BOT 360F - Families of Vascular Plants

Magnoliid clade - Magnoliales

This clade comprises predominantly tropical, woody angiosperms. Except for the Myristicaceae (each with a single gynoecial unit per flower) they share flowers with many spirally arranged stamens and predominantly apocarpous gynoecia with many pistils.

 

Annonaceae - A primarily tropical family, but Asimina triloba reaches Michigan and southwestern Ontario. Annona squamosa, shown at the left, is known as sweetsop or custard apple; soursop (seen in the lab on 11 October 2001) is A. muricata. These fleshy fruits develop by the amalgamation of the pistils and the receptacle. [use your browser's BACK button to return to this page]

Photo (both) © T. A. Dickinson 2001

 

Magnoliaceae - Both of the two subfamilies are represented in Ontario. Magnolia belongs to the Magnolioideae, in which the fruits are follicles, as in the tropical Michelia, or berries. Seeds have a fleshy outer seed coat, or sarcotesta, that functions much like an aril in attracting and rewarding vertebrate dispersal vectors. Liriodendron belongs to the Liriodendroideae; its fruits are samaras. [use your browser's BACK button to return to this page]

Photos (Magnolia) M. Ferguson © 2001 Royal Ontario Museum (TRT13436) and (Michelia) © 2001 T. A. Dickinson

  Myristicaceae - this is the family that gives us nutmeg (the seed; mostly endosperm, with a tiny embyo) and mace (the red arils enclosing the seed). [use your browser's BACK button to return to this page]

| What are plant families? | How do we distinguish them? | How and why do we study them? | Selected vascular plant families of Ontario | Reading List | Course outline |

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Please send your comments to tim.dickinson@utoronto.ca; last updated 25-Oct-2008