Common name. Pigfaces. Family Aizoaceae.
Habit and leaf form. Small, erect or semi-prostrate shrubs. Plants succulent. Leaves cauline. Plants with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves. Young stems angled. Stem internodes solid. Xerophytic. Leaves minute to medium-sized; opposite; fleshy; imbricate to not imbricate; shortly petiolate to sessile; connate (ensheathing stem, and persistent); simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire; often solid; one-veined, or pinnately veined, or palmately veined. Leaves with stipules, or without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire. Vegetative buds not scaly. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hairs absent. Extra-floral nectaries absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring, or anomalous; via concentric cambia.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Entomophilous (diurnal).
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes, or in heads. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences terminal (on branchlets at right angles to the main stems); with involucral bracts (this bilobed and fleshy, partly enclosing the flowers). Flowers pedicellate (A), or sessile (A); ebracteate; ebracteolate; small, or medium-sized; regular; cyclic; polycyclic. Free hypanthium present; incorporation calyx, staminodes and stamens. Perianth sepaline (considered apetalous, with colourful, conspicuous staminodal ‘petals’); 5; 1 -whorled. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; unequal but not bilabiate (two members large and opposite, and three smaller with membranous margins); fleshy; persistent. Corolla absent. Androecium 50–200 (‘many’). Androecial members branched. Androecial sequence determinable, or not determinable. Androecial members when branched/many, maturing centrifugally; free of one another, or coherent; 3–16 -whorled (i.e to ‘many whorls’). Androecium including staminodes. Staminodes 20–50 (many, outside the stamens); petaloid (pale pink to white). Stamens 20–100 (many); polystemonous; filantherous. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed as single grains. Gynoecium 4–5 carpelled. The pistil 4–5 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to synstylovarious; inferior. Ovary plurilocular; 4–5 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 4–5; apical. Stigmas 4–5. Placentation parietal. Ovules 20–50 per locule (many); anatropous, or campylotropous.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a capsule, or a berry; 4–5 celled; 20–100 seeded (many). Seeds non-endospermic. Perisperm present (mealy). Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo curved.
Etymology. From the Greek for "flesh" and "involucre", referring to the fleshy involucre which surrounds the calyx tube.
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Western Australian Herbarium (1998–). FloraBase—the Western Australian Flora. Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/