According to Neotropikey[NTK]
Zappi, D. (2010). Neotropical Molluginaceae.
Herbs, rarely woody plants, often creeping and well branched. Leaves alternate , opposite or verticillate , with or without stipules, sessile to shortly petiolate , sometimes linear , venation inconspicuous, blades entire , herbaceous to slightly fleshy . Inflorescences in small cymes to axillary fascicles, flowers sometimes solitary. Flowers hermaphrodite , symmetry radial, hypogynous, relatively small, white, cream or greenish, calyx (4-)5- merous , lobes free to fused at base, corolla absent, sometimes replaced by staminodes; stamens (2-)4-5, rarely more, free or united at base, anthers dehiscing longitudinally; nectar disk present, surrounding the gynoecium ; ovary superior , 2-5-locular, axile placentation, (1-)many ovulate, ovules pendulous. Fruit capsular or achene , seeds black or brown with shiny coat, embryo curved around perisperm, endosperm absent.
Distribution in the Neotropics
- Out of its 10-13 genera and approx. 120 species, this family is represented in the Neotropics by 3 genera and 3 species: Mollugo L., Glinus L. and Glischrothamnus Pilg.
- All are found in dry, open Neotropical environments. Mollugoverticillata L. and Glinusradiatus (Ruiz & Pav.) Rohrb. are weedy and commonly found in disturbed habitats.
- Mollugo L. - throughout the Neotropics, only one species, M. verticillata.
- Glinus L. - a single weedy, widespread species, G. radiatus.
- Glischrothamnus Pilg. - a narrow endemic, monotypic genus from the Brazilian drylands, G.ulei Pilg.
- General Description
Number of genera
- This family is represented in the Neotropics by 3 genera and 3 species: Mollugo L., Glinus L., and Glischrothamnus Pilg.,
See above.General notes
- Molluginaceae is more diverse in Africa, and some species of Mollugo are used as herbs in cooking.
- Together with the Aizoaceae, Cactaceae, Portulacaceae and Stegnospermataceae, the Molluginaceae is currently placed within order Caryophyllales (APGII, 2003). However, it lacks the betalain pigments and has rather modest, small flowers.
Useful tips for generic identification
Key to genera of Neotropical Molluginaceae
1. Woody plants ... Glischrothamnus ulei
1. Herbaceous plants ... 2
2. Leaves narrow, linear to linearlanceolate... Mollugo verticillataNotable genera and distinguishing features
2. Leaves spathulate to obovate... Glinus radiatus
See above.Distinguishing characters (always present)
- Generally herbaceous plants with flowers lacking corolla.
- Relatively small flowers.
- Leaves often opposite.
- Stamens usually 5.
- Ovary pluri-ovulate.
- Seed with shiny seed -coat.
- May be confused with Galium L. and other herbaceousRubiaceae because of its general habit, but has superiorovary and free petals (Rubiaceae has inferior ovary and gamopetalous corolla).
- It can be confused with Aizoaceae and Portulacaceae, but is less succulent and has smaller, less colourful flowers than those.
APG II, 2003. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG II. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 141(4): 399-436.
Souza, V.C. & Lorenzi, H. 2005. Botânica Sistemática: guia ilustrativo para identificação das famílias de Angiospermas da flora brasileira, baseado em APG II. Nova Odessa, Brazil: Instituto Plantarum.
According to Flora of West Tropical Africa[FWTA]
Molluginaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:1. 1954
- Leaves alternate or opposite; stipules none or very small and soon falling off
- Flowers actinomorphic, hermaphrodite, solitary or cymose, usually small and inconspicuous
- Sepals free or united at the base only, imbricate
- Petals small or absent
- Stamens hypogynous or slightly perigynous, definite or many; filaments free to connate at the base; anthers 2-celled, opening lengthwise
- Ovary syncarpous (except Gisekia), usually several-celled; styles or stigmas as many as the cells; ovules curved or inverted
- Fruit dry, dehiscing into the cells or by a transverse slit, rarely indehiscent, calyx usually persistent
- Seeds with endosperm, the embryo curved
According to Flora Zambesiaca[FZ]
Molluginaceae, M. L. Gonçalves. Flora Zambesiaca 4. 1978
- Sterile Parts
- Staminodes often present, sometimes petaloid
- Stamens 3–?, hypogynous, sometimes in pairs or fascicles, alternate with the perianth-segments when definite in number; filaments often enlarged below; anthers 2-locular, opening by longitudinal slits
- Ovary superior, 2–5-carpellate, apocarpous (in Gisekia) or syncarpous; loculi and stigmas as many as carpels; ovules 1, few or many per loculus; placentation axile or basal
- Fruit of achenes, mericarps or loculicidal capsules
- Seeds usually subreniform or triangular in outline, sometimes strophiolate; embryo usually curved
- Succulent or subsucculent annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs, glabrous or covered with simple or stellate hairs (in Glinus lotoides)
- Leaves simple, alternate, opposite or verticillate, sometimes crowded, with or without stipules
- Inflorescences solitary, cymose, loosely dichasial to umbelliform or glomerate, axillary or terminal
- Flowers more or less actinomorphic, hermaphrodite, rarely unisexual (in Gisekia africana)
- Perianth-segments 5, free, imbricate, herbaceous, persistent
First published in Beitr. Bot. [Bartling & H. L. Wendland] 2: 158. 1825 [Dec 1825] (1825)
- APG IV (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/boj.12385
Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa
Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
Milliken, W., Klitgard, B. and Baracat, A. (2009 onwards), Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics.