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Frankenia L.

Sp.Pl. 2:332 (1753)
Name Status

Scientific Description

Common name. Frankenias. Family Frankeniaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Shrubs, or herbs. Perennial. Leaves cauline (ass.). Stem internodes solid (ass.). Often in saline habitats. Leaves small; opposite (or often crowded on short lateral branches, or often clustered in axils); decussate; petiolate, or sessile; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire; rolled; linear; one-veined. Leaves with stipules (small, stipular leaf uniting pairs of leaves), or without stipules (pairs of leaves joined at base by a ciliated line). Leaf blade margins revolute. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hairs absent (ass.). Extra-floral nectaries absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring, or anomalous; when anomalous, via concentric cambia.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Entomophilous.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in spikes, or in heads (globular). The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences axillary; dichasial. Flowers sessile; bracteate (each flower subtended by a pair of opposite bracts); bracteolate (a decussate pair of bracts and bracteoles usually similar and united by a stipular sheath, or bracteoles dissimilar and, or free); regular; cyclic; tetracyclic, or pentacyclic. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 8–14; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 4–6; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; shortly blunt-lobed; induplicate valvate; tubular (pleated); regular; persistent. Calyx lobes rhombic (usually ciliate). Corolla present; 4–6; 1 -whorled; appendiculate (each petal with a scale at the base of the limb, continued down the sides of the claw); polypetalous; imbricate; regular; white (not usual), or pink, or purple; persistent. Petals linear (and sometimes ribbon-like), or obovate; clawed. Corolla members bilobed, or fringed. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 4–8. Androecial members free of the perianth; markedly unequal; free of one another, or coherent (shortly united into a ring at base); 1 - adelphous (basally connate); 2 -whorled (usually 3+3). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 4–8; all more or less similar in shape (ass.); isomerous with the perianth, or diplostemonous to polystemonous; in 2 whorls, hypogynous. Anthers versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; extrorse. Gynoecium (2–)3(–4) carpelled. The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious; superior. Ovary unilocular; 1 locular. The ‘odd’ carpel posterior. Ovary sessile. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical. Stigmas (2–)3(–4). Placentation parietal (with (2-)3(-4) placentae). Ovules in the single cavity 1–50 (many); ascending; non-arillate; anatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent (splits lengthwise into 2 or 3 valves); a capsule. Capsules loculicidal and valvular (enclosed by the calyx). Fruit 1 celled. Seeds copiously endospermic. Endosperm not oily (starchy). Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight.

Geography, cytology, number of species. World distribution: widespread arid and maritime.

Etymology. After Johann Franke (latinised as Frankenius; 1590–1661), professor of botany and anatomy at Uppsala, who first enumerated the plants of Sweden.

J. Gathe, 8 September 2016

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, Judy; Marchant, Neville; Lewington, Margaret; Graham, Lorraine 2002. Flora of the south west, Bunbury, Augusta, Denmark. Volume 2, dicotyledons. Australian Biological Resources Study.. Canberra..
  • Grieve, B. J.; Blackall, W. E. 1998. How to know Western Australian wildflowers : a key to the flora of the extratropical regions of Western Australia. Part II, Dicotyledons (Amaranthaceae to Lythraceae). University of W.A. Press.. Nedlands, W.A..
  • 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..
  • Marchant, N. G.; Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Bennett, E. M.; Lander, N. S.; Macfarlane, T. D.; Western Australian Herbarium 1987. Flora of the Perth region. Part one. Western Australian Herbarium.. [Perth]..