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: 37 genera and 174 taxa.

Insects associated with this family:
Aphis nerii (Milkweed aphid, Oleander aphid) Food plant
Platycorynus dejeani (Milkweed leaf beetle) Foodplant
Glossostelma carsonii

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

Asclepias L.Description, Image
Aspidoglossum E. Mey.Description, Image
Australluma PlowesImage
Brachystelma R. Br.Description, Image
Calotropis R. Br.Description, Image
Ceropegia L.Description, Image
Cynanchum L.Description, Image
Duvalia Haw.Description, Image
Fockea Endl.Description, Image
Glossostelma Schltr.Description, Image
Gomphocarpus R. Br.Description, Image
Gongronema (Endl.) Decne.Description
Hoodia Sweet ex Decne.Description, Image
Hoya R. Br.Description, Image
Huernia R. Br.Description, Image
Kanahia R. Br.Description, Image
Margaretta Oliv.Description, Image
Marsdenia R. Br.Description, Image
Neoschumannia Schltr.Description, Image
Orbea Haw.Description, Image
Orthanthera WightDescription, Image
Pachycarpus E. Mey.Description, Image
Pentarrhinum E. Mey.Description, Image
Pergularia L.Description, Image
Periglossum Decne.Description, Image
Riocreuxia Decne.Description, Image
Schizostephanus K. Schum.Description, Image
Secamone R. Br.Description, Image
Sisyranthus E. Mey.Description, Image
Sphaerocodon Benth.Description
Stapelia L.Description, Image
Stathmostelma K. Schum.Description, Image
Stenostelma Schltr.Description, Image
Tavaresia Welw. ex N.E. Br.Description, Image
Telosma CovilleDescription
Tylophora R. Br.Description, Image
Xysmalobium R. Br.Description, Image

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: cultivated Apocynaceae subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-20

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2020). Flora of Zimbabwe: Family page: Apocynaceae subfamilies Asclepiadoideae and Secamonoideae.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/family.php?family_id=22, retrieved 12 August 2020

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