; cosmopolitan)
  • Plants flowering, synoecious or monoecious; stems are typically triangular, internodes filled with pith
  • Habit herbs (rarely shrubs), often semiaquatic; rhizomatous
  • Leaves alternate or basal; usually three-ranked; simple and entire; leaf bases with closed sheath surrounding stem; linear, parallel venation; ligulate or eligulate; blades flat, terete, triangular or absent
  • Inflorescences one to many spikelets aggregated into clusters (racemose, paniculate, often umbels). Each spikelet organized on a central rachilla to which the bracts/flowers are attached.
  • Flowers actinomorphic, perfect or imperfect; hypogynous, small and inconspicous; subtended by a bractlet and perianth reduced to bristles or absent; the gynoecium in Carex (and a few close relatives to Carex) is surrounded by a second bract termed a perigynium that is a hollow, sac-like structure
  • Perianth reduced to bristles (rarely scales) or absent
  • Androecium 3 (4-many) stamens, distinct
  • Gynoecium superior; 1 pistil of 2 or 3 connate carpels; 1 locule; 1 ovule/locule, basal placentation; style 1, with 2 or 3 branches; stigmas often feathery
  • Fruitachene
  • (Floral formula: A 3 G 2 or 3 )
cyperaceae comments

Commelinanae II

Cyperaceae -- comments
  • Genera: Cyperus, Carex, Scirpus, etc.
  • Comments: A “grass-like” family that is easily separable from Poaceae based on floral and vegetative characters. Carex is the largest genus, a taxonomic nightmare with over 3000 species and incredible variation. If you ever want a real challenge, try to key some of these out!
  • Cyperus papyrus (Papyrus) was used to make one of the early types of paper, and today it is still the toughest paper made. The family contains many ethnobotanically important members including: Cyperus used for making mats in Asia, Cladium used for making thatched houses in Europe, and Scirpus used as medicinals, as well as many others.
  • Chinese water chestnuts are slices of corms harvested from Eleocharis tuberosa.
poaceae gramineae the grass family 650 660 10 000 cosmopolitan

Commelinanae II

Poaceae (Gramineae) --the grass family(650-660/10,000; cosmopolitan)
  • Plants flowering, synoecious or monoecious; stems mostly round with swollen nodes and mostly hollow (sometimes a pith); intercalary meristems
  • Habit herbs, shrubs or trees; rhizomatous or stoloniferous
  • Leaves alternate, sometimes basal; simple; two ranked; leaf bases with open sheath surrounding stem, upper margins of the sheath may bear small ear-like apical lobes called auricles; parallel venation; ligulate; blades flat or absent
  • Inflorescences spikes and spikelets that are 2º clustered into inflorescences (spikes, racemes, or panicles); each spikelet subtended by 2 basal bracts (glumes), within the spikelet, each flower subtended by two bractlets (lemma to the outside/palea to the inside) all attached to the rachilla; glumes or lemma can be ornamented with awns
  • Flowers zygomorphic, perfect or imperfect, hypogynous, small and conspicuous, subtended by lemma and palea;lodicules interpreted as reduced perianth; wind-pollinated
  • Perianth 1-3 lodicules distinct, fleshy and becoming turgid at anthesis
  • Androecium 3 (1-2 or 4-6) stamens, distinct
  • Gynoecium superior; 1 pistil of 3 connate carpels (only 2 apparent); 1 locule; 1 ovule/locule, basal placentation, usually adnate to ovary wall; styles 2 (1 or 3), distinct or united; stigma plumose or papillose
  • Fruitcaryopsis (achene, utricle, nut, or drupe), often shed together with enclosing bracts
  • (Floral formula: A 3 G 2 )
poaceae comments

Commelinanae II

Poaceae -- comments
  • Genera:Triticum spp.(wheat), Avena sativa (oats), Zea mays (corn), Oryza sativa (rice), Saccharum officinarum (sugar cane), Hordeum vulgare (barley), Sorghum bicolor (sorghum), Secale (rye), Bambusa spp. (bamboo)
  • Comments: Without a doubt, the most important family in the average human’s life! If aliens were to land on this planet and take a quick look around, they would probably describe a planet in which the grasses had millions of human slaves tending to their every need...
  • Rice feeds more humans than any other grain. “Wild rice” is actually a different species (Zizania aquatica) and is native to North America. Wild rice has a bit more, nutrition-wise, than rice, but the bracts are harder to separate from the fruit, and is more expensive to harvest.
  • As well as the grains that we eat, grass is very important as fodder for many of our livestock. Range management has become very important in the West (after overgrazing and catastrophic droughts killed lots of cattle in the past), and you can take courses that concentrate only on grasses!!
poaceae comments7

Commelinanae II

Poaceae -- comments
  • Comments: Several species of bamboo (Bambusa sp.), are used not only as food, but also for timber, pulp, and utensils. Some bamboos grow vegetatively for years (up to 150 yrs), flower, and then die. This has caused problems in the past (particularly for pandas) because clones can spread over large areas of land, and when it is time for that plant to flower all the clones simultaneously flower and die.
  • Ornamental uses for grasses include turf-grasses (billions and billions of dollars are spent on residential and commercial lawns every year) such as St. Augustine grass and Bermuda grass (Cynodon sp.), and as accent plants in perennial borders and the landscape.
  • Fermented grains are the main source of many alcoholic beverages, and some anthropologists have theorized that these recreational drinks may have had a profound effect on the beginnings of agriculture!


Berberidaceae -- the barberry family (16+/600; mostly north temperate with few in montane tropics and south temperate areas)
  • Plants flowering, synoecious
  • Habit herbs or shrubs
  • Leaves alternate (rarely opposite) or basal; simple to dissected or compound, generally exstipulate
  • Inflorescences variable
  • Flowers actinomorphic, perfect, stamens usually as many as and opposite the petals; pistil usually short and fat
  • Calyx 4-many(0) sepals, distinct, often spiraled or in several whorls of 3
  • Corolla 4-many (0) petals, distinct, sometimes in whorls of 3
  • Androecium 3-6 (-18) stamens, distinct, valvate anther dehiscence (however, Podophyllum with stamens twice as many as petals and longitudinally dehiscent)
  • Gynoecium superior; 1 carpel; 1 locule; 2-many ovules, marginal placentation OR 1- few ovules, basal placentation; 1 style or stigma sessile
  • Fruit berry or follicle
  • [Floral formula: Ca 6 Co 6 A 6 G 1 ]
berberidaceae comments


Berberidaceae -- comments

A vegetatively variable family with herbs and shrubs. Some cultivated members such as some spp. of Berberis and Mahonia have spiny-margined leaves.

What other family that we’ve seen so far this semester had VALVATE anther dehiscence?

Cultivated members: Berberis (barberry), Mahonia (Oregon-grape), Nandina (heavenly-bamboo)

Around here: Podophyllum (may-apple; exceptional characteristics), Caulophyllum (blue cohosh), Jeffersonia (twin-flower)

ranunculaceae the buttercup family 52 2000 widespread


Ranunculaceae -- the buttercup family(52/2000 widespread)
  • Plants flowering, synoecious
  • Habit herbs, shrubs or woody vines
  • Leaves phyllotaxy variable (usually alternate), usually pinnately veined, simple (and often deeply lobed) to several times compound (crowsfoot leaf); exstipulate
  • Inflorescences racemes, panicles or solitary
  • Flowers actinomorphic sometimes zygomorphic, usually perfect, hypogynous, often showy
  • Calyx4-many sepals, distinct, often petaloid
  • Corolla0 or 4-5, sometimes many, distinct; with nectaries at petal base (or at the bottom of spurred corolla segments (e.g., Aquilegia or Delphinium)
  • Androecium many (rarely 5-10) stamens, distinct
  • Gynoeciumsuperior; 5-many carpels, distinct; 1 locule/carpel; 1-many ovules/carpel, parietal placentation or nearly basal
  • Fruit= cluster of achenes or follicles (rarely berries)
  • (Floral formula: Ca4-  Co0,4-5 A  G5-  )
ranunculaceae comments


Ranunculaceae -- comments

The Ranunculaceae are extremely variable, yet not too difficult to characterize once you have learned some of the variation in the family. Several members are extremely toxic, including the beautiful Aconitum (Monk’s hood) and Delphinium (larkspur), a popular ornamental. Numerous members of this family are cultivated for their showy inflorescences.

The tricolpate pollen of the Ranunculiids is one of the basic differences that separates this group from the magnoliid dicots and associates it with more derived dicot groups.



Papaveraceae -- the poppy family(Including Fumariaceae: ca. 42/600+; most diverse in N. America and eastern Asia)
  • Plants flowering, synoecious; often with colored sap
  • Habitherbs/shrubs
  • Leaves phyllotaxy variable (usually alternate), simple to pinnately compound or dissected; exstipulate
  • Inflorescences various
  • Flowers actinomorphic to zygomorphic, perfect, hypogynous, small to large and showy
  • Calyx2 or 3 sepals, distinct, caducous
  • Corolla4, 6, 8 (12-16), distinct, spreading OR coherent and closed; often crumpled
  • Androecium many stamens, distinct OR 6 stamens (coherent/connate in 2 groups of 3)
  • Gynoecium superior;1 pistil of 2-many connate carpels; 1-locule; few to many ovules, parietal placentation; 1 (0) style with1- many stigmas
  • Fruitcapsule, often with poricidal dehiscence
  • (Floral formula: Ca 2,3 Co 4,6,8 A  G 5-  )
papaveraceae subfamilies for your information only


Papaveraceae -- subfamilies (For your information only)

Papaveraceae(s.s.) (24/201) Fumarioideae (18/461)

-Herbs to shrubs -Herbs, with dissected leaves.

-Colored or milky sap (latex) -Watery & colorless sap

-Fls. usu. solitary, actinomorphic -Fls. not solitary, zygomorphic or isobilateral

-Nectaries absent -Nectaries at filament base.

-Ca2or 3 (large, caducous) -Ca2 (small)

-Co 4or more (wrinkled in bud) -Co2+2

-A usu. many -A 3+3 (=diadelphous)

-G2-many; stigma large, radiate, -G 2; stigma small, with style sessile

-Fruit= sept. or poricidalcapsule -Fruit= septicidal capsule (nut like)