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Biological Sciences Greenhouses


The Biological Sciences Greenhouse was built in 2011. It is located on the roof of the Class of 1978 Biological Sciences Building.

The greenhouse has an orchid collection of about 1000 orchids. The orchids were donated by Alan Brout (class of '51). They are housed in a warm orchid room and a cool orchid room.
There is a tropical room, a sub-tropical room, and a xeric (cacti and succulents) room. There are also seven research greenhouse rooms. All greenhouse rooms are computer-controlled with humidity, lights, and temperature settings.

We support Dartmouth graduate students, post-docs, and faculty in their plant and ecological research. We also support undergraduate Dartmouth biology classes.

While continuing our primary educational and research missions, we are also open to the public to enjoy our 'living botanical museum'. Group tours are available. The hours for the public are Monday though Friday, 8:30 am to 4 pm.

(Plant Family descriptions sources include: Encyclopædia Online Britannica, TheFreeDictionary.com, Wikipedia, wildlifeofhawaii.com)




    Organisms and Viruses

    • Acanthaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The family Acanthaceae is a taxon of dicotyledonous flowering plants containing almost 250 genera and about 2500 species. Most are tropical herbs, shrubs, or twining vines; some are epiphytes. Only a few species are distributed in temperate regions

    • Acoraceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Acorus is a genus of monocot flowering plants. This genus was once placed within the family Araceae (aroids), but more recent classifications place it in its own family Acoraceae and order Acorales, of which it is the sole genus of the oldest surviving line of monocots

    • Agavaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Agavaceae, Agave shawii [Credit: © Robert and Linda Mitchell]the agave family of the flowering plant order Asparagales, consisting of 23 genera and 637 species of short-stemmed, often woody plants distributed throughout tropical, subtropical, and temperate areas of the world. Members of the family have narrow, lance-shaped, sometimes fleshy or toothed leaves that are clustered at the base of each plant. Most species have large flower clusters containing many flowers. The fruit is a capsule or berry.

      Agave angustifolia [Credit: El Denis Conrado]Plants of the genus Agave are important primarily for the fibres obtained from their leaves. Sisal hemp, from A. sisalana, is the most valuable hard fibre. Henequen fibre is obtained from A. fourcroyoides and cantala, or Manila-Maguey fibre, from A. cantala. Some species of Agave contain a sap that is fermented to produce a cheesy-smelling, intoxicating drink.

    • Aizoaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The family Aizoaceae or Ficoidaceae (fig-marigold family or ice plant family) is a taxon of dicotyledonous flowering plants containing 135 genera and about 1900 species. They are commonly known as stone plants or carpet weeds. Species that resemble stones or pebbles are sometimes called mesembs. Several species are known as ice plants.

    • Alismataceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The water-plantains (Alismataceae) are a family of flowering plants, comprising 11 genera and between 85-95 species. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the greatest number of species in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Most of the species are herbaceous aquatic plants growing in marshes and ponds.

    • Alliaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Allioideae is the botanical name of a monocot subfamily of flowering plants in the family Amaryllidaceae, order Asparagales. It was formerly treated as a separate family, Alliaceae.[1] The subfamily name is derived from the generic name of the type genus, Allium.

    • Aloaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The majority of Old World succulent monocotyledons are grouped into the Aloaceae, a medium sized family of rosulate leaf succulents including Aloe, Astroloba, Bulbine, Chortolirion, Gasteria, Haworthia and Poellnitzia. The largest genus is Aloe with more than 450 species. The Aloaceae are distributed across southern Africa, Arabia, Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands. A few Bulbines are found in Australia.

    • Amaryllidaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Amaryllidaceae are a family of herbaceous, perennial and bulbous flowering plants included in the monocot order Asparagales. The family takes its name from the genus Amaryllis, hence the common name of the Amaryllis family.

    • Anacardiaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Anacardiaceae (the cashew or sumac family) are a family of flowering plants bearing fruits that are drupes and in some cases producing urushiol, an irritant. Anacardiaceae include numerous genera with several of economic importance. Notable plants in this family include cashew (in the type genus Anacardium), mango, poison ivy, sumac, smoke tree, and marula. The genus Pistacia (which includes the pistachio and mastic tree) usually is now included, but has sometimes been placed in its own family, Pistaciaceae.

    • Annonaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Annonaceae, the custard apple family[2][3] are a family of flowering plants consisting of trees, shrubs, or rarely lianas.[3] With about 2300 to 2500 species and more than 130 genera,[4] it is the largest family in Magnoliales. Seven genera, Annona, Anonidium, Rollinia, Uvaria, Melodorum, Asimina, and Stelechocarpus produce edible fruits. Its type genus is Annona. The family is concentrated in the tropics, with few species found in temperate regions. About 900 species are Neotropical, 450 are Afrotropical, and the other species Indomalayan.

    • Apocynaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Apocynaceae are a family of flowering plants that includes trees, shrubs, herbs, and lianas, commonly called the dogbane family.[1] Members of the family are native to European, Asian, African, Australian and American tropics or subtropics, with some temperate members.[1]

      Many species are tall trees found in tropical rainforests, but some grow in tropical dry (xeric) environments. There are also perennial herbs from temperate zones. Many of these plants have milky latex, and many species are poisonous if ingested. Some genera of Apocynaceae, such as Adenium, have milky latex apart from their sap, and others, such as Pachypodium, have clear sap and no latex

    • Araceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Araceae are a family of monocotyledonous flowering plants in which flowers are borne on a type of inflorescence called a spadix. The spadix is usually accompanied by, and sometimes partially enclosed in, a spathe or leaf-like bract. Also known as the Arum family, members are often colloquially known as aroid. This family of 107 genera and over 3700 species is most diverse in the New World tropics, although also distributed in the Old World tropics and north temperate regions.

    • Araliaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Araliaceae are a family of flowering plants, also known as the Aralia family (after its type genus Aralia) or ivy family. The family includes 254 species of trees, shrubs, lianas and perennial herbaceous plants in two subfamilies. Species usually bear pinnately or palmately compound leaves, and usually have small flowers produced in large panicles.

    • Arecaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Arecaceae are a botanical family of perennial lianas and trees commonly known as palms. (Due to historical usage, the family is alternatively called Palmae or Palmaceae.[2]) They are flowering plants, the only family in the monocot order Arecales. Roughly 202 genera with around 2600 species are currently known, most of them restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates. Most palms are distinguished by their large, compound, evergreen leaves arranged at the top of an unbranched stem. However, many palms are exceptions, and in fact exhibit an enormous diversity in physical characteristics. As well as being morphologically diverse, palms also inhabit nearly every type of habitat within their range, from rainforests to deserts.

      Palms are among the best known and most extensively cultivated plant families.

    • Aristolochiaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Aristolochiaceae, or the Birthwort family, are a family of flowering plants with 7 genera and about 400 species belonging to the order Piperales. The type genus is Aristolochia L.

    • Asclepiadaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      According to APG II, the Asclepiadaceae is a former plant family now treated as a subfamily (subfamily Asclepiadoideae) in the Apocynaceae (Bruyns 2000). Botanist Pete Raids has been credited with the majority of work in this field.

      They form a group of perennial herbs, twining shrubs, lianas or rarely trees but notably also contain a significant number of leafless stem succulents, all belonging to the order Gentianales. The name comes from the type genus Asclepias (milkweeds).

      There are 348 genera, with about 2,900 species. They are mainly located in the tropics to subtropics, especially in Africa and South America.

    • Asphodelaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Asphodeloideae is a subfamily of the monocot family Xanthorrhoeaceae in the order Asparagales. It has previously been treated as a separate family, Asphodelaceae.[1] The subfamily name is derived from the generic name of the type genus, Asphodelus. Members of group are native to Africa, central and western Europe, the Mediterranean basin, Central Asia and Australia, with one genus (Bulbinella) having some of its species in New Zealand. The greatest diversity occurs in South Africa.

      The genera Aloe, Asphodelus and Kniphofia are perhaps the best known genera from their use in horticulture as ornamental plants.

    • Aspleniaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Aspleniaceae (spleenworts) is a family of ferns, included in the order Polypodiales[1] or in some classifications as the only family in the order Aspleniales.

      Members of the family all have intramarginal, linear sori with a flap-like indusium arising along one edge. Most pteridologists today consider this family of consisting of just two genera. Others still maintain segregate genera such as Phyllitis and Ceterach; however, the species segregated into these genera all hybridize readily with undisputed Asplenium species.[specify] A recent phylogenenetic study of Aspleniaceae (Murukami et al. 1999) shows that species segregated as Camptosorus and Neottopteris are nested within Asplenium and recommends that they be included in that genus, but suggests that Hymenasplenium (including Boniniella) and Phyllitis are distantly related to other Asplenium species and should be recognized at the generic level.

    • Asteraceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Asteraceae or Compositae (commonly referred to as the aster, daisy, or sunflower family), are an exceedingly large and widespread family of Angiospermae.[3][4] The group has more than 23,000 currently accepted species, spread across 1,620 genera and 12 subfamilies. In terms of numbers of species, Asteraceae is rivaled only by Orchidaceae.[3][5] (Which of the two families is actually larger is unclear, owing to uncertainty about exactly how many species exist in each family). The main feature of the family is the composite flower type in the form of capitula surrounded by involucral bracts.The name "Asteraceae" comes from Aster, the most prominent generum in the family, that derives from the Greek ἀστήρ meaning star, and is connected with its inflorescence star form. As for the term "Compositae", more ancient but still valid, it obviously makes reference to the fact that the family is one of the few angiosperms that have composite flowers.[6] This family has a remarkable ecological and economical importance, and is present from the polar regions to the tropics, colonizing all available habitats. The Asteraceae may represent as much as 10% of autochthon flora in many regions of the world.

    • Azollaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Azolla (mosquito fern, duckweed fern, fairy moss, water fern) is a genus of seven species of aquatic ferns in the family Salviniaceae. They are extremely reduced in form and specialized, looking nothing like conventional ferns but more resembling duckweed or some mosses.

    • Begoniaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Begoniaceae is a family of flowering plants with about 1400 species occurring in the subtropics and tropics of both the New World and Old World. All but one of the species are in the genus Begonia. The only other genus in the family, Hillebrandia, is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and has a single species. Phylogenetic work supports Hillebrandia as the sister taxon to the rest of the family. The genus Symbegonia has recently been reduced to a section of Begonia as recent molecular phylogenies have shown it to be derived from within that genus.

      Members of the genus Begonia are well-known and popular houseplants.

    • Bignoniaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Bignoniaceae, the Bignonia Family, is a family of flowering plants in the order Lamiales. It is not known which of the other families in the order it is most closely related to.

      Nearly all of the Bignoniaceae are woody plants, but a few are subwoody, either as vines or subshrubs. A few more are herbaceous plants of high elevation montane habitats, in three exclusively herbaceous genera: Tourrettia, Argylia, and Incarvillea. The family includes many lianas, climbing by tendrils, by twining, or rarely, by aerial roots. The largest tribe in the family, called Bignonieae, consists mostly of lianas and is noted for its unique wood anatomy.

      The family has a nearly cosmopolitan distribution, but is mostly tropical with a few species native to the temperate zones. Its greatest diversity is in northern South America. Bignoniaceae has been covered in some major floristic projects, like Flora of China, Flora Malesiana, and Flora Neotropica. It has not yet been covered in some others, like Flora of Australia, and Flora of North America.

      Bignoniaceae is most noted for ornamentals, grown for their conspicuous, tubular flowers. A great many species are known in cultivation. Various other uses have been made of members of this family. Several species were of great importance to the indigenous peoples of the American tropics.

      According to different accounts, the number of species in the family is about 810 or about 860. The last monograph of the entire family was published in 2004. In that work, 104 genera were recognized. Since that time, molecular phylogenetic studies have greatly clarified relationships within the family and the number of accepted genera is now between 80 and 85.

    • Bixaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Bixaceae are a family of dicotyledonous plants commonly called the achiote family. Under the Cronquist system, the family was traditionally placed in the order Violales. However, newer arrangements move it, with some other families previously in the Violales families, into the Malvales.

      Bixaceae includes three genera and a total of 25 species, although Cochlospermum is sometimes placed into its own family, Cochlospermaceae. The best-known of the species in this family is the source of annatto, the achiote, which belongs to the type genus of the family.

      Although small, this family has the diversity within to include trees, herbs and shrubs. The plants are bisexual, and all species have five sepals. All plants within the Bixaceae produce a red, orange, or yellow latex.

    • Blechnaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Blechnaceae is a family of from two to nine genera and between 240-260 species of ferns, with a cosmopolitan distribution, in the eupolypods II clade of the order Polypodiales, in the class Polypodiopsida.

      Most are ground dwelling, some are climbers, such as Stenochlaena. A characteristic feature of many species is that the young opening fronds are usually tinged with red.

    • Bombacaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Bombacaceae were long recognised as a family of flowering plants or Angiospermae. The family name was based on the type genus Bombax. As is true for many botanical names, circumscription and status of the taxon has varied with taxonomic point of view, and currently the preference is to transfer most of the erstwhile family Bombacaceae to the subfamily Bombacoideae within the family Malvaceae in the order Malvales. The rest of the family were transferred to other taxa, notably the new family Durionaceae. Irrespective of current taxonomic status, many of the species originally included in the Bombacaceae are of considerable ecological, historical, horticultural, and economic importance, such as balsa, kapok, baobab and Durian.

    • Borginaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Boraginaceae, the Borage or Forget-me-not family, include a variety of shrubs, trees, and herbs, totaling about 2,000 species in 146 genera found worldwide. [2] A number of familiar plants belong to this family.

      Boraginaceae belong, according to the APG II, among the euasterid I group including the orders Gentianales, Lamiales, and Solanales, but whether they should be assigned to one of these orders or to their own (Boraginales) is still uncertain. Under the older Cronquist system they were included in Lamiales, but it is now clear that they are no more similar to the other families in this order than they are to families in several other asterid orders. The Boraginaceae are paraphyletic with respect to Hydrophyllaceae and the latter is included in the former in APG II system. In some recent classifications the Boraginaceae are broken up into several families: Boraginaceae s.s., Cordiaceae, Ehretiaceae, Heliotropiaceae, Hydrophyllaceae, and Lennoaceae.

      Most though not all members of this family have hairy leaves. The coarse character of the hairs is due to Silicon dioxide and Calcium carbonate. These hairs can induce an adverse skin reaction (itching, rash) in some individuals, particularly among people who handle the plants regularly (e.g. gardeners). In some species, Anthocyanins cause the flowers to change their color from red to blue when aging. This is likely used as a signal to pollinators that these old flowers are depleted of pollen and nectar (Hess, 2005).

    • Boweniaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The genus Bowenia, includes two living and two fossil species of cycads in the family Stangeriaceae, sometimes placed on their own family Boweniaceae. They are entirely restricted to Australia. The two living species occur in Queensland, where they grow in the warm, wet, tropical rainforests, on protected slopes and near streams, primarily in the lowlands.

      The fossil species Bowenia eocenica is known from deposits in a coal mine in Victoria, Australia, and B. papillosa is known from deposits in New South Wales. Both fossils are of Eocene age, and consist of leaflet fragments.

    • Brassicaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Brassicaceae, a medium-sized and economically important family of flowering plants (Angiosperms), are informally known as the mustards, mustard flowers, the crucifers or the cabbage family.

      The name Brassicaceae is derived from the included genus Brassica. Cruciferae, an older name, meaning "cross-bearing", describes the four petals of mustard flowers, which are reminiscent of a cross; it is one of eight plant family names without the suffix -aceae that are authorized alternative names (according to ICBN Art. 18.5 and 18.6 (Vienna Code)), and thus both Cruciferae and Brassicaceae are used.

      The family contains over 330 genera and about 3,700 species, according to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The largest genera are Draba (365 species), Cardamine (200 species, but its definition is controversial), Erysimum (225 species), Lepidium (230 species), and Alyssum (195 species).

      The family contains well-known species such as Brassica oleracea (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.), Brassica rapa (turnip, Chinese cabbage, etc.), Brassica napus (rapeseed, etc.), Raphanus sativus (common radish), Armoracia rusticana (horseradish), Matthiola (stock), Arabidopsis thaliana (model organism) and many others.

    • Bromeliaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Bromeliaceae (the bromeliads) are a family of monocot flowering plants of around 3,170 species native mainly to the tropical Americas, with a few species found in the American subtropics and one in tropical west Africa, Pitcairnia feliciana. They are one of the basal families within the Poales and are unique because they are the only family within the order that has septal nectaries and inferior ovaries. These inferior ovaries characterize the Bromelioideae, a subfamily of the Bromeliaceae. The family includes both epiphytes, such as Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides), and terrestrial species, such as the pineapple (Ananas comosus). Many bromeliads are able to store water in a structure formed by their tightly-overlapping leaf bases. However, the family is diverse enough to include the tank bromeliads, grey-leaved epiphyte Tillandsia species that gather water only from leaf structures called trichomes, and a large number of desert-dwelling succulents.

      The largest bromeliad is Puya raimondii, which reaches 3–4 m tall in vegetative growth with a flower spike 9–10 m tall, and the smallest is Spanish moss.

    • Burseraceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Burseraceae is a moderate-sized family of 17-18 genera and about 540 species of flowering plants. The actual numbers differ according to the time period in which a given source is written describing this family. The Burseraceae is also known as the Torchwood family[citation needed], the frankincense and myrrh family, or simply the incense tree family. The family includes both trees and shrubs, and is native to tropical regions of Africa, Asia and the Americas.

    • Buxaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Buxaceae are a small family of four or five genera and about 90-120 species of flowering plants. They are shrubs and small trees, with a cosmopolitan distribution. A fifth genus sometimes accepted in the past (Notobuxus), has been shown by genetic studies to be included within Buxus (Balthazar et al., 2000).

      The family is recognised by most taxonomists, and is sometimes known as the box family. However, its placement and circumscription has varied; some taxonomists treat Styloceras in its own family Stylocerataceae, and others have included Simmondsia (usually placed in its own family Simmondsiaceae) in Buxaceae.

      The APG II system of 2003 recognises the family, but in a new circumscription in that it includes the genus Didymeles (two species of evergreen trees from Madagascar). However, APG II does allow the option of segregating this genus as family Didymelaceae, as an optional segregate. This represents a slight change from the APG system of 1998, which firmly recognised both families as separate. In both APG and APG II the family Buxaceae is unplaced as to order and left among the basal lineages of the eudicots. The AP website suggests instating the order Buxales for this family and the family Didymelaceae.

    • Cactaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Cactaceae are mostly spiny succulents with photosynthetic stems comprising 30-200 genera and 1,000 to 2,000 species further characterized by the presence of betalains, and p-plastids. The leaves are alternate, generally extremely reduced and ephemeral or absent, or rarely they are well developed and fleshy. The leaves are associated with highly modified axillary buds or shoots called areoles that bear spines. The flowers are mostly bisexual and actinomorphic and commonly have many weakly differentiated perianth segments arising from an epigynous zone. The androecium typically consists of a very large number of stamens arising from the inner face of the epigynous zone. The gynoecium consists of a compound pistil of 3-many carpels, an equal number of stigmas, and an equal number of parietal placentae with numerous ovules in the single locule of the inferior ovary. The fruit is a berry, often with spines or bristles.

    • Calycanthaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Calycanthaceae (sweetshrub or spicebush family) is a small family of flowering plants included in the order Laurales. The family contains three genera and only 10 species, restricted to warm temperate and tropical regions:

      Calycanthus (2 species; western and southeastern North America)
      Chimonanthus (6 species; eastern Asia)
      Idiospermum (1 species; Queensland, Australia)
      Sinocalycanthus (1 species; eastern Asia) - morphological and molecular data indicate that this is a member of Calycanthus

      They are aromatic deciduous shrubs growing to 2–4 m tall, except for Idiospermum, which is a large evergreen tree. The flowers are white to red, with spirally arranged tepals. DNA-based phylogenies indicate that the Northern Hemisphere Calycanthus and Chimonanthus diverged from each other in the mid-Miocene, while the Australian Idiospermum had already diverged by the Upper Cretaceous and likely represents a remnant of a former Gondwanan distribution of Calycanthaceae that included South America, as indicated by the occurrence of Cretaceous Calycanthaceae fossils in Brazil.

    • Campanulaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The family Campanulaceae (also bellflower family), of the order Asterales, contains about 2000 species in 70 genera of herbaceous plants, shrubs, and rarely small trees, often with milky non-toxic sap. Among them are the familiar garden plants Campanula (bellflower), Lobelia, and Platycodon (balloonflower).

      This family is almost cosmopolitan but concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere. However in the Southern Hemisphere, South Africa is remarkably rich in members of this family. These species are absent in the Sahara, Antarctica and northern Greenland.

      Most current classifications include the segregate family Lobeliaceae in Campanulaceae as subfamily Lobelioideae.

    • Caryophyllaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Caryophyllaceae, commonly called the pink family or carnation family, are a family of flowering plants. It is included in the dicotyledon order Caryophyllales in the APG III system, alongside 33 other families, including Amaranthaceae, Cactaceae, and Polygonaceae. It is a large family, with 86 genera and some 2,200 species.

      This cosmopolitan family of mostly herbaceous plants is best represented in temperate climates, with a few species growing on tropical mountains. Some of the more commonly known members include pinks and carnations (Dianthus), and firepink and campions (Lychnis and Silene). Many species are grown as ornamental plants, and some species are widespread weeds. Most species grow in the Mediterranean and bordering regions of Europe and Asia. The number of genera and species in the Southern Hemisphere is rather small, although the family does contain Antarctic pearlwort (Colobanthus quitensis), the world's southernmost dicot, which is one of only two flowering plants found in Antarctica.

    • Celastraceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Celastraceae (the staff vine or bittersweet family; syn. Canotiaceae, Chingithamnaceae, Euonymaceae, Goupiaceae, Lophopyxidaceae, and Siphonodontaceae in Cronquist system), are a family of about 90-100 genera and 1,300 species of vines, shrubs and small trees, belonging to the order Celastrales. The great majority of the genera are tropical, with only Celastrus (the staff vines), Euonymus (the spindles) and Maytenus widespread in temperate climates.

      There are about 100 genera.

    • Cephalotaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      A family of plants of order Rosales; coextensive with the genus Cephalotus

    • Colchicaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Colchicaceae is a botanical name of a family of flowering plants.

      The APG III system, of 2009 (unchanged from the APG systems, of 1998 and 2003), does recognize such a family and places it in the order Liliales, in the clade monocots, and regards the family as including some two hundred species of herbaceous perennials with rhizomes or corms.

      The Dahlgren system and the Thorne system (1992) also recognized this family, and placed it in order Liliales in superorder Lilianae in subclass Liliidae (monocotyledons) of class Magnoliopsida (angiosperms).

    • Commelinaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Commelinaceae is a family of flowering plants. In less formal contexts, the group is referred to as the dayflower family or spiderwort family. It is one of five families in the order Commelinales and by far the largest of these with an estimated 650 species in 40 genera.[1] Well known genera include Commelina (dayflowers) and Tradescantia (spiderworts). The family is diverse in both the Old World tropics and the New World tropics, with some genera present in both.[2] The variation in morphology, especially that of the flower and inflorescence, is considered to be exceptionally high amongst the angiosperms.[3][4]

      The family has always been recognized by most taxonomists. The APG II system of 2003 (unchanged from the APG system of 1998), also recognizes this family, and assigns it to the order Commelinales in the clade commelinids in the monocots. The family counts several hundred species of herbaceous plants. Many are cultivated as ornamentals. The stems of these plants are generally well-developed, and often swollen at the nodes. Flowers are often short-lived, lasting for a day or less.

    • Convallariaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Convallariaceae is a family of genera that were originally included in Liliaceae and still listed in that family by some taxonomists. This family is not recognized by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group II which redirects the genera to a broader Asparagaceae or a narrower Ruscaceae. This lack of agreement makes it very challenging to know what family to use. Plants in the Convallariaceae family are perennials that are rhizomatous or tuberous. They are mostly northern hemisphere plants, from North America, Europe, and Asia. Many are found in montane forests. Leaves are alternate, herbaceous or leathery with parallel veins. Most genera have berries although a few have capsules.

    • Convolvulaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Convolvulaceae are mostly twining herbs or shrubs, sometimes with milky sap, comprising about 85 genera and 2,800 species that are further characterized by almost always having the flowers solitary or in terminal or axillary dichasia. The leaves are simple, though sometimes lobed to pinnatisect, and alternate; stipules are absent. The flowers are actinomorphic, often showy, and nearly always bisexual. The perianth and androecial whorls are 5-merous. The sepals of the calyx are usually distinct but the corolla is strongly sympetalous, plaited, and often rotate or trumpet shaped with inconspicuous lobes. The stamens are often unequal, and are adnate to the base of the corolla tube and alternate with the lobes. The gynoecium consists of a single compound pistil of 2 or rarely up to 5 carpels, usually an unbranched or 2-cleft style, and a superior ovary of 2 or sometimes up to 5 locules, each with 1 or 2 axile ovules. A prominent annular nectary disk is usually present around the base of the ovary. The fruit is usually a loculicidal capsule.

    • Costaceae ( Viridiplantae )

    • Cycadaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Cycadaceae are woody, unbranched or sparsely branched, palmlike, dioecious, seed-bearing trees or shrubs with thick, pithy stems. The leaves are alternate, spirally arranged in a cluster at the summit of the stem, frondlike, pinnately compound, usually stiff, often with sharply pointed leaflets that have a single midvein (without laterals) and exhibit circinnate vernation. The ovules and seeds (2-8) are born naked on the petioles of reduced leaves that are loosely clustered at the stem apex of female plants. Male plants produce male or microsporangiate cones that bear many scales, each with an abundance of microsporangia scattered over the lower surface. Seeds are typically large.

    • Cyperaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Cyperaceae are a family of monocotyledonous graminoid flowering plants known as sedges, which superficially resemble grasses or rushes. The family is large, with some 5,500 species described in about 109 genera.[1] These species are widely distributed, with the centers of diversity for the group occurring in tropical Asia and tropical South America. While sedges may be found growing in almost all environments, many are associated with wetlands, or with poor soils. Ecological communities dominated by sedges are known as sedgelands

    • Davalliaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Davalliaceae is a family of ferns in the order Polypodiales. It is sister to the largest family of ferns, Polypodiaceae, and shares some morphological characters with it.

      Davalliaceae is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Pacific, Australia, Asia, and Africa. They are small to medium in size. In the wild, they are usually epiphytic, sometimes epipetric or terrestrial.

    • Dicksoniaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Dicksoniaceae is a family of tropical, subtropical and warm temperate ferns. Most of the 5-6 genera in the family are terrestrial ferns or have very short trunks compared to tree ferns of the family Cyatheaceae. However, some of the larger species can reach several metres in height. A number of others are epiphytes. They are found mostly in tropical regions in the Southern Hemisphere, as far south as southern New Zealand.

    • Dioscoraceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Dioscoreaceae /daɪɒˌskɔəriˈeɪsiː/ is a family of monocotyledonous flowering plants, with about 750 species in eight or nine genera. The best-known member of the family is the Yam (Dioscorea).

      The APG system (1998) and APG II system (2003) both place it in the order Dioscoreales, in the clade monocots. However, the circumscription changed in the APG II system, with the 2003 system expanded to include the plants that in the 1998 system were treated in the families Taccaceae and Trichopodaceae.

    • Dracenaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      one of two subfamilies to which some classification systems assign some members of the Agavaceae

    • Droseraceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Droseraceae is the botanical name for a family of flowering plants. The family is also known under its common name, the sundew family.

      The Droseraceae are a small family of carnivorous plants, which consist of three extant genera: Drosera, Dionaea, and Aldrovanda, each with distinct morphologies.

    • Dryopteridaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Dryopteridaceae, is a family of leptosporangiate ferns in the order Polypodiales. They are known colloquially as the wood ferns. They comprise about 1700 species and have a cosmopolitan distribution. They may be terrestrial, epipetric, hemiepiphytic, or epiphytic. Many are cultivated as ornamental plants.[2] The largest genera are Elaphoglossum (600), Polystichum (260), Dryopteris (225), and Ctenitis (150). These four genera contain about 70% of the species.[3] Dryopteridaceae diverged from the other families in eupolypods I about 100 Mya (million years ago).[4]

    • Ephedraceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The family Ephedraceae is in the major group Gymnosperms (Conifers, cycads and allies).

    • Equisetaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Equisetaceae, sometimes called the horsetail family, is the only extant family of the class Equisetales, with one surviving genus, Equisetum, which comprises about twenty species.

    • Ericaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Ericaceae, commonly known as the heath or heather family, is a group of flowering plants found most commonly in acid and infertile growing conditions. The family is large, with roughly 4000 species spread across 126 genera, making it the 14th most speciose family of flowering plants. There are many well-known and economically important members of the Ericaceae, including the cranberry, blueberry, huckleberry, azalea, rhododendron, and various common heaths and heathers (Erica, Cassiope, Daboecia, and Calluna for example)

    • Euphorbiaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Euphorbiaceae, the Spurge family are a large family of flowering plants with 300 genera and around 7,500 species. Most are herbs, but some, especially in the tropics, are also shrubs or trees. Some are succulent and resemble cacti.

      This family occurs mainly in the tropics, with the majority of the species in the Indo-Malayan region and tropical America a good second. There is a large variety in tropical Africa, but it is not as abundant or varied as in these two other tropical regions. However, Euphorbia also has many species in non-tropical areas such as the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East, South Africa, and southern USA.

    • Fabaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Fabaceae or Leguminosae, commonly known as the legume, pea, or bean family, are a large and economically important family of flowering plants. The group is the third-largest land plant family, behind only the Orchidaceae and Asteraceae, with 730 genera and over 19,400 species.[4] The largest genera are Astragalus (over 2,400 species), Acacia (over 950 species), Indigofera (around 700 species), Crotalaria (around 700 species), and Mimosa (around 500 species).

      Plants of this family are found throughout the world, growing in many different environments and climates.

    • Fouquieriaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Fouquieriaceae, or the ocotillo family, are shrubs that grow in drier parts of western North America. There is a single genus, Fouquieria (including Idria), with 11 species. They are often little-branched shrubs with spirally arranged leaves.

    • Geraniaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Geraniaceae are a family of flowering plants placed in the order Geraniales. The family name is derived from the genus Geranium. The family includes both the genus Geranium (the cranesbills) and the garden plants called geraniums, which modern botany classifies as genus Pelargonium, along with other related genera.

      There are around 800 species in the family, distributed in from 7 to 10 genera, according to the database of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Numerically, the most important genera are Geranium (430 species), Pelargonium (280 species) and Erodium (80 species).

      Most species are found in temperate or warm temperate regions, though some are tropical. Pelargonium has its centre for diversity in the Cape region in South Africa, where there is a striking vegetative and floral variation.

    • Gesneriaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Gesneriaceae is a family of flowering plants consisting of ca. 150 genera and ca. 3,200 species in the Old World and New World tropics and subtropics, with a very small number extending to temperate areas. Many species have colorful and showy flowers and are cultivated as ornamental plants.

      Most species are perennial herbs or subshrubs but a few are woody shrubs or small trees.

    • Gnetaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Gnetaceae, [Credit: BotBln]a family of tropical gymnosperms in the order Gnetales (division Gnetophyta), composed of one genus, Gnetum, with 30 or more species. Trees predominate among the African species; most of the Asian varieties are woody vines, but among the exceptions is G. gnemon, a tree about 20 metres (65 feet) tall that yields a useful fibre and an edible, plumlike fruit. Other species occur in the Neotropics. The conspicuous, netlike veining of the broad leaves of Gnetum species superficially resembles that of angiosperms. The ovules (potential seeds) are enclosed, and conducting cells in the wood include open-ended pipes known as vessels; the latter condition is also characteristic of angiosperms.

    • Heliconiaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      (A. Richard) Nakai. J. Jap. Bot. 17: 201. Apr 1941.

      The single genus Heliconia has perhaps 225 species (only 180 have so far been described) that are distributed primarily in the neotropics. Heliconia has been variously associated with the banana family or the bird-of-paradise family, but is now placed in its own family Heliconiaceae. The inverted flowers, the presence of a single staminode, and the peach-like fruits are special features of Heliconia. Many species, varieties, and cultivars are now being grown as pot plants and for cut flowers. The name Heliconia is derived from Helicon, a mountain in southern Greece regarded by the ancient Greeks to be the home of the Muses, hence suggesting the relationship between these plants and the bananas (genus Musa).

    • Hemerocallidaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Hemerocallidoideae is the botanical name of a subfamily of flowering plants, part of the family Xanthorrhoeaceae sensu lato in the monocot order Asparagales according to the APG system of 2009. Earlier classification systems treated the group as a separate family, the Hemerocallidaceae.

    • Iridaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Iris family or Iridaceae is a family of perennial, herbaceous and geophytic plants included in the monocot order Asparagales, taking its name from the genus Iris. Almost worldwide in distribution and one of the most important families in horticulture, it includes more than 2000 species.

    • Isotaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      quillworts; coextensive with the genus Isoetes

    • Juncaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Juncaceae, the rush family, are a monocotyledonous family of flowering plants of eight genera and about 400 species. Members of the Juncaceae are slow-growing, rhizomatous, herbaceous plants, and they may superficially resemble grasses. They often grow on infertile soils in a wide range of moisture conditions. The most well-known and largest genus is Juncus. Most of the Juncus species grow exclusively in wetland habitats. A few rushes are annuals, but most are perennials.

      The leaves are evergreen and well-developed in a basal aggregation on an erect stem. They are alternate and tristichous (i.e., with three rows of leaves up the stem, each row of leaves arising one-third of the way around the stem from the previous leaf). Only in the genus Distichia are the leaves distichous. The rushes of the genus Juncus have flat, hairless leaves or cylindrical leaves. The leaves of the wood-rushes of the genus Luzula are always flat and bear long white hairs.

      The plants are hermaphroditic or, rarely, dioecious. The small and insignificant flowers are arranged in inflorescences of loose cymes, but also in rather dense heads or corymbs at the top of the stem or at its side. This family typically has reduced perianth segments called tepals. These are usually arranged in two whorls, each containing three thin, papery tepals. They are not bright or flashy in appearance, and their color can vary from greenish to whitish, brown, purple, black, or hyaline. The three stigmas are in the center of the flowers. As is characteristic of monocots, all of the flower parts appear in multiples of three.

      The fruit is usually a nonfleshy, three-sectioned dehiscent capsule containing many seeds.

    • Lamiaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      he mints, taxonomically known as Lamiaceae or Labiatae, are a family of flowering plants. They have traditionally been considered closely related to Verbenaceae, but in the 1990s, phylogenetic studies suggested that many genera classified in Verbenaceae belong instead in Lamiaceae.
      The currently accepted version of Verbenaceae may not be more closely related to Lamiaceae than some of the other families in the order Lamiales. It is not yet known which of the families in Lamiales is closest to Lamiaceae.

      The original family name is Labiateae, so given because the flowers typically have petals fused into an upper lip and a lower lip. Although this is still considered an acceptable alternative name, most botanists now use the name "Lamiaceae" in referring to this family.

    • Lauraceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Lauraceae are the laurel family, that includes the "True Laurel" and its closest relatives. The family comprises over 3000 species of flowering plants in over 50 genera world-wide. They occur mainly in warm temperate and tropical regions, especially Southeast Asia and South America. Most are aromatic evergreen trees or shrubs, but one or two genera such as Sassafras are deciduous, and Cassytha is a genus of parasitic vines.

    • Liliaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Liliaceae, or the lily family, are a family of monocotyledons in the order Liliales. Plants in this family have linear leaves, mostly with parallel veins but with several having net venation (e.g., Cardiocrinum, Clintonia, Medeola, Prosartes, Scoliopus, Tricyrtis), and flower arranged in threes. Several have bulbs, while others have rhizomes. Shade-dwelling genera usually have broad, net-veined leaves, fleshy fruits with animal-dispersed seeds, rhizomes, and small, inconspicuous flowers; genera native to sunny habitats usually have narrow, parallel-veined leaves, capsular fruits with wind-dispersed seeds, bulbs, and large, visually conspicuous flowers.

      Many plants in the Liliaceae are important ornamental plants, widely grown for their attractive flowers. Many species are poisonous if eaten and may cause serious complications, such as renal failure in household pets, especially cats.

    • Lycopodiaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Lycopodiaceae (class Lycopodiopsida, order Lycopodiales) is a family of primitive vascular plants, including all of the core clubmosses. These plants bear spores on specialized structures at the apex of a shoot; they resemble a tiny battle club, from which the common name derives. They are non-flowering and do not produce seeds.

      The species within this family generally have chromosome counts of n=34. A notable exception are the species in genus Diphasiastrum, which have counts of n=23.

    • Lythraceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Lythraceae are a family of flowering plants, including about 620 species of mostly herbs, with some shrubs and trees, in 31 genera. Major genera include Cuphea (275 spp.), Lagerstroemia , Nesaea , Rotala , and Lythrum . Lythraceae have a worldwide distribution, with most species in the tropics, but ranging into temperate climate regions, as well.

      The family is named after the type genus, Lythrum, the loosestrifes (e.g. Lythrum salicaria purple loosestrife) and also includes henna (Lawsonia inermis). It now includes the pomegranate, formerly classed in a separate family Punicaceae. The family also includes the widely cultivated crape myrtle trees. Botanically, the leaves are usually in pairs (opposite), and the flower petals emerge from the rim of the calyx tube. The petals often appear crumpled.

    • Malpighiaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Malpighiaceae is a family of flowering plants in the order Malpighiales. It comprises approximately 75 genera and 1300 species, all of which are native to the tropics and subtropics. About 80% of the genera and 90% of the species occur in the New World (the Caribbean and the southernmost United States to Argentina) and the rest in the Old World (Africa, Madagascar, and Indomalaya to New Caledonia and the Philippines).

      One feature that is found in several members of this family, and rarely in others, is providing pollinators with rewards other than pollen or nectar; this is commonly in the form of nutrient oils (resins are offered by Clusiaceae).

    • Malvaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Malvaceae, or the mallows, are a family of flowering plants containing over 200 genera with close to 2,300 species.[1] Well-known members of this family include okra, cotton, and cacao.

    • Marcgraviaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Marcgraviaceae is a neotropical angiosperm family in the order Ericales.

      The members of the family are shrubs, woody epiphytes and lianas with alternate, pinnately-nerved leaves. The flowers are arranged in racemes. The flowers are accompanied by modified, fleshy saccate bracts which produce nectar. Flowers are pentamerous. The fruit is a capsule.

    • Marsileaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Marsileaceae /mɑrsɪliˈeɪsiː/ are a small family of heterosporous aquatic and semi-aquatic ferns, though at first sight they do not physically resemble other ferns. The group is commonly known as the "pepperwort family" or as the "water-clover family" because the leaves of the genus Marsilea superficially resemble the leaves of a four-leaf clover (a flowering plant). Leaves of this fern have sometimes been used to substitute for clover leaves on Saint Patrick's Day. In all, the family contains 3 genera and 50 to 80 species with most of those belonging to Marsilea.

    • Melastomataceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The family Melastomataceae (alternatively Melastomaceae) is a taxon of dicotyledonous flowering plants found mostly in the tropics (two thirds of the genera are from the New World tropics) comprising some 200 genera and 4500 species. Melastomes are annual or perennial herbs, shrubs, or small trees.

      The leaves of melastomes are somewhat distinctive, being opposite, decussate, and usually with 3-7 longitudinal veins arising either from the base of the blade, plinerved (inner veins diverging above base of blade), or pinnately nerved with three or more pairs of primary veins diverging from the mid-vein at successive points above the base.

      Flowers are perfect, and borne either singly or in terminal or axillary, paniculate cymes.

      A number of melastomes are regarded as invasive species once naturalized in tropical and subtropical environments outside of their normal range. Examples are Koster's curse and Miconia calvescens, but many other species are involved.

    • Meliaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Meliaceae, or the Mahogany family, is a flowering plant family of mostly trees and shrubs (and a few herbaceous plants, mangroves) in the order Sapindales.

      They are characterised by alternate, usually pinnate leaves without stipules, and by syncarpous,[1] apparently bisexual (but actually mostly cryptically unisexual) flowers borne in panicles, cymes, spikes, or clusters. Most species are evergreen, but some are deciduous, either in the dry season or in winter.

      The family includes about 50 genera and 550 species, with a pantropical distribution; one genus (Toona) extends north into temperate China and south into southeast Australia, and another (Melia) nearly as far north.

    • Moringaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Members of Moringaceae, or the horseradish tree family, are woody, often quite stout-stemmed shrubs or trees containing one genus, Moringa, with 12 species growing in Madagascar, northeast and southwest Africa, and Arabia, with three species spreading to India. Foliage of Moringaceae often smells unpleasant when crushed.

    • Musaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Musaceae (pron.: /mjuːˈzeɪʃiː/ or /mjuːˈzeɪʃɪ.iː/) is a botanical name for a family of flowering plants. The family is native to the tropics of Africa and Asia. The plants have a large herbaceous growth habit with leaves with overlapping basal sheaths that form a pseudostem making some members appear to be woody trees.

      The family has been practically universally recognized by taxonomists, although with differing circumscriptions. Older circumscriptions of the family commonly included the genera now included in Heliconiaceae and Strelitziaceae.

      The APG II system, of 2003 (unchanged from the APG system, 1998), assigns Musaceae to the order Zingiberales in the clade commelinids in the monocots.

    • Myrsinaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Myrsinaceae, or the Myrsine family, is a rather large family from the order Ericales. It consists of 35 genera and about 1000 species.

      It is a widespread family belonging to temperate to tropical climates extending north to Europe, Siberia, Japan, Mexico and Florida, and south to New Zealand, South America, and South Africa.

      They are mostly mesophytic trees and shrubs; a few are lianas or sub-herbaceous. The leathery, evergreen leaves are simple and alternate, with smooth margins and without stipules. They are often dotted with glands and resinous cavities. The latter may take the form of secretory lines.

    • Myrtaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Myrtaceae or Myrtle family are a family of dicotyledon plants, placed within the order Myrtales. Myrtle, clove, guava, feijoa, allspice, and eucalyptus belong here. All species are woody, with essential oils, and flower parts in multiples of four or five. One notable character of the family is that the phloem is located on both sides of the xylem, not just outside as in most other plants. The leaves are evergreen, alternate to mostly opposite, simple, and usually with an entire (not toothed) margin. The flowers have a base number of five petals, though in several genera the petals are minute or absent. The stamens are usually very conspicuous, brightly coloured and numerous.

    • Nepenthaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Nepenthaceae (pitcher plant family) is characterized by a relatively limited geographic range (Madagascar, Southeast Asia, Australia), shrubby to woody climbers, absence of petals, unisexual flowers and plants, stamens united into a column, flower clusters capable of growing terminally, a four-chambered ovary, and the formation of unique pitchers.

    • Nyctaginaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Nyctaginaceae, the Four O'Clock Family, is a family of around 33 genera and 290 species of flowering plants, widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions, with a few representatives in temperate regions. The family has a unique fruit type, called an "anthocarp", and many genera have extremely large (>100 µm) pollen grains.

      The family has been almost universally recognized by plant taxonomists. The APG II system (2003; unchanged from the APG system of 1998), assigns it to the order Caryophyllales in the clade core eudicots.

    • Nymphaeaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Nymphaeaceae /ˌnɪmfiːˈeɪsiː/ is a family of flowering plants. Members of this family are commonly called water lilies and live in freshwater areas in temperate and tropical climates around the world.

      Water lilies are divided into two main categories: hardy and tropical. Hardy water lilies bloom only during the day, but tropical water lilies can bloom either during the day or at night, and are the only group to contain blue-flowered plants.

    • Onagraceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Onagraceae, also known as the Willowherb family or Evening Primrose family, are a family of flowering plants. The family includes about 640-650 species of herbs, shrubs, and trees in 20-24 genera. The family is widespread, on every continent from boreal to tropical regions.

      The family includes a number of popular garden plants, including evening primroses (Oenothera) and fuchsias (Fuchsia). Some, particularly the willowherbs (Epilobium) are common weeds in gardens, e.g. Fireweed.

      The family is characterised by flowers with usually four sepals and petals; in some genera (e.g. Fuchsia), the sepals are as brightly coloured as the petals, giving the impression of a flower with eight petals.

    • Ophioglossaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Ophioglossaceae, the Adder's tongue family, is a family of ferns, currently thought to be most closely related to Psilotaceae, the two together comprising the class Psilotopsida as the sibling group to the rest of the ferns. The Ophioglossaceae is one of two groups of ferns traditionally known as eusporangiate fern. The number of genera included in the family varies between different authors' treatments, and most conservatively the family is treated as containing four genera, Ophioglossum, Botrychium, Helminthostachys, and Mankyua (placed in two to four separate families in other treatments). A broad definition of the family and its genera have been taken in several recent treatments (e.g., Wagner 1990, Smith et al. 2006, and in the Flora of North America). A notable exception is the classification of Kato (1987), who advocated the division of Botrychium into four genera: Botrychium s.s., Sceptridium, Japanobotrychium, and Botrypus.

    • Orchidaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Orchidaceae are a diverse and widespread family of flowering plants with colorful and fragrant blooms, commonly known as the orchid family.

      Biological Sciences Greenhouses have over a 1000 specimens of orhids

    • Oxalidacaea Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Oxalidaceae, or wood sorrel family, are a small family of eight genera of herbaceous plants, shrubs and small trees, with the great majority of the 900 species in the genus Oxalis (wood sorrels). Members of this family typically have divided leaves, the leaflets showing "sleep movements", spreading open in light and closing in darkness.

    • Pandanaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Pandanaceae are a family of flowering plants native to the tropics of the Old World. Such a family has been widely recognized by taxonomists. Pandanaceae are trees or climbing or scrambling shrubs distributed in the Old World tropics and are adapted from sea level in salted beaches to mountain cloud forest, and riverine forest habitat. The fruit is a drupe.

    • Passifloraceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Passifloraceae is a family of flowering plants, containing about 530 species classified in around 27 genera. They include trees, shrubs, lianas and climbing plants, and are mostly found in tropical regions.

      The family takes its name from the passion flower genus (Passiflora) which includes the edible passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) as well as garden plants such as Maypop and Running Pop.

    • Pedaliaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Pedaliaceae (pedalium family or sesame family) is a flowering plant family classified in the order Scrophulariales in the Cronquist system and Lamiales in the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system. Cronquist included the family Martyniaceae in Pedaliaceae, but phylogenetic studies have shown that the two families are not closely related and they are maintained as separate by the APG. Both families are characterized by having mucilaginous hairs, which often give the stems and leaves a slimy or clammy feel, and often have fruits with hooks or horns.

    • Piperaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Piperaceae, also known as the pepper family, is a large family of flowering plants. The group contains roughly 3,610 currently accepted species in five genera. The vast majority of peppers can be found within the two main genera: Piper (2000 species) and Peperomia (1600 species).

      Members of the Piperaceae may be small trees, shrubs or herbs. The distribution of this group is best described as pantropical.

      The most well known species is Piper nigrum, which yields most peppercorns that are used as spices, including black pepper, although its relatives in the family include many other spices.

    • Pittosporaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Pittosporaceae, [Credit: Forest and Kim Starr]family of nine genera of trees, shrubs, or vinelike plants, in the order Apiales, distributed from tropical Africa to the Pacific islands. Members of the family have long, leathery, evergreen leaves; resin in stem ducts; and white, blue, yellow, or reddish flowers. Species of the genus Pittosporum are commonly known as Australian laurel. Tobira, or house-blooming mock orange (P. tobira), is a popular aromatic hedge plant in warm climates but a handsome indoor plant elsewhere. Karo (P. crassifolium) often is planted as a windbreak on seacoasts. The genera Hymenosporum, Bursaria, and Sollya also contain ornamental species.

    • Plumbaginaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Plumbaginaceae is a family of flowering plants, with a cosmopolitan distribution. The family is sometimes referred to as the leadwort family or the plumbago family.

      Most species in this family are perennial herbaceous plants, but a few grow as lianas or shrubs. The plants have perfect flowers and are pollinated by insects. They are found in many different climatic regions, from arctic to tropical conditions, but are particularly associated with salt-rich steppes, marshes, and sea coasts.

    • Poaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Poaceae (also called Gramineae or true grasses) are a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants. With more than 10,000 domesticated and wild species, the Poaceae represent the fifth-largest plant family, following the Orchidaceae, Asteraceae, Fabaceae, and Rubiaceae.[2] Though commonly called "grasses", seagrasses, rushes, and sedges fall outside this family. The rushes and sedges are related to the Poaceae, being members of the order Poales, but the seagrasses are members of order Alismatales.

    • Podocarpaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Podocarpaceae is a large family of mainly Southern Hemisphere conifers, comprising about 156 species of evergreen trees and shrubs. [1] It contains 19 genera if Phyllocladus is included and if Manoao and Sundacarpus are recognized.

      The family is a classic member of the Antarctic flora, with its main centres of diversity in Australasia, particularly New Caledonia, Tasmania and New Zealand, and to a slightly lesser extent Malesia and South America (primarily in the Andes mountains). Several genera extend north of the equator into Indo-China and the Philippines. Podocarpus reaches as far north as southern Japan and southern China in Asia, and Mexico in the Americas, and Nageia into southern China and southern India. Two genera also occur in sub-Saharan Africa, the widespread Podocarpus and the endemic Afrocarpus.

    • Polemoniaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Polemoniaceae (Jacob's-ladder or phlox family) are a family of about 25 genera with 270-400 species of annual and perennial plants, native to the Northern Hemisphere and South America, with the center of diversity in western North America, especially in California.

      Only one genus (Polemonium) is found in Europe, and two (Phlox and Polemonium) in Asia, where they are confined to cool temperate to arctic regions; both genera also occur more widely in North America, suggesting relatively recent colonization of the Old World from North America.

    • Polygonaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Polygonaceae are a family of flowering plants known informally as the knotweed family or smartweed—buckwheat family in the United States. The name is based on the genus Polygonum, and was first used by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in 1789 in his book, Genera Plantarum. The name refers to the many swollen nodes the stems of some species have. It is derived from Greek; poly means many and goni means knee or joint.

      The Polygonaceae comprise about 1200 species distributed into about 50 genera.

    • Pontederiaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Pontederiaceae is the botanical name of a family of flowering plants.

      The APG II system, of 2003 (unchanged from the APG system, of 1998) places the family in the order Commelinales, in the commelinid clade, in the monocots. It is a small family of heterostylous aquatic plants, occurring in tropical and subtropical waters. Charles Darwin was interested in the specialized form of heterostyly found in the family, known as tristyly. Not all of the species are heterostylous. The family probably contains fewer than three dozen species.

      It is best known for the water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), which is an invasive species in many waterways. The highly modified Hydrothrix gardneri is a submerged aquatic with a two-flowered pseudanthium.

    • Primulaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Primulaceae is a family of herbaceous flowering plants with about 24 genera, including some favorite garden plants and wildflowers. It is also known as the primrose family.

    • Protaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Proteaceae /proʊtiːˈeɪsiː/ are a family of flowering plants distributed in the Southern Hemisphere. The family comprises about 80 genera with about 1600 species. Together with the Platanaceae and Nelumbonaceae, they make up the order Proteales. Well-known genera include Protea, Banksia, Embothrium, Grevillea, Hakea, Dryandra and Macadamia. Species such as the New South Wales waratah (Telopea speciosissima), king protea (Protea cynaroides), and various species of Banksia, Grevillea, and Leucadendron are popular cut flowers, while the nuts of Macadamia integrifolia are widely commercially grown and consumed.

    • Psilotaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Psilotaceae is a family of fern-like plants (in order Psilotales) consisting of two genera, Psilotum and Tmesipteris. The two genera are very different and in the past Tmesipteris has been placed in its own family, Tmesipteridaceae, but most classifications continue to place it in Psilotaceae. The relationships of Psilotaceae have been unclear, in part because the plants lack roots or true leaves, but recent molecular systematic studies suggest a relationship to the fern family Ophioglossaceae.

    • Pteridaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Pteridaceae is a large family of ferns in the order Polypodiales. Members of the family have creeping or erect rhizomes and are mostly terrestrial or epipetric (growing on rock). The leaves are almost always compound and have linear sori that are typically on the margins of the leaves and lack a true indusium, typically being protected by a false indusium formed from the reflexed margin of the leaf.

    • Punicaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      one species: pomegranates

    • Rhizophoraceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Rhizophoraceae is a family constituted by tropical or subtropical flowering plants. Among the better known members are mangrove trees of the genus Rhizophora.

    • Rosaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Rosaceae (the rose family) are a medium-sized family of flowering plants, including about 2830 species in 95 genera. The name is derived from the type genus Rosa. Among the largest genera are Alchemilla (270), Sorbus (260), Crataegus (260), Cotoneaster (260), and Rubus (250). The largest genus by far is Prunus (plums, cherries, peaches, apricots and almonds) with about 430 species. However, all of these numbers should be seen as underestimates - much taxonomic work is left to be done here.

      Roses can be herbs, shrubs or trees. Most species are deciduous, but some are evergreen. They have a worldwide range, but are most diverse in the northern hemisphere.

    • Rubiaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Rubiaceae are a family of flowering plants, variously called the coffee family, madder family, or bedstraw family. The group contains many commonly known plants, including the economically important coffee (Coffea), quinine (Cinchona), and gambier (Uncaria), the medicinal ipecacuanha (Carapichea ipecacuanha), and the horticulturally valuable madder (Rubia), west Indian jasmine (Ixora), partridgeberry (Mitchella), Morinda, Gardenia, and Pentas.

    • Ruscaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      One of many subfamilies into which some classification systems subdivide the Liliaceae but not widely accepted.

    • Rutaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Rutaceae, commonly known as the rue or citrus family, is a family of flowering plants, usually placed in the order Sapindales.

      Species of the family generally have flowers that divide into four or five parts, usually with strong scents. They range in form and size from herbs to shrubs and small trees.

    • Sapotaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Sapotaceae is a family of flowering plants, belonging to order Ericales. The family includes approximately 800 species of evergreen trees and shrubs in approximately 65 genera (35-75, depending on generic definition). Distribution is pantropical.

      Many species produce edible fruits, and/or have other economic uses.

    • Sarraceniaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Sarraceniaceae, common pitcher plant [Credit: Kurt Stueber/www.BioLib.de]family of pitcher plants that belong to the order Ericales and are native to North and South America. These low-growing perennial herbs are notable for their pitcherlike leaves, which are specialized for trapping insects. The family consists of three genera: Sarracenia, with eight or nine species; Heliamphora, with five or six species; and Darlingtonia, with one species.

    • Selaginellaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Plants dwarf moss-like.
      Stems branchesd and creeping with erect, ascending or prostrate branches, leafy throughout.
      Leaves small 1 viened, densly overlapping.
      Sporangia (spore producing organs) In axils (spot where leaf joins the stem) of leaf-like sporophyls (sporangia housing) at topof branches.
      Upper sporangia produce microspores (male spores). Lower sporangia produce macrospores (female spores).

    • Sterculiaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      A large family of plants of order Malvales.

    • Strelitziaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Strelitziaceae is a family of monocotyledonous flowering plants. The plants are very similar in appearance and growth habit to members of the related families Heliconiaceae and Musaceae (banana family). The genera of Strelitziaceae have been included in Musaceae in some classifications, but are generally recognized as a separate family in more recent treatments such as the APG II system (2003). The APG II system assigns Strelitziaceae to the order Zingiberales in the commelinid clade.

    • Taccaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Small family of tropical herbs;of the subclass Liliidae; mostly herbs usually with petaloid sepals and petals and compound pistils.

    • Theaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Theaceae, [Credit: © Emran Mohd Tamil/Shutterstock.com] the tea family of plants in the order Theales. The Theaceae comprises about 40 genera of trees or shrubs native to temperate and tropical regions of both hemispheres, including several ornamental plants, one that is the source of tea. Members of the family have evergreen leaves and flowers with five sepals (leaflike structures) and petals and numerous stamens inserted at the base of the ovary.

    • Violaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      A family of flowering plants consisting of about 800 species in 21 genera. It takes its name from the genus Viola, the violets and pansies.

    • Zamiaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      The Zamiaceae are a family of cycads that are superficially palm or fern-like. They are divided into two subfamilies with eight genera and about 150 species in the tropical and warm temperate regions of Africa, Australia and North and South America.

      The Zamiaceae are perennial, evergreen, and dioecious. They have subterranean to tall and erect, usually unbranched, cylindrical stems, and stems clad with persistent leaf bases (in Australian genera).

    • Zingiberaceae Family ( Viridiplantae )

      Zingiberaceae, [Credit: Helen Cruickshank—The National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers]the ginger family of flowering plants, the largest family of the order Zingiberales, containing about 52 genera and more than 1,300 species. These aromatic herbs grow in moist areas of the tropics and subtropics, including some regions that are seasonably dry.

      [Credit: Doug Steley A/Alamy]Members of the family are perennials that frequently have sympodial (forked) fleshy rhizomes (underground stems). They may grow to 6 metres (20 feet) in height.

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    Last updated: 2013-10-10T12:08:30.209-04:00

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