ActinidiaceaeChinese Gooseberry family






Identification
  - Leaves simple, alternate, serrate, with long petioles.
  - Coarse simple hairs.
  - Without stipules.
  - Flowers white with many yellow stamens, 5-lobed fused corolla, 5-branched style.
  - Fruit a 5-lobed, usually indehiscent capsule with small embedded in slimy mass.

Diagnosis: Small to medium trees, without stipules, bark with mucilage, leaves simple, alternate, serrate, often with fairly long petioles (> 3cm), teeth of two sizes, numerous parallel lateral veins, and scratchy, simple hairs.

Similar families
Clethraceae: petioles shorter. without mucilage, teeth uniform in size, often with stellate hairs.

Diversity: Total: 1 genus, 5 species. Trees: 1 genus, 5 species.

Comments: Trees of successional sites, such as light gaps, landslides, and river margins. Locally called "moco" (= snot) because of the slimy goop (aril derived, edible tissue?) surrounding the seeds. This slime sometimes drips slowly out of partly open fruits. The forked anthers suggest a close relationship to Clethra.



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