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Sauvagesia erecta from southern Brazil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Ochnaceae

See Subdivisions

Ochnaceae is a family of flowering plants in the order Malpighiales.[2] In the APG III system of classification of flowering plants, Ochnaceae is defined broadly, to include about 550 species,[3] and encompasses what some taxonomists have treated as the separate families Medusagynaceae and Quiinaceae.[1] In a phylogenetic study that was published in 2014, Ochnaceae was recognized in the broad sense,[4] but two works published after APG III have accepted the small families Medusagynaceae and Quiinaceae.[3][5]

In this article, "Ochnaceae" will refer to the larger circumscription of the family, which is otherwise known as Ochnaceae sensu lato or as the ochnoids.[6]

Ochnaceae, defined broadly or narrowly, is pantropical in distribution, with a few species cultivated outside of this range. Ochnaceae is most diverse in the neotropics, with a second center of diversity in tropical Africa.[4] It consists mostly of shrubs and small trees, and a few herbaceous species in Sauvagesia. Many are treelets, with a single, erect trunk, but low in height. The Ochnaceae are notable for their unusual leaves. These are usually shiny, with closely spaced, parallel veins, toothed margins, and conspicuous stipules. Most of the species are buzz pollinated.[7] In eight of the genera in tribe Sauvagesieae, the flower changes form after opening, by continued growth of tissue within the flower.[4]

A few species of Ochna are cultivated as ornamentals.[8] Ochna thomasiana is probably the most commonly planted, but it is often misidentified in the horticultural literature.[9]

The leaves of Cespedesia are sometimes to 1 m (3.3 ft) in length and are used for roofing.[10] An herbal tea is made from the pantropical weed Sauvagesia erecta.

In its evolution, Ochnaceae has been unusual, in "reverting" to character states that are regarded as ancestral or primitive. For example, an actinomorphic floral symmetry has appeared twice in the subfamily Ochnoideae. Also, two clades of Ochnaceae, one in Ochnoideae and another in Quiinoideae have a derived condition very close to apocarpy. The complete separation of the carpels (apocarpy) is thought to be the ancestral state for angiosperms.[11]

Fossils attributed to Ochnaceae are known from the early Eocene of Mississippi.[12] The age of the family is very roughly estimated at 100 million years.[13]

A great many genus names have been published in Ochnaceae.[14] In a taxonomic revision of Ochnaceae, as three families, in 2014, only 32 of these genera were accepted; one in Medusagynaceae, four in Quiinaceae, and 27 in Ochnaceae s.s..[3] In that same year, a 33rd genus, Neckia, was reestablished in order to preserve the monophyly of another genus, Sauvagesia.[4]

The largest genera in Ochnaceae are: Ouratea (200 species), Ochna (85), Campylospermum (65), Sauvagesia (39), and Quiina (34).[3] None of the larger genera has been the subject of a phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences of selected genes. In one study of the subfamily Quiinoideae, based on the trn L-F intergenic spacer, only nine species were sampled from this subfamily.[15]



Members of the Ochnaceae all have evergreen leaves, which are sometimes leathery (found at the genus Ochna). The petiole is short or absent. The leaves are alternate in arrangement and simple, or rarely, pinnate. Pinnate leaves are typical of Rhytidanthera.

The flowers are generally hermaphroditic, but unisexual flowers are found in Schuurmansia, Schuurmansiella, and Euthemis. The flowers are always unisexual in Schuurmansiella.


Subfamily Ochnoideae

This subfamily is characterized by the absence of endosperm in the seed.

Tribe Elvasieae
Elvasia (also Hostmannia, Trichovaselia or Vaselia)
Tribe Lophireae (sometimes stands alone as family Lophiraceae)
Tribe Ochneae
Ochna (including Discladium)
Tribe Ourateeae
Ouratea (including Gomphia, Camptouratea, Polyouratea, Trichouratea)
Subfamily Luxemburgoideae

This subfamily is characterized by the presence of endosperm in the seed.

Tribe Euthemideae
Gomphia (also Campylospermum, Idertia, Rhabdophyllum)
Tribe Luxernburgieae
Luxemburgia (also Hilairella, Periblepharis)
Sauvagesia (also Neckia, Leitgebia, Lavradia, Pentaspatella, Roraimanthus, Vausagesia) - Sauvagesia. This genus is sometimes erected to tribe Sauvagesieae.
Other genera
Brackenridgea (also Pleuroridgea)
Cespedesia (also Fournieria)
Froesia (formerly recognized in the Quiinaceae)
Indosinia (also Distephania or Indovethia)
Lacunaria (formerly recognized in the Quiinaceae)
Medusagyne (formerly recognized in the Medusagynaceae)
Krukoviella (also Planchonella)
Quiina (formerly recognized in the Quiinaceae)
Touroulia (formerly recognized in the Quiinaceae)
Tyleria (also Adenanthe)

Taxonomy note[edit]

In 1902, Philippe van Tieghem recognized the following eight families in what is now Ochnaceae sensu lato:

These are now all treated as synonyms of Ochnaceae sensu lato.

The following families are excluded from Ochnaceae:


  1. ^ a b Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  2. ^ Vernon H. Heywood, Richard K. Brummitt, Ole Seberg, and Alastair Culham. Flowering Plant Families of the World. Firefly Books: Ontario, Canada. (2007). ISBN 978-1-55407-206-4.
  3. ^ a b c d Maria do Carmo E. Amaral, and Volker Bittrich. 2014. "Ochnaceae". pages 253-268. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-39417-1_19 In: Klaus Kubitzki (editor). 2014. The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants volume XI. Springer-Verlag: Berlin, Heidelberg,, Germany. ISBN 978-3-642-39416-4 (print). ISBN 978-3-642-39417-1 (eBook). doi:10.1007/978-3-642-39417-1
  4. ^ a b c d Julio V. Schneider, Pulcherie Bissiengou, Maria do Carmo E. Amaral, Ali Tahir, Michael F. Fay, Marco Thines, Marc S.M. Sosef, Georg Zizka, and Lars W. Chatrou. 2014. "Phylogenetics, ancestral state reconstruction, and a new infrafamilial classification of the pantropical Ochnaceae (Medusagynaceae, Ochnaceae s.str., Quiinaceae) based on five DNA regions". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 78:199-214. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.05.018.
  5. ^ Zhenxiang Xi, Brad R. Ruhfel, Hanno Schaefer, André M. Amorim, Manickam Sugumaran, Kenneth J. Wurdack, Peter K. Endress, Merran L. Matthews, Peter F. Stevens, Sarah Mathews, and Charles C. Davis. 2012. "Phylogenomics and a posteriori data partitioning resolve the Cretaceous angiosperm radiation Malpighiales". PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A.) 109(43):17519-17524. doi:10.1073/pnas.1205818109. (See External links below).
  6. ^ Kenneth J. Wurdack and Charles C. Davis (2009), "Malpighiales phylogenetics: Gaining ground on one of the most recalcitrant clades in the angiosperm tree of life", American Journal of Botany 96 (8): 1551–1570, doi:10.3732/ajb.0800207, PMID 21628300 
  7. ^ Paul A. De Luca and Mario Vallejo-Marin. 2013. "What's the buzz about? The ecology and evolutionary significance of buzz pollination". Current Opinion in Plant Biology 16(4):429-435. doi:10.1016/j.pbi.2013.05.002.
  8. ^ Anthony Huxley, Mark Griffiths, and Margot Levy (1992). The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening. The Macmillan Press,Limited: London. The Stockton Press: New York. ISBN 978-0-333-47494-5 (set).
  9. ^ Warren L. Wagner, Derral R. Herbst, and Sy H. Sohmer. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii, Revised Edition, 1999. Bishop Museum Press: Hololulu
  10. ^ David J. Mabberley. 2008. Mabberley's Plant-Book third edition (2008). Cambridge University Press: UK. ISBN 978-0-521-82071-4 (See External links below).
  11. ^ Peter K. Enduuress. 2011. "Evolutionary diversification of the flowers in angiosperms". American Journal of Botany 98(3):370-396. doi:10.3732/ajb.1000299. (See External links below).
  12. ^ Daniel Danehy, Peter Wilf, and Stefan A. Little. 2007. "Early Eocene macroflora from the red hot truck stop locality (Meridian, Mississippi, USA)". Palaeontologia Electronica 10(3):17A:31pages. (See External links below).
  13. ^ Susana Magallon, Khidir W. Hilu, and Dietmar Quandt. 2013. "Land plant evolutionary timeline: Gene effects are secondary to fossil constraints in relaxed clock estimation of age and substitution rates". American Journal of Botany 100(3):556-573. doi:10.3732/ajb.1200416. (See External links below).
  14. ^ The Plant List: Ochnaceae. (See External links below).
  15. ^ Julio V. Schneider, Ulf Swenson, Rosabelle Samuel, Tod Stuessy, and Georg Zizka. 2006. "Phylogenetics of Quiinaceae (Malpighiales): evidence from trnL-trnF sequence data and morphology". Plant Systematics and Evolution 257(3-4):189-203. doi:10.1007/s00606-005-0386-5.

External links[edit]