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Sonneratiaceae Engl.
Engler & Prantl, Nat.Pflanzenfam.Nachtr. 1:261 (1897)

Name Status: Not Current

Scientific Description
Leslie Watson, Thursday 8 September 2016

Common name. Sonneratia Family.

Habit and leaf form. Trees, or shrubs, or lianas. Self supporting, or climbing. Helophytic, or mesophytic. Leaves opposite, or whorled; leathery; petiolate, or subsessile; simple. Leaf blades entire; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Roots. Aerial roots present, or absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite (usually), or hermaphrodite and functionally male, or hermaphrodite, functionally male, and functionally female. Unisexual flowers present, or absent (usually). Plants hermaphrodite (usually), or monoecious, or polygamomonoecious. Plants homostylous.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes, or in corymbs. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences terminal; 1–3 flowered cymes or corymbs. Flowers medium-sized to large; regular; cyclic; polycyclic. Free hypanthium present (thick). Hypogynous disk present. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla, or sepaline (corolla sometimes lacking); 8–16; 1 -whorled, or 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx 4–8; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous, or polysepalous (on the hypanthium, often coloured inside); valvate; campanulate; regular; persistent (leathery). Corolla 4–8 (small); 1 -whorled; polypetalous; crumpled in bud; regular. Fertile stamens present, or absent (female flowers). Androecium (12–)16–100 (usually ‘many’). Androecial members branched, or unbranched; free of the perianth (on the hypanthium); free of one another, or coherent; when cohering, 4–8 - adelphous (in clusters opposite the petals); 1–4 -whorled (‘in clusters or in several whorls’). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens (12–)16–100; diplostemonous to polystemonous. Anthers dorsifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Fertile gynoecium present, or absent (male flowers). Gynoecium 4–20 carpelled. The pistil 4–20 celled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth, or increased in number relative to the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior to partly inferior (on a broad base). Ovary plurilocular; 4–20 locular. Styles 1 (bent in bud); from a depression at the top of the ovary; apical. Stigmas 1; capitate. Placentation axile. Ovules 10–50 per locule (‘many’); funicled; horizontal; anatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy, or non-fleshy; indehiscent; a capsule, or a berry; 15–100 seeded (‘many’). Seeds non-endospermic. Cotyledons 2. Embryo chlorophyllous (1/1); straight, or curved. Seedling. Germination phanerocotylar.

Special features. Mangroves (Sonneratia), or non-mangrove species.

Geography, cytology, number of species. World distribution: East tropical Africa and Madfagascar, Southeast Asia and Malaysia, Northern Australia, Western Pacific. X = 9, 18, 24. 7 species.