Genera : 80

Species: 900

To Genus Directories:

 Centaurium  Halenia
 Eustoma  Lisianthius
 Exacum  Macrocarpaea
 Frasera  Symbolanthus
 Gentiana  Voyria



Distribution: Cosmopolitan

Economic Uses: Cultivated ornamentals, many species yield bitter principles used medicinally and in flavorings.

Defining Features of Interest: Plants usually accumulate bitter iridoid substances; bicollateral bundles are present.

Fossil Evidence:

Defining Morphology

Floral Features : Flowers are actinomorphic and bisexual with fused sepals, petals and epipetalous stamens alternate with the corolla lobes. There is a glandular disk at the base of the G, and flowers have parietal placentation. Inflorescence is cymose.

Fruit and Seed Features : Fruit a dehiscent septicidal capsule, rarely a berry. Seed small with copious oily endosperm and a straight embryo.

Vegetative Features : Habit varies from small trees, pachycaul shrubs to (usually) herbs, mycorrhiza very common. Plants are usually rhizomatous. Leaves opposite and simple. Stipules are absent.