ProteaceaeProtea family






Identification
  -Large trees;
  -leaves simple, alternate, spiraled;
  -Roupala with odd-pinnate leaves in juveniles and shade leaves; few, strongly ascending lateral veins, strong canned meat odor;
  -Panopsis with enlarged bases on short petioles,
  -both with unbranched spikes of white flowers with linear petals;
  -fruit a capsule with winged seeds (Roupala) or a hard-shelled nut.

Diagnosis: Large trees, without stipules, leaves simple, alternate. 1. Leaves stiff and fleshy, often both alternate and subopposite on same twig and bunched at twig tips, entire, oblong with blunt or rounded apex, short petiole with swollen base (Panopsis). 2. Leaves of sapling and shaded branches pinnately compound, sun leaves simple, often with sparse teeth (especially in shade), strong garlic-tuna odor in all parts (Roupala).

Local distribution: Widespread, but never common.

Similar families
Rutaceae: translucent yellow dots, spines, citrus odor.
Sapindaceae: ultimate leaflet sub-terminal, an appendage at rachis tip.
Simaroubaceae: leaflets entire, bitter odor.

Diversity: Total: 2 genera, 3 species. Trees: 2 genera, 3 species.

Comments: Trees of both genera are used for construction lumber. Trees of the forest canopy, although the Roupala species on the dry Pacific slope colonizes abandoned pastures.



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