pronounced: fy-toe-lack-AY-see-eye

the pokeweed family

This is a very contentious family, with much disagreement among the various authorities as to which genera it contains. Indeed, authorities are not agreed that the Rivina genus should be included, but argue that it should be in Petriveriaceae, which itself is an even more contentious family in its own right. I am following The Plant List of Kew Gardens in including it here.

This is a family of flowering plants mainly from South Africa and tropical and subtropical South America. The plants are herbaceous, and rarely trees. The leaves are simple, alternate, entire, either with tiny stipules or without stipules altogether. The flowers may be bisexual or unisexual, have radial symmetry, and are in racemes or panicles. Bracts are usually present, with 2 bractlets. There are 4 or 5 tepals, either free or connate at the base, leaflike or petaloid, and persistent. There are usually 4 or 5 stamens, and occasionally more. The filaments may be either free or connate at the base. The anthers are 2-loculed and dorsifixed. The ovary is superior. The fruit is a berry or a drupe (rarely a capsule) and fleshy.



Photograph by Jakec via Wikimedia commons.