Spurge flax Thymelaea passerina, photographed by Václav Dvořák.

Belongs within: Malvales.
Contains: Pimelea.

The Thymelaeaceae is a cosmopolitan family containing the daphnes and related species, most of which are shrubs or small trees. Many species of the family have fibrous bark that is used to make high quality paper. Species of Daphne are cultivated for their fragrant flowers.

Characters (from Wang et al.): Shrubs or small trees, rarely herbs, evergreen or deciduous. Bark tough and fibrous. Leaves opposite or alternate, rarely some ternate, estipulate; blade simple, entire, pinnately veined, articulate at base. Plants mostly bisexual, sometimes dioecious. Inflorescences terminal or subterminal, less often axillary, sometimes on brachyblasts, sessile or pedunculate, basically racemose, sometimes capitate, spicate, umbelliform, or fascicled. Flowers usually actinomorphic, bisexual or unisexual (plants then mostly dioecious), bracteate (sometimes bracts forming an involucre) or ebracteate, sessile or pedicellate. Calyx tubular, campanulate, or infundibuliform, usually corollalike, 4- or 5(or 6)-merous, mostly caducous, sometimes circumscissile, or persistent; lobes imbricate. Petals absent or represented by 4-12 scales, inserted at or near throat of calyx tube (Aquilaria). Stamens 2 to many, usually as many as calyx lobes and opposite them or twice as many. Hypognous disk usually present at base of ovary, scalelike, annular or cup-shaped, sometimes absent. Ovary superior, 1- or 2-loculed, sessile or shortly stipitate; ovules solitary in each locule, pendulous, anatropous; style filiform, caducous, sometimes very short or obscure, terminal or eccentric; stigma capitate, globose, subglobose, subclavate, or pyramidal, sometimes papilose. Fruit mostly indehiscent, dry or fleshy, sometimes a loculicidal capsule (Aquilaria). Seeds with or without endosperm, embryo straight.

    |--Aquilarioideae T00
    |--Synandrodaphne [Gilgiodaphnoideae] T00
    `--Thymelaea PL04 [Thymelaeoideae T00]
         |--T. hirsuta P05
         |--T. passerina H91
         |--T. sanamunda WM09
         `--T. tartonraira (Linnaeus) Allioni 1785 PL04
              |--T. t. ssp. tartonraira PT98
              `--T. t. ssp. argentea PT98

Thymelaeaceae incertae sedis:
  Kelleria [Gnidieae] H03
    |--K. ericoides H03
    |--K. laxa W91
    `--K. patula H03
  Phaleria capitata H03
  Daphnopsis J87
    |--D. americana J87
    |    |--D. a. ssp. americana J87
    |    `--D. a. ssp. tinifolia J87
    `--D. crassifolia J87
  Funifera YY22
  Hyptiodaphne YY22
  Lagetta YY22
  Wikstroemia YY22
  Pimelea OS04
  Drapetes Banks 1792 A61
    |--D. dieffenbachii Hook. 1843 [=Kelleria dieffenbachii Endl. 1847; incl. D. macrantha Col. 1890] A61
    |--D. ericoides P88
    |--D. laxus (Cheesem.) Allan 1961 [=D. dieffenbachii var. laxa Cheesem. 1906] A61
    |--D. lyallii Hook. f. 1853 (see below for synonymy) A61
    |--D. multiflorus (Cheesem.) Allan 1961 [=D. villosa var. multiflora Cheesem. 1906] A61
    `--D. villosus (Bergg.) Cheesem. 1906 [=Kelleria villosa Bergg. 1877] A61
  Stellera chamaejasme O88
  Daphne PT98
    |--D. blagayana H09
    |--D. cneorum H09
    |--D. gnidioides PT98
    |--D. laureola H59
    |--D. mezereum C55
    `--D. pillopillo D03
  Diplomorpha Meisner 1841 FT93
  Passerina BW06
    |--P. burchellii BW06
    |--P. comosa BW06
    |--P. corymbosa [incl. P. vulgaris] BW06
    |--P. drakensbergensis BW06
    |--P. ericoides BW06
    |--P. esterhuyseniae BW06
    |--P. falcifolia BW06
    |--P. filiformis BW06
    |    |--P. f. ssp. filiformis BW06
    |    `--P. f. ssp. glutinosa BW06
    |--P. galpinii BW06
    |--P. montana BW06
    |--P. montivaga BW06
    |--P. nivicola BW06
    |--P. obtusifolia BW06
    |--P. paleacea BW06
    |--P. paludosa BW06
    |--P. pendula BW06
    |--P. quadrifaria BW06
    |--P. rigida BW06
    |--P. rubra BW06
    `--P. truncata [incl. P. glomerata] BW06
         |--P. t. ssp. truncata BW06
         `--P. t. ssp. monticola BW06
  Lachnaea BW06
  Dicranolepideae H85
    |--Dicranolepidinae H85
    `--Linostomatinae H85
         |--Linostoma H85
         `--Enkleia paniculata H85, H03

Drapetes lyallii Hook. f. 1853 [=Kelleria dieffenbachii var. lyallii Meissn. in DC. 1857; incl. D. muscosa Hook. f. 1854 non D. muscosus Lam. 1792] A61

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand vol. 1. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledones. R. E. Owen, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[BW06] Bredenkamp, C. L., & A. E. Van Wyk. 2006. Phytogeography of Passerina (Thymelaeaceae). Bothalia 36 (2): 191-199.

[C55] Candolle, A. de. 1855. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896-1899, vol. 8—Botany (W. B. Scott, ed.) pp. 1-34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[FT93] Fensome, R. A., F. J. R. Taylor, G. Norris, W. A. S. Sarjeant, D. I. Wharton & G. L. Williams. 1993. A classification of living and fossil dinoflagellates. Micropaleontology Special Publication 7: i-viii, 1-351.

[H85] Heads, M. 1985. On the nature of ancestors. Systematic Zoology 34 (2): 205-215.

[H03] Heads, M. 2003. Ericaceae in Malesia: Vicariance biogeography, terrane tectonics and ecology. Telopea 10 (1): 311-449.

[H59] Healy, A. J. 1959. Contributions to a knowledge of the adventive flora of New Zealand, no. 7. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 86 (1): 113-118.

[H09] Heltmann, H. 2009. Der Königstein (Piatra Craiului), die Perle der Burzenländer Gebirge. Mauritiana 20 (3): 515-527.

[H91] Hubálek, Z. 1991. Biogeographic indication of natural foci of tick-borne infections. In Dusbábek, F. & V. Bukva (eds) Modern Acarology: Proceedings of the VIII International Congress of Acarology, held in České Budĕjovice, Czechoslovakia, 6–11 August 1990 vol. 1 pp. 255-260. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum—Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1-136.

[OS04] Obbens, F. J., & L. W. Sage. 2004. Vegetation and flora of a diverse upland remnant of the Western Australian wheatbelt (Nature Reserve A21064). Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (1): 19-28.

[O88] Ohba, H. 1988. The alpine flora of the Nepal Himalayas: An introductory note. In The Himalayan Plants vol. 1 (H. Ohba & S. B. Malla, eds) The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 19-46.

[PT98] Panitsa, M., & D. Tzanoudakis. 1998. Contribution to the study of the Greek flora: Flora and vegetation of the E Aegean islands Agathonisi and Pharmakonisi. Willdenowia 28: 95-116.

[P05] Papapavlou, K. P. 2005. New distributional data on the Orthoptera (Saltatoria) of the northern Dodecanese ("southern Sporadhes) archipelago, Greece. Graellsia 61 (1): 3-11.

[PL04] Pohl, G., & I. Lenski. 2004. Zur Verbreitung und Vergesellschaftung von Pennisetum orientale Rich. in Nordeuböa (Griechenland) (Poaceae, Paniceae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 83 (2): 209-223.

[P88] Polunin, I. 1988. Plants and Flowers of Malaysia. Times Editions: Singapore.

[T00] Thorne, R. F. 2000. The classification and geography of the flowering plants: Dicotyledons of the class Angiospermae (subclasses Magnoliidae, Ranunculidae, Caryophyllidae, Dilleniidae, Rosidae, Asteridae, and Lamiidae). The Botanical Review 66: 441-647.

[WM09] Wang, H., M. J. Moore, P. S. Soltis, C. D. Bell, S. F. Brockington, R. Alexandre, C. C. Davis, M. Latvis, S. R. Manchester & D. E. Soltis. 2009. Rosid radiation and the rapid rise of angiosperm-dominated forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 106 (10): 3853-3858.

[W91] Williams, P. A. 1991. Subalpine and alpine vegetation of granite ranges in western Nelson, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 29: 317-330.

[YY22] Yampolsky, C., & H. Yampolsky. 1922. Distribution of sex forms in the phanerogamic flora. Bibliotheca Genetica 3: 1-62.

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