Common Names in English:
Deciduous or evergreen
, often thorny trees
, woody climbers
, or lianas, rarely herbs. Leaves simple
, alternate or opposite, pinnately veined or 3-5-veined, entire to serrate, sometimes much reduced; stipules small, caducous
, sometimes transformed into spines. Flowers yellowish to greenish, rarely brightly colored
, small, bisexual
, rarely polygamous, (4 or) 5-merous, hypogynous to epigynous
, in mostly axillary
, sessile or pedunculate
cymes, or reduced to few in fascicles. Calyx tube
or hemispherical to tubular
, sometimes absent, at rim
with calyx, corolla, and stamens; sepals 4 or 5, valvate
in bud, triangular, erect
or ± recurved during anthesis
, adaxially often distinctly keeled
, alternate with petals. Petals 4 or 5, rarely absent, usually smaller than sepals, concave
, rarely nearly flat, often shortly clawed. Stamens 4 or 5, antepetalous
and often ± enclosed by petals; filaments
of petals; anthers
minute, versatile or not, 2(or 4) -celled, dehiscing by longitudinal
slits, usually introrse
. Disk intrastaminal
, thin to ± fleshy
, entire or lobed
or rarely pubescent
from ovary or tightly surrounding it, or adnate to calyx tube. Ovary superior to inferior, (1 or) 2-4-loculed, with 1(or 2) ovules per locule; ovules anatropous
, basal and erect; styles simple or ± deeply 3-lobed or 3-cleft. Fruit either an indehiscent, rarely explosively dehiscent
, sometimes winged
, schizocarpic capsule, or a ± fleshy drupe with 1-4 indehiscent, rarely dehiscent, pyrenes (stones
) . Seeds with thin, oily albumen, sometimes exalbuminous
; embryo large, oily, straight or rarely bent.
About 50 genera and more than 900 species: almost cosmopolitan , mainly in subtropical to tropical areas; 13 genera and 137 species (82 endemic, one introduced ) in China.
Former classifications usually placed Rhamnaceae in the Rhamnales, together with Vitaceae and Leeaceae (Suessenguth in Engler & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam., ed. 2, 20d. 1953), or together with Elaeagnaceae (Thorne, Bot. Rev. 58: 225-348. 1992) . Orders such as Celastrales, Urticales, and Euphorbiales have often been considered as closely related groups. Recent analyses of DNA sequences strongly supported including the family in the Rosales, beside the closest relatives Barbeyaceae and Dirachmaceae (see Angiosperm Phylogeny Group II, Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 141: 399-436. 2003) . Suessenguth (loc. cit. ) grouped the family into five tribes , mainly characterized by fruit characters. Richardson et al. (Kew Bull . 55: 311-340. 2000; Amer. J. Bot. 87: 1309-1324. 2000) revised this tribal classification on the basis of a phylogenetic analysis using rbcL and trnL-F sequences of the plastid genome. Now 11 tribes are recognized, of which four are represented in the Flora area.
The bark , leaves, and fruit of several species of Rhamnus have been used as laxatives , notably R. cathartica and R. frangula. Diverse Old World species of Rhamnus provide yellow and green dyes as well as drugs. Timber of Alphitonia, Colubrina, Hovenia, and Ziziphus species is used for construction, fine furniture, carving, lathework, and musical instruments. Many Ziziphus species yield edible fruit; among them, Z. jujuba (Chinese jujube) and Z. mauritiana (Indian jujube) are cultivated on a commercial scale. Hovenia dulcis is also grown for its edible, fleshy inflorescence stalks . Species of Hovenia, Paliurus, and Rhamnus are cultivated as ornamentals .
. Buds and young branches often ± densely brownish pubescent
. Leaves alternate, with small, caducous
stipules; leaf blade
to lanceolate, rarely nearly cordate, papery
to leathery, pinnately veined, abaxially usually glabrous
, adaxially whitish to rusty pubescent, margin
entire. Flowers bisexual
, 5-merous, many in di-
or rarely terminal
cymes. Calyx tube
to hemispherical; sepals 5, triangular, adaxially keeled. Petals 5, clawed, cucullate
. Stamens 5, enfolded by petals. Disk mainly thick, nectariferous
. Ovary inferior, immersed
in disk, 2- or 3-loculed, with 1 ovule per locule; style short, often divided
into 2 to 3 slightly capitate stylar
branches, basally often densely whitish to yellowish pubescent or glabrous. Fruits drupaceous
or broadly ovoid
, at base
surrounded by persistent
calyx tube; mesocarp
thick, initially fleshy
, later dry and mealy
; endocarp splitting
longitudinally into 2 or 3, hard, leathery, 1-seeded endocarpids. Seeds ± completely enclosed by a membranous, reddish to brownish aril; testa smooth
; embryo straight; endocarp cartilaginous.
About ten species: SE Asia, Australia, Pacific islands; one species in China.
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 1,023 meters (0 to 3,356 feet).
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Takhtajan Ex Reveal, 1992
- Perleb, 1826
- A.L. de Jussieu, 1789, nom. cons.
- buckthorn, nerpruns
- Reissek ex Endlicher, 1840
- Specific epithet:
- (Fenzl) Reissek ex Benth.
for a flora of the island, based on a study of the
- Botanical name: - Alphitonia excelsa (Fenzl) Reissek ex Benth.
- Form: for a flora of the island, based on a study of the
- Specific epithet: excelsa - (Fenzl) Reissek ex Benth.
- Genus: Alphitonia () - Reissek ex Endlicher, 1840 - Alphitonia
- Family: Rhamnaceae () - A.L. de Jussieu, 1789, nom. cons. - buckthorn, nerpruns
- Order: Rosales () - Perleb, 1826
- Superorder: Rhamnanae () - Takhtajan Ex Reveal, 1992
- Subclass: Rosidae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Magnoliopsida () - Brongniart, 1843 - Dicotyledons
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Colubrina excelsa Fenzl
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: 04-May-2001
Members of the genus Alphitonia
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 3 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 01, 2008:
- Australian National Herbarium
- , Australian National Herbarium
- National Herbarium of New South Wales, NSW herbarium collection
- National Herbarium of New South Wales, Plants of Papua New Guinea
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2664121
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: ITS-184728
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13816372
- GRIN Nomen Number: 2659
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 716620-1
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 407759
- Yilin Chen & Carsten Schirarend "Rhamnaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 12 Page 115,355. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- "Alphitonia". in Flora of China Vol. 12 Page 115, 166. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- Mean = 144.120 meters (472.835 feet), Standard Deviation = 376.250 based on 526 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]