Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

JSP Page
D. C. S. Raju, R. R. Rao and P. K. Hajra

Shrubs or small trees, glabrous. Leaves alternate or subverticillate at branch ends, simple, entire, pinnately nerved; stipules absent. Flowers solitary, axillary or supra-axillary, rarely cauliflorous, bisexual; pedicels bracteate, sometimes 1 - 2-bracteolate. Perianth segments spirally arranged, free, 7 - 33; the outermost ones small, bracteole-like; inner ones becoming larger and ligulate or suborbicular, imbricate; the innermost ones often reduced. Stamens few to many, usually 4 - 50, several to 1-seriate; filaments free; anthers oblong, basifixed or adnate, introrso-lateral; thecae often separate; the connective sometimes glandular, not produced but sometimes apiculate at apex. Carpels obliquely attached to torus, (5-)12 - 15(-20), free, uniseriate, laterally compressed, narrowed into style, 1-ovuled; style subulate, recurved, persistent; ovule solitary, attached ventrally near base, bitegmic, crassinucellar, anatropous. Fruit a follicetum consisting of a single whorl of free follicles, dehiscing ventrally. Seeds glossy with copious oily endosperm and minute embryo; cotyledons hardly differentiated.

N.E. India, Japan, Korea, E. China to Malaya, Borneo, Philippines, Southeast U.S.A., E. Mexico and West Indies; one genus and ca 40 species, 4 species in India.

Notes. A natural unigeneric family of great phylogenetic antiquity, formerly kept as a tribe under Magnoliaceae by De Candolle (Prodr. 1: 77. 1824) and Hook. f. (Fl. Brit. India 1: 39. 1872). However, Hutchinson (Fam. Fl. Pl. ed. 2. 125. 1958 & Gen. Fl. Pl. 1: 57. 1964) follows Hu (in Bull. Chin. Bot. Soc. 1: 86. 1935) and treats it as a separate family in Magnoliales. More recently Dahlgren (Bot. Notiser 128: 124. 1974) treated Illiciaceae under a separate order Illiciales.

Literature. BAILEY, I.W. & C.G. NAST (1948) Morphology and relationships of Illicium, Schisandra, and Kadsura. J. Arn. Arb. 29: 77. SMTIH, A.C. (1947) The families Illiciaceae and Schisandraceae. Sargentia 7: 1 - 244.

JSP Page
  • Search