Spermatophyta: Dicotyledonae: Metachlamydeae: Gentianales

Apocynaceae subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae - Milkweed and stapeliad family

Leistner, O.A. (2005) Seed plants of southern tropical Africa: families and genera SABONET Report No. 26 SABONET, Pretoria

Leistner, O.A. (ed.) (2000) Seed plants of southern Africa: families and genera Strelitzia 10

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004) A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare

Description of the family

Perennial herbs or shrubs, sometimes twining or scrambling, often succulent and often with milky sap. Stipules usually 0. Leaves mainly opposite or whorled, rarely alternate, simple and usually entire. Flowers in umbels or cymes or, rarely, in racemes, actinomorphic, bisexual. Calyx usually of 5 free sepals, sometimes 5-lobed. Corolla gamopetalous, very variable; lobes 5, sometimes connate at tips. Corona usually arising from or near base of the staminal column, in 1-3 series, consisting of 5 free or connate lobes or processes, rarely 0. Filaments united into a staminal column, often short; anthers with horny wings; pollen in waxy masses attached by caudicles to a horny carrier. Ovaries 2, superior, each 1-locular. Fruit of 2 follicles, sometimes only one developing. Seeds usually with marginal wing and a tuft of long, silky hairs at apex.

A difficult family because it lacks a consistent and complete modern coverage. Extensive use has been made of the keys and descriptions in Leistner (2000) and Leistner (2005).

We are also very grateful to David Goyder of Kew who revised and updated the taxa on this site.

Comment: The 2 subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae contain the genera which were formerly included in the family ASCLEPIADACEAE. These are nowadays combined with other subfamilies, containing the former APOCYNACEAE sensu stricto and PERIPLOCACEAE, into one large family under the name APOCYNACEAE. However, as the genera in these 2 subfamilies can be clearly distinguished, it is preferred to still deal with them in this separate list.

Worldwide: 248 genera and 2,800 species, tropical and warm areas, especially Africa.

Zimbabwe: 9 cultivated genera and 7 cultivated taxa.

Insects associated with this family:
Aphis nerii (Milkweed aphid, Oleander aphid) Food plant
Asclepias curassavica

Links to cultivated genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

GenusContent
Araujia Brot.
Asclepias L.Description
Calotropis R. Br.Description
Ceropegia L.Description, Image
Gomphocarpus R. Br.Description
Hoya R. Br.Description, Image
Oxypetalum R. Br.
Stapelia L.Description
Stephanotis Thouars

Other sources of information about Apocynaceae subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Apocynaceae subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae
Flora of Caprivi: Apocynaceae subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae
Flora of Malawi: Apocynaceae subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae
Flora of Mozambique: Apocynaceae subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae
Flora of Zambia: Apocynaceae subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae
Flora of Zambia: cultivated Apocynaceae subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Apocynaceae subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae

External websites:

GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Apocynaceae subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: Family page: Apocynaceae subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/family.php?family_id=22, retrieved 30 August 2016

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