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Cayratia Juss.

Dict.Sci.Nat. p103, (1818)
Name Status

Scientific Description

Family Vitaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Lianas, or herbaceous climbers; evergreen, or deciduous. Herbs perennial. Climbing, or self supporting (then scrambling); the climbers tendril climbers (tendrils leaf-opposed, branched 2-several times). Stem growth conspicuously sympodial, or not conspicuously sympodial. Mesophytic, or xerophytic. Heterophyllous, or not heterophyllous. Leaves alternate; distichous, or spiral; petiolate; non-sheathing; gland-dotted; compound; ternate, or pinnate, or palmate (sometimes pedate). Leaflets 3–9. Leaf blades palmately veined (commonly), or pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves with stipules. Stipules intrapetiolar; caducous. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite, or functionally male and functionally female. Unisexual flowers present, or absent. Plants hermaphrodite, or dioecious (sometimes). Female flowers with staminodes. Male flowers with pistillodes (ovary much reduced).

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences leaf-opposed, or axillary; cymes much-branched, corymbose, irregular. Flowers pedicellate; bracteate; bracteolate; small; regular; 4 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Hypogynous disk present; intrastaminal; annular (adnate to and surrounding the ovary, somewhat 4-lobed above). Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 8; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx 4; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; shallowly lobed, or entire; open in bud; cup-shaped; regular; persistent. Corolla 4; 1 -whorled; polypetalous, or gamopetalous (then falling together); valvate; regular. Petals somewhat hooded (at apex), or not hooded. Fertile stamens present, or absent (female flowers). Androecium 4. Androecial members free of the perianth (inserted at the base of the disk); all equal; free of one another; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 4; isomerous with the perianth; alternisepalous. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate, or bisporangiate. Fertile gynoecium present, or absent (male flowers). Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 2 celled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 2 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical. Stigmas 1; minute, expanding after anthesis; dry type; non-papillate; Group II type. Placentation axile. Ovules 2 per locule; ascending; apotropous; collateral; non-arillate; anatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a berry; 1–4 seeded. Seeds triangular to ovoid; endospermic. Endosperm oily. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight. Seedling. Germination phanerocotylar.

Physiology, biochemistry. Aluminium accumulation not found.

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.

H.R. Coleman, 8 September 2016

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..