, or shrubs
, succulent. Stems erect
. Leaves simple
, rarely pinnate, mostly opposite, sometimes alternate, in many species fleshy
entire, rarely with teeth; true stipules absent, sometimes a stipule-like sheath
present at base
. Inflorescences terminal
or seemingly axillary
cymes, or solitary flowers. Flowers bisexual
, rarely unisexual
, perigynous or epigynous
. Nectaries separate or in a ring
around ovary. Tepals (4 or) 5( 8), connate
below into a tube
. Petals absent or present. Stamens 3 to many, free
or connate at base, outermost often as filamentous
dehiscing by longitudinal
slits. Ovary inferior, syncarpous
; carpels 2 to many; ovules 1 to many, on long funicles
, mostly campylotropous; placentation axile
, sometimes basal-parietal. Stigmas as many as carpels. Fruit a hygroscopic
or circumscissile capsule, more rarely a berry or nut. Seeds with slender embryo curved
, rarely with an aril; endosperm scanty or absent.
About 135 genera and 1800 species: mainly in arid , subtropical regions, most species in S Africa, some in Australia and W parts of the Americas, some pantropical ; three genera and three species in China.
The family is divided into five subfamilies, of which two, Sesuvioideae and Tetragonioideae, are represented by native species in China.
Many members of the subfamilies Mesembryanthemoideae and Ruschioideae are ornamentals and are in cultivation worldwide. Until the early 20th century, these were nearly all included in the genus Mesembryanthemum. Since then, the majority of the members of that genus has been placed in a great number of smaller genera. Five species have been recorded as cultivated in China: Aptenia cordifolia (Linnaeus f.) Schwantes, Carpobrotus edulis (Linnaeus) L. Bolus, Glottiphyllum longum (Haworth) N. E. Brown, Lampranthus spectabilis (Haworth) N. E. Brown, and Mesembryanthemum crystallinum Linnaeus. Further species are likely to be introduced into China.
Tetragonia, together with the genus Tetragonocarpus, is sometimes treated as an independent family, the Tetragoniaceae. Sesuvium and Trianthema, together with Cypselea Turpin and Zaleya N. L. Burman, are sometimes treated as a separate family, the Sesuviaceae.
or biennial, usually short-lived, succulent, glabrous
. Roots fibrous
. Stems: flowering shoots
. Leaves rosulate, or cauline and alternate or opposite, sessile; stipules absent; blade
, ± grooved
, ± triangular in cross
. Inflorescences axillary
, flowers solitary; peduncle erect
, 10(-12) cm; bracts absent. Flowers showy, tubular
, 5-13 cm diam.; calyx lobes
5, green, unequal, wider at base
, apex cylindric
, basal margins
of inner 3 lobes papery
; petals (including petaloid
staminodia) 250, distinct
, yellow; nectary
present; stamens 500+, distinct; filament
; pistil 10-25-carpellate; ovary inferior, connate
1/2, 10-25-loculed; placentation parietal
with 2 seed pockets
on outer wall of each locule; styles absent; stigmas 10-25, filiform
. Fruits capsules, conic; valves
10-25, opening but not spreading
when moistened, finally separating into 10-25 segments. Seeds 75-200, spheric, margins keeled
; arils absent.
Species 10: introduced ; South Africa.
According to G. D. Rowley (1978), "Conicosia capsules open once only on wetting and do not close again. The loose seeds are then shaken out over a period of time as from a pepper pot. Subsequently the light, buoyant capsule breaks off and rolls along the ground , scattering further seeds over greater distances . Finally it decomposes into segments, each composed of a winglike membrane that divided the cell chambers. In this are two tiny pouches, each trapping a single seed. These seeds have a long viability (I have had good germination after five years) and so they ensure perpetuation in time as well as space. Three different dispersal mechanisms from one fruit must constitute something of a record ; indeed, the fruits of Mesembryanthemaceae are among the most complicated structurally of any plant." The two tiny pouches referred to by Rowley often contain multiple seeds, one to three or none per pouch (pers. obs.). See G. Schwantes (1957) for a description and illustration of the pockets, as shown in Conicosia brevicaulis.
Herrea Schwantes is closely related to Conicosia; it has been wrongly cited for California. Conicosia and Herrea share a number of characteristics; they are distinguished by the dissepiments (partitions) of the fruits, which reach to the apex of the valves in Herrea and halfway up the valves in Conicosia. In Herrea, the capsule splits into many segments without a firm central column; in Conicosia, the capsule does not separate into many segments, or at least not until decaying away. Herrea is included in Conicosia by H. D. Ihlenfeldt and M. Gerbaulet (1990). In general, conicosias do well in poor, sandy soils (U. Van der Spuy 1971). They grow readily and naturalize in sandy dune habitats in coastal California.
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Order: Caryophyllales () - Perleb, 1826
- Superorder: Caryophyllanae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Subclass: Caryophyllidae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- 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
Publishing author : L.Bolus Publication : Notes Mesembryanthemum [H.M.L. Bolus] 3: 300 1958 [30 Apr 1958]
Members of the genus Conicosia
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 1 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
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- Lu Dequan. 1996. Aizoaceae (SesuviumTetragonia). In: Tang Changlin, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 26: 3036.
- Ihlenfeldt, H. D. and M. Gerbaulet. 1990. Untersuchungen zum Merkmals-bestand und zur Taxonomie der Gattungen Apatesia N. E. Brown, Carpanthea N. E. Brown, Conicosia N. E. Brown, Herrea Schwantes und Hymenogyne Haworth (Mesembryanthemaceae Fenzl). Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 111: 457-498.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 10, 2012.
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 8639173
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 14965202
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:57230-1
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 57230-1
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 728437
- Dequan Lu & Heidrun E. K. Hartmann "Aizoaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 5 Page 440. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- John E. Bleck "Conicosia". in Flora of North America Vol. 4 Page 77, 86, 87, 8. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]