Flowers of Nesaea luederitzii var. luederitzii, photographed by A. A. Dreyer.

Belongs within: Myrtales.

The Lythraceae is a morphologically diverse family of plants. Economically significant members include the pomegranate Punica granatum and the water chestnut Trapa natans.

Characters (from Qin, Graham & Gilbert): Herbs, shrubs, or trees; young stems often quadrangular. Leaves opposite, often decussate, or whorled, rarely subalternate to alternate, simple, entire; pinnately veined, secondary veins typically joined in a series of intramarginal arches; stipules vestigial or absent. Inflorescences racemes, cymes, or panicles; flowers axillary or terminal, usually 4-, 6- or 8-merous, sometimes 3- or 5-merous, bisexual, regular or irregular. Floral tube perigynous, hemi-epigynous, or epigynous, persistent in fruit, membranous to leathery, often 6-12-ribbed; sepals valvate, equal to much shorter than floral tube, membranous to thickly leathery, persistent; epicalyx alternating with sepals or absent. Petals inserted at rim of floral tube, alternating with sepals, crinkled, clawed or not, frequently caducous, rarely absent. Stamens usually biseriate and 2 × as many as sepals, sometimes uniseriate, inserted near base of floral tube or higher, or numerous, multiseriate, with at least some inserted at floral rim just below sepals (Punica, Sonneratia and some Duabanga); anthers versatile (rarely basifixed). Ovary superior, half-inferior, or inferior, 2-6- or multi-loculed, with many ovules per locule; style simple; stigma capitate, conic-peltate, or punctiform; placentation axile, sometimes free central at fruit maturity. Fruit partly or completely surrounded by persistent floral tube, loculicidally dehiscent or irregularly dehiscent capsules, infrequently indehiscent, leathery, or berrylike. Seeds usually numerous, without endosperm; embryo straight, cotyledons flat or convolute.

    |--Adenaria YY22
    |--Cuphea rotundifolia J87
    |--Duabanga [Duabangoideae] T00
    |--Ammania baccifera VB02
    |--Trapa [Trapacaeae, Trapoideae] T00
    |    `--T. natans C55
    |         |--T. n. var. natans PP07
    |         `--T. n. var. bispinosa PP07
    |--Punica [Punicaceae, Punicoideae] T00
    |    `--P. granatum R-CT01
    |--Sonneratia [Sonneratioideae] T00
    |    |--S. alba P88
    |    `--S. caseolaris [incl. S. acida] P88
    |--Lafoensia K06
    |    |--L. glyptocarpa K06
    |    `--L. punicifolia K06
    |--Nesaea CV06
    |    |--N. brevipes PP07
    |    `--N. luederitzii CV06
    |         |--N. l. var. luederitzii CV06
    |         `--N. l. var. hereroensis CV06
    |--Lagerstroemia LO98
    |    |--L. indica LO98
    |    |--L. parviflora HU08
    |    `--L. speciosa P88
    |--Lythrum [Lythroideae] WM09
    |    |--L. flagellare WM09
    |    |--L. hyssopifolia GK00
    |    `--L. salicaria BC01
    |--Microdiptera parva JD05
    |--Ammannia SR07
    |    |--A. baccifera PP07
    |    `--A. octandra SR07
    |--Rotala densiflora PP07
    |--Lawsonia BB07
    |    |--L. alba SDK05
    |    `--L. inermis BB07
    `--Woodfordia fruticosa P03

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BB07] Baishya, A. K. & P. J. Bora. 2007. Cross community ethno-medico botany of Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve, Assam. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49 (1-4): 121-154.

[BC01] Briese, D. T., & J. M. Cullen. 2001. The use and usefulness of mites in biological control of weeds. In Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress (R. B. Halliday, D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff, eds) pp. 453-463. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

[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.

[CV06] Craven, P., & P. Vorster. 2006. Patterns of plant diversity and endemism in Namibia. Bothalia 36 (2): 175-189.

[GK00] Gibson, N., & G. J. Keighery. 2000. Flora and vegetation of the Byenup-Muir reserve system, south-west Western Australia. CALMScience 3 (3): 323-402.

[HU08] Hore, U., & V. P. Uniyal. 2008. Diversity and composition of spider assemblages in five vegetation types of the Terai Conservation Area, India. Journal of Arachnology 36 (2): 251-258.

[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.

[JD05] Junge, F. W., M. Dolezych, H. Walther, T. Böttger, A. Kühl, L. Kunzmann, P. Morgenstern, T. Steinberg & R. Stange. 2005. Ein Fenster in Landschaft und Vegetation vor 37 Millionen Jahren: Lithologische, sedimentgeochemische und paläobotanische Befunde aus einem Paläoflusssystem des Weißelsterbeckens. Mauritiana 19 (2): 185-273.

[K06] Kwiecinski, G. G. 2006. Phyllostomus discolor. Mammalian Species 801: 1-11.

[LO98] Lack, H. W., & H. Ohba. 1998. Die Xylothek des Chikusai Kato. Willdenowia 28: 263-276.

[PP07] Pandey, R. P. & P. M. Padhye. 2007. Studies on phytodiversity of Arid Machia Safari Park-Kailana in Jodhpur (Rajasthan). Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49 (1-4): 15-78.

[P03] Paul, T. K. 2003. Botanical observations on the Purulia pumped storage hydropower project area, Bagmundi Hills, Purulia district, West Bengal. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 45 (1-4): 121-142.

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

[R-CT01] Ragusa-di Chiara, S., & H. Tsolakis. 2001. Phytoseiid faunas of natural and agricultural ecosystems in Sicily. In Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress (R. B. Halliday, D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff, eds) pp. 522-529. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

[SR07] Sankar, R. V., K. Ravikumar, N. M. Ganesh Babu & D. K. Ved. 2007. Botany of Anapady MPCA, Palghat district, Kerala with special emphasis on species of conservation concern. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49 (1-4): 165-172.

[SDK05] Sharma, L. K., N. K. Dadhich & A. Kumar. 2005. Plant based veterinary medicine from traditional knowledge of India. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 47 (1-4): 43-52.

[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.

[VB02] Vijay, S. K., & T. N. Bhardwaja. 2002. Vegetation and phenodynamics of wetlands of central Rajasthan. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 99 (3): 573-581.

[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.

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

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