The Clusiaceae are trees or shrubs, usually with milky or colored sap, comprising about 50 genera and 1200 species. The leaves are simple and are opposite, whorled, or rarely alternate. Stipules are absent. The flowers are actinomorphic and are usually functionally unisexual. The perianth consists of a calyx of 2-10 imbricated, often decussate sepals and 4-12 petals. The stamens are generally numerous and are distinct or variously united. The gynoecium consists of a single compound pistil of 3-5 or more carpels, an equal number of stigmas, and a superior ovary of 3-5 or more locules, each containing 1-many axile ovules. The fruit is usually a capsule or berry.
Each "thumbnail" image below is linked to a larger photograph.
|Calophyllum inophyllum, Kamani. The floral buds show some hint of the imbricate sepals, while the open flowers reveal petals, fascicled yellow stamens in five bundles, and pistils with pink ovaries. Although unisexual flowers predominate in the woody, tropical members of the family, these are apparently an exception.|
|Clusia rosea, autograph tree. The pink, imbricated and decussate sepals are seen from the back side of the flower. A cross-sectioned fruit in the 3rd photo is exuding the bright yellow sap found in this species. The fruit at the upper right has not been cut but has dehisced as a septicidal capsule. Note the characteristic persistent sepals associated with the intact unopened fruit.|
|Garcinia dulcis, Clusiaceae, gourka. A cone-shaped tree native to India to Malaya, with drooping branches and smooth-skinned, edible, yellow (when ripe) fruit to 3 inches in diameter. The sour pulp of the fruit is yellow and juicy. Unripe fruits provide an inferior gamboge paint. The bark yields a black dye used for cotton. The 3rd photo shows partially dissected female flowers with fascicled vestigial stamens.|
||Garcinia mangostana, mangosteen.|
||Hypericum calycinum. This temperate representative of the family lacks a milky or brightly colored latex and has bisexual flowers. However, the floral details are otherwise typical for the family.|
|Hypericum cf. patulum.|
||Hypericum perforatum., Klamath weed.|
|Rheedia brasiliensis, bakupari.|
|Rheedia edulis, mameyito.|
|Tripetalum cymosum. Male flowers.|
Plant Family Access Page