Breynia J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.
Char.Gen.Pl. 145, t. 73 (1775)

Name Status: Current
Browse to the list of specimens for Breynia J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.

Scientific Description
H.R. Coleman, Thursday 8 September 2016

Family Euphorbiaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Trees, or shrubs; non-laticiferous and without coloured juice. Plants succulent, or non-succulent. Mesophytic, or xerophytic. Leaves small to medium-sized; alternate; spiral, or distichous; ‘herbaceous’, or leathery, or fleshy; petiolate; non-sheathing; gland-dotted, or not gland-dotted; simple. Leaf blades entire; pinnately veined. Leaves with stipules. Stipules small; caducous, or persistent. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Urticating hairs present, or absent. Stem anatomy. Nodes tri-lacunar, or unilacunar. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring, or anomalous; from a single cambial ring.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers functionally male, or functionally female. Unisexual flowers present. Plants monoecious. Male flowers without pistillodes. Entomophilous.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’ (then clustered); when solitary, axillary. Inflorescences axillary. Flowers bracteate, or ebracteate; minute to small; regular. Floral receptacle developing an androphore, or with neither androphore nor gynophore (? depending on interpretation). Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk absent. Perianth sepaline, or absent (in female flowers, sometimes); when present, 6; 1 -whorled. Calyx 6; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous. Calyx lobes usually markedly shorter than the tube. Calyx of male flowers turbinate or obconic; regular; persistent. Fertile stamens present, or absent (female flowers). Androecium 3. Androecial members branched, or unbranched; free of the perianth; if filaments interpreted as being present, coherent. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 3; reduced in number relative to the adjacent perianth; erect in bud, or inflexed in bud; with sessile anthers (if anthers interpreted as adnate to the androphore), or filantherous. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; extrorse, or introrse; bisporangiate, or tetrasporangiate. Fertile gynoecium present, or absent (male flowers). Gynoecium 3 carpelled. The pistil 3 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious, or synstylovarious; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 3 locular. Styles 3; free, or partially joined; simple, or forked; apical. Stigmas 3, or 6; dry type; papillate, or non-papillate; Group II type. Placentation axile, or apical. Ovules 2 per locule; pendulous; epitropous; with ventral raphe, or with dorsal raphe; collateral; non-arillate; hemianatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a berry. Seeds trigonous; endospermic. Endosperm oily. Seeds non-arillate. Cotyledons 2 (wider than the radicle). Embryo straight, or curved. Seedling. Germination phanerocotylar, or cryptocotylar.

Physiology, biochemistry. Mustard-oils present, or absent.

Geography, cytology, number of species. Native of Australia. Not endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland. Northern Botanical Province.

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Koch, B. L.; Wilson, A. J. G.; Western Australian Herbarium (1992). Flora of the Kimberley region. Western Australian Herbarium. Como, W.A.