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Lythraceae

Lythraceae

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Lythraceae are a family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 of flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s. It includes about 620 species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of mostly herb
Herb
Except in botanical usage, an herb is "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume" or "a part of such a plant as used in cooking"...

s, with some shrub
Shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

s and tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s, in 31 genera
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

. Major genera include Cuphea
Cuphea
Cuphea is a genus containing about 260 species of annual and perennial flowering plants native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the Americas. The species range from low-growing herbs to semi-woody shrubs up to 2 m tall. Commonly they are known as cupheas, or, in the case of some species,...

(275 spp.), Lagerstroemia (56), Nesaea
Nesaea
Nesaea was one of the Nereids who gathered round Thetis in her sympathetic grief for Achilles' loss of Patroclus. This name is used to describe a genus of plants in the family Lythraceae....

(50), Rotala
Rotala
Rotala is an Alternative Investment Market listed company, which owns a variety of UK transport operators.Rotala was set up in 2005, with the main intention of acquiring or gaining majority interest in businesses within a number of areas.-Surrey Connect:...

(45), and Lythrum
Lythrum
Lythrum is a genus commonly known as loosestrife. It is one of 32 genera of the family Lythraceae.-Selected species:-Formerly placed here:*Cuphea carthagenensis J.F.Macbr....

(35). Lythraceae have a worldwide distribution, with most species in the tropics but ranging into temperate climate regions as well.

The family is named after the type genus, Lythrum
Lythrum
Lythrum is a genus commonly known as loosestrife. It is one of 32 genera of the family Lythraceae.-Selected species:-Formerly placed here:*Cuphea carthagenensis J.F.Macbr....

, the loosestrife
Loosestrife
Loosestrife is the common name of a number of different flowering plants. The species belong to two taxonomic genera, Lythrum, within the family Lythraceae, and Lysimachia, within the family Primulaceae.Lythrum species known as loosestrife include:...

s (e.g. Lythrum salicaria Purple loosestrife
Purple loosestrife
Lythrum salicaria is a flowering plant belonging to the family Lythraceae, native to Europe, Asia, northwest Africa, and southeastern Australia. It should not be confused with other plants sharing the name loosestrife that are members of the family Primulaceae...

) and also includes henna
Henna
Henna is a flowering plant used since antiquity to dye skin, hair, fingernails, leather and wool. The name is also used for dye preparations derived from the plant, and for the art of temporary tattooing based on those dyes...

 (Lawsonia inermis). It now includes the pomegranate
Pomegranate
The pomegranate , Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.Native to the area of modern day Iran, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as...

, formerly classed in a separate family Punicaceae. The family also includes the widely cultivated crape myrtle trees. Botanically, the leaves are usually in pairs (opposite), and flowers have petals that emerge from the rim of the calyx tube. The petals often appear crumpled.

Characteristics


The Lythraceae are most often herbs, and less often shrubs or trees; the shrubs and trees often have flaky bark. Traits shared by species within the Lythraceae that distinguish them from belonging to other plant families are the petals being crumpled in the bud and the many-layered outer integument of the seed.

Leaves


The leaves generally have an opposite arrangement, but sometimes are whorled or alternate. They are simple with smooth margins and pinnate
Pinnate
Pinnate is a term used to describe feather-like or multi-divided features arising from both sides of a common axis in plant or animal structures, and comes from the Latin word pinna meaning "feather", "wing", or "fin". A similar term is pectinate, which refers to a comb-like arrangement of parts...

 venation. Stipules are typically reduced, appearing as a row of minute hairs, or absent.

Flowers


The flowers are bisexual, radially or occasionally bilaterally symmetric, with a well-developed hypanthium
Hypanthium
A hypanthium is a floral structure consisting of the bases of the sepals, petals, and stamens fused together. Its presence is diagnostic of many families, including the Rosaceae, Grossulariaceae, and Fabaceae...

. The flowers are most commonly 4-merous
Merosity
Merosity is the number of component parts in each whorl of a plant structure. It is most commonly used in the context of flowers, in which case it refers to the number of sepals in the calyx, the number of petals in the corolla, and the number of stamens in each whorl of the androecium...

, with 4-8 sepals and petals. The sepals may be distinct, partially fused to form a tube, or touching without overlapping. The petals are crumpled in the bud and wrinkled at maturity, and are typically distinct and overlapping; they are occasionally absent. There are usually twice as many stamens as petals, arranged in two whorls, and the stamens are often unequal in length. Occasionally the stamens are reduced to one whorl, or are more numerous with multiple whorls. The ovary is typically superior, infrequently semi-inferior, or rarely inferior. There can be two to many carpels, which are fused together (syncarpous), and there can be two to numerous ovules in each locule, with axile placentation of the ovules.

Heterostyly
Heterostyly
Heterostyly is a unique form of polymorphism and herkogamy in flowers. In a heterostylous species, two or three different morphological types of flowers, termed morphs, exist in the population. On each individual plant, all flowers share the same morph. The flower morphs differ in the lengths of...

 – the presence of two (distylous) or three (tristylous) distinct flower morphs within a species differing in the lengths of the pistil and stamens – is common within the Lythraceae.

Genera


Lythraceae has 31 genera in five subfamilies, as follows:
  • Subfamily Lythroideae Juss.
    Antoine Laurent de Jussieu
    Antoine Laurent de Jussieu was a French botanist, notable as the first to propose a natural classification of flowering plants; much of his system remains in use today.-Life:...

     ex Arn.
    George Arnott Walker-Arnott
    George Arnott Walker-Arnott was a Scottish botanist.He studied law in Edinburgh though later became a botanist, holding the position of Regius Professor of Botany in the University of Glasgow. He studied the botany of North America with Sir William Hooker and collaborated with Robert Wight in...

     1832
    = 'Lythraceae sensu stricto', 27 genera:

  • Adenaria
    Adenaria
    Adenaria is a genus of plants of family Lythraceae.-External links:*...

  • Ammania
    Ammania
    Ammannia is a genus of about 25 to 30 species of plants often referred to as redstems from wet areas in America, Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe...

  • Capuronia
  • Crenea
  • Cuphea
    Cuphea
    Cuphea is a genus containing about 260 species of annual and perennial flowering plants native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the Americas. The species range from low-growing herbs to semi-woody shrubs up to 2 m tall. Commonly they are known as cupheas, or, in the case of some species,...

  • Decodon
  • Didiplis
  • Diplusodon
  • Galpinia
  • Ginoria
    Ginoria
    Ginoria is a genus of plant in family Lythraceae. It contains the following species :* Ginoria nudiflora, Koehne...

  • Haitia
    Haitia
    Haitia is a small genus of two species in the Loosestrife family of plants named for Haiti, the country where it was first collected. Both species are native to the island of Hispaniola....

  • Heimia
  • Hionanthera
  • Koehneria
  • Lafoensia
    Lafoensia
    Lafoensia is a genus of plant in family Lythraceae. It contains the following species :Lafoensia glyptocarpaLafoensia pacari  St.-Hil.Lafoensia replicata  Pohl...

  • Lagerstroemia
  • Lawsonia
  • Lourtella
  • Lythrum
    Lythrum
    Lythrum is a genus commonly known as loosestrife. It is one of 32 genera of the family Lythraceae.-Selected species:-Formerly placed here:*Cuphea carthagenensis J.F.Macbr....

  • Nesaea
  • Pehria
  • Pemphis
    Pemphis
    Pemphis is a possibly unispecific genus of maritime plants in family Lythraceae, represented by the type species, described in 1775, Pemphis acidula .Pemphis are highly adaptive...

  • Physocalymma
  • Pleurophora
  • Rotala
    Rotala (genus)
    Rotala is a genus of plants in the loosestrife family. Several species are used as aquarium plants.Species include:*Rotala densiflora*Rotala hippuris*Rotala indica*Rotala ramosior*Rotala rotundifolia-External links:*...

  • Tetrataxis
    Tetrataxis
    Tetrataxis is a genus of plant in family Lythraceae. It contains the following species :* Tetrataxis salicifolia, Baker...

  • Woodfordia


  • Subfamily Punicoideae (Horan. 1834) S. A. Graham, Thorne & Reveal 1998 = 'Punicaceae', 1 genus:
  • Punica
    Punica
    Punica is a small genus of fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small trees. Its best known species is the pomegranate . The only other species in the genus, the Socotra pomegranate , is endemic on the island of Socotra...


  • Subfamily Sonneratioideae (Engl.
    Adolf Engler
    Heinrich Gustav Adolf Engler was a German botanist. He is notable for his work on plant taxonomy and phytogeography, like Die Natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien , edited with Karl A. E...

     & Gilg
    Ernest Friedrich Gilg
    Ernest Friedrich Gilg was a German botanist.- Life :Gilg was curator of the Botanical Museum in Berlin...

     1924) S. A. Graham, Thorne & Reveal 1998
    , 1 genus:
  • Sonneratia
    Sonneratia
    Sonneratia is a genus of plants in the family Lythraceae. Formerly the Sonneratia were placed in a family called Sonneratiaceae which included both the Sonneratia and the Duabanga, but these two are now placed in their own monotypic subfamilies of the family Lythraceae...


  • Subfamily Duabangoideae (Takht. 1986) S. A. Graham, Thorne & Reveal 1998 = 'Duabangaceae', 1 genus:
  • Duabanga
    Duabanga
    Duabanga is a small genus of lowland evergreen rainforest trees in southeast Asia, comprising two or three species.Duabanga was traditionally included in the ditypic family Sonneratiaceae, but it is now classified in its own monotypic subfamily Duabangoideae of the Lythraceae....


  • Subfamily Trapoideae Voigt
    Voigt
    Voigt is a German surname, and may refer to:* Angela Voigt, East German long jumper* Alexander Voigt, German football player* Andreas J...

     1845
    = 'Trapaceae', 1 genus:
  • Trapa

Further reading