AlzateaceaeAlzatea family






Identification
  - Leaves opposite, round and stiff with petioles virtually absent.
  - Twigs quadrangular with tiny free stipules.
  - Small flowers with white, 5-lobed calyx, 5 stamens, no petals, on large terminal inflorescences.
  - Fruit a small 2-valved capsule with tiny wind-dispersed seeds.

Diagnosis: Trees or hemi-epiphytes, with small free stipules, leaves simple oposite, entire, with or without minute stipules, the leaves nearly sessile.

Local distribution: Cloud forest and upper Atlantic slope.

Similar families
Clusiaceae: latex, distinct petioles, round twigs, no stipules.
Myrtaceae: all have translucent yellow dots and distinct petioles.

Diversity: Total: 1 genus, 1 species. Trees: 1 genus, 1 species.

Comments: The stipules are minute and lost during leaf expansion, so they may be difficult to find. Sometimes included in the Lythraceae. These epiphytic shrubs may develop large ropey trunks like strangler figs.



Credits: Images and text copyright 2000-2007, William A. Haber, http://efg.cs.umb.edu/