Greater plantainPlantago major, copyright Robert Flogaus-Faust. Belongs within: Plantaginaceae. Plantago, plantains, is a cosmopolitan genus of wind-pollinated herbs. Characters (from Hickman 1993): Annual or perennial. Stem decumbent to erect. Leaves simple with longitudinal ribs; stipules absent. Inflorescence a spike; flowers each subtended by a bract. Flowers generally bisexual; calyx deeply four-lobed; corolla radial, sometimes bilateral,… Continue reading Plantago

The Cordia Clade

The tropics are home to a wide diversity of plant species, many of them belonging to groups less familiar in cooler regions of the world. Prominent among these are members of the family Cordiaceae, a group of about 350 known species of mostly trees and shrubs. The Cordiaceae (alternatively treated as the subfamily Cordioideae of… Continue reading The Cordia Clade


Canthium coromandelicum, copyright Vengolis.Belongs within: Rubiaceae. Canthium is a genus of deciduous, usually thorny shrubs and small trees found in the Old World tropics. Characters (from Flora of China): Shrubs or small trees, sometimes dioecious, sometimes with short shoots, unarmed or sometimes with paired straight supra-axillary thorns. Raphides absent. Leaves opposite, with or without domatia;… Continue reading Canthium


Noni Morinda citrifolia, copyright Wilfredor. Belongs within: Rubioideae. The Morindeae are a group of rubiaceous plants bearing flowers in head inflorescences, and fleshy drupes with one or two ovules per carpel. <==Morindeae |–Morindinae BM00 |    |  i. s.: Gynochthodes coriacea BM00 |    |         Pogonolobus BM00 |    |–Appunia guatemalensis BM00 |    `–+–Coelospermum balansanum BM00 |       `–Morinda BM00 |            |–M. canthoides LK14 |            |–M.… Continue reading Morindeae


Mountain saucer-flower Crusea diversifolia, copyright Sue Carnahan. Belongs within: Spermacoceae. Crusea, saucer flowers, is a genus of small annual plants found in southern North America. <==Crusea |–C. coronata F79 `–+–+–C. coccinea F79 |  |    |–C. c. var. breviloba F79 |  |    `–+–C. c. var. coccinea F79 |  |       `–C. c. var. chiriquensis F79 |  `–C. megalocarpa F79 `–+–C. diversifolia F79 `–+–C.… Continue reading Crusea


Twiggy coprosma Coprosma rhamnoides, copyright Rudolph89. Belongs within: Rubioideae. Coprosma is a genus of shrubs and trees with often glandular leaves found around the southwest Pacific, with the highest diversity in New Zealand. Characters (from Allen 1961): Shrubs or trees with simple opposite leaves and interpetiolar stipules usually gland-tipped when young. Plants prevailingly dioecious, but… Continue reading Coprosma


Golden trumpet Allamanda cathartica, copyright Ngocnk2. Belongs within: Apocynaceae. The Plumerieae are a group of flowering plants united by molecular phylogenetic analysis. Most members of the clade possess infrastaminal as well as suprastaminal appendages (not present in Anechites and Plumeria) and winged seeds (not present in Anechites) (Sennblad & Bremer 2002). <==Plumerieae [Plumerioideae] |  i. s.:… Continue reading Plumerieae


Spring gentian Gentiana verna, copyright Böhringer Friedrich. Belongs within: Gentianeae. Contains: Gentiana section Frigidae, Gentiana section Chondrophyllae, Gentiana section Cruciata, Gentiana section Pneumonanthe. Gentiana is a cosmopolitan genus of mostly erect herbs, with the highest diversity of species in Asia (Struwe et al. 2002). Characters (from Struwe et al. 2002): Annual, biennial, or perennial herbs.… Continue reading Gentiana

The Coutoubeines

Members of the family Gentianaceae, the gentians, are for the greater part associated with cooler climes. Residents of areas subject to heavy snowfalls have often commented on the appearance of their showy flowers with warming weather in the spring. But not all subgroups of the gentians are so temperate: some, such as the Coutoubeinae, are… Continue reading The Coutoubeines