Theaceae

 
 

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Genera : 16- 40

Species: 500- 1100

Distribution: Pantropical but centered in Asia and the New World tropical regions.

 

Economic Uses: Source of medicinal tea in SE Asia and as ornamentals.

Defining Features of Interest: Similar to the Dilleniaceae, but differing in some flower and seed characterstics.

Fossil Evidence: Fossil pollen and other plant parts in the Eocene.

Defining Morphology

Floral Features : Actinomorphic and perfect (rarely unisexual and dioecious). Large and showy. Inflorescence as a solitary flower or as terminal racemes or pannicles. Epigynous to hypogynous. Bracts present.

Fruit and Seed Features : Fruit a capsule or rarely an achene or berry. Seed with endosperm present or lacking. Placentation is axile.

Vegetative Features : Habit as shrubs or trees. Leaves simple and entire or toothed, alternate and evergreen. Stipules are lacking.