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Terminalia L.

Syst.Nat. 2:674 (1767)
Name Status

Scientific Description

Common name. Nutwood. Family Combretaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Trees, or shrubs; deciduous (to semi-deciduous). Mesophytic to xerophytic, or helophytic. Leaves alternate (crowded at the end of branches); spiral; petiolate; non-sheathing; gland-dotted, or not gland-dotted; simple. Leaf blades entire; elliptic, or oblong, or ovate, or obovate; pinnately veined; cross-venulate; attenuate at the base, or cuneate at the base, or oblique at the base. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hydathodes present (occasionally), or absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite and functionally male. Unisexual flowers present. Plants andromonoecious (male flowers towards the tip and bisexual flowers at the base of the spike). The unisexual flowers aggregated in different parts of the same inflorescence. Male flowers with pistillodes, or without pistillodes (ovary aborted, the lower part of the calyx tube resembling pedicels). Plants viviparous, or not viviparous.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in spikes. The terminal inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences axillary; usually racemose. Flowers sessile; bracteate; ebracteolate; small; regular; 3–8 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic, or pentacyclic. Free hypanthium present; campanulate. Perianth sepaline; 5; 1 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; polysepalous; imbricate, or valvate (or very small); campanulate; regular; persistent. Sepals triangular. Corolla absent. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 10. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal; free of one another; 2 -whorled, or 1 -whorled, or 3 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 10; attached inside the hypanthium; all more or less similar in shape; isomerous with the perianth, or diplostemonous, or polystemonous; oppositisepalous. Anthers dorsifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; tetrasporangiate. Fertile gynoecium present, or absent. Gynoecium 2–5 carpelled. The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious, or eu-syncarpous; inferior. Ovary unilocular; 1 locular. Epigynous disk present. Gynoecium non-stylate (in some male flowers), or stylate. Styles 1; apical. Placentation apical. Ovules in the single cavity 2; pendulous; non-arillate; anatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy, or non-fleshy; a schizocarp. Mericarps samaroid, or comprising drupelets. Seeds non-endospermic. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 1, or 2, or 3.

Etymology. From the Latin for "pertaining to boundaries, terminal"; refers to the leaves, bunched at the ends of branches.

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..
  • Australia. Bureau of Flora and Fauna 1990. Flora of Australia. Volume 18, Podostemaceae to Combretaceae. Australian Govt. Pub. Service.. Canberra..