Spermatophyta: Dicotyledonae: Archichlamydeae: Dilleniales


Wild, H. (1960) Dilleniaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(1)

Description of the family

Trees, shrubs or lianes, rarely perennial herbs. Leaves alternate, simple (in ours), entire or variously toothed, with prominent parallel lateral nerves. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, borne in cymes, racemes or panicles. Sepals 5, free. Petals (2-)5(-6), often showy. Stamens many. Carpels 3-5. Fruits dehiscent or berry-like. Seeds usually with a created or laciniate aril.

Comment: Placing the family has proved difficult. A major objective of the first meeting of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (1998) was to reduce to number of Eudicot orders to around 40, largely to facilitate filing of herbarium material. Orders comprising just one or two families should be merged with larger orders. In the case of Dilleniaceae this meant placing the family in the Caryophyllales, a somewhat awkward fit. In such cases the practice of bracketing was allowed: Order Caryophyllales (Dilleniales), but described as “unplaced”. In subsequent meetings of APG the placement of the family has remained unresolved. Dilleniaceae is one of the oldest of the Eudicots, having emerged in the mid-Cretaceous about 115 million years ago, although the “crown group” diverged much later, 52 million years ago (Wikipedia). As such it links the Eudicots with the more primitive Dicots. Eudicots – Order Caryophyllales (Dilleniales) – Family Dilleniaceae.

Worldwide: C. 12 genera and 300 species, tropical and subtropical, especially Australasia.

Zimbabwe: 2 cultivated genera and 2 cultivated taxa.

Dillenia indica

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

Dillenia L.Description, Image
Hibbertia AndrewsDescription

Other sources of information about Dilleniaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Dilleniaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Dilleniaceae
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Dilleniaceae
Flora of Zambia: Dilleniaceae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Dilleniaceae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Dilleniaceae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Dilleniaceae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Dilleniaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Dilleniaceae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Dilleniaceae
JSTOR Plant Science: Dilleniaceae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Dilleniaceae
Wikipedia: Dilleniaceae
Plants of the World Online: Dilleniaceae
Tropicos: Dilleniaceae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: Family page: Dilleniaceae.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/family.php?family_id=253, retrieved 18 May 2024

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