Plant Family Identification - E
This page applies only to those plant families identified within the Wildflowers of Escambia site. When the page has loaded, scroll down to find the general plant family description.

 

Equisetaceae (Horsetail) -- Equisetaceae is a family of perennial herbs with evergreen aerial stems in loose clumbs or colonies from jointed rhizomes. Plants may also be referred to as Scouring Rush.

Horsetail
Equisetum affine

The leaves are reduced to thin scales, fused laterally to form a sheath around the stem. The sheath is usually tipped with spines.

The plant does not produce flowers but does produce spores. The spores (sporangia) are green with attached flaps of tissue, called 'elaters', to aid in dispersal.

There is one genera and 11 species native to the United States, but only one species is found in the Escambia region.

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Ericaceae (Heath) -- Ericaceae is a family of shrubs and woody herbs (occasionally trees), often with showy flowers blooming singly or in clusters.

Wild Azalea
Rhododendron canescens

The flowers are radially or bilaterally symmetrical with four to five united sepals, four to five united petals. The stamens are twice as many as petals, each anther usually opening by a terminal pore. All parts are attached at the top of the ovary (inferior ovary).

The leaves are one whole part, usually alternate on the stem, often leathery.

Fruit is a berry, capsule or drupe.

There are at least 50 genera and some 2,500 species, mostly on acid soils in temperate regions.

Numerous plants are cultivated as ornamental garden plants and others are cultivated for their fruits; Blueberry, Huckleberry and Cranberry.

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Eriocaulaceae (Pipewort) -- This family is strictly bog or aquatic herbs with a crowded head of tiny flowers on a long, leafless stalk.

Pipewort
Eriocaulon decangulare

The flowers are usually radially symmetrical and unisexual. Nestled in the bracts are two to three sepals and two or three petals, much alike. The stamens are as many as or fewer than petals. All parts are attached at the base of the ovary (superior ovary). Entire flower heads have conspicuous bracts at the base.

Leaves are basal, tufted and grass-like.

Fruit is a capsule.

There are nine known genera and some 360 species, widely distributed in warm tropical zones and extending into temperate regions.

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Euphorbiaceae (Spurge) -- Commonly herbs, this family of plants have milky sap. Tropical regions include trees and shrubs.

Tung
Aleurites fordii

The flowers are unisexual, radially symmetrical with the corolla and calyx having five separate parts each, or the corolla may be absent entirely. Stamens number one to 10 or more. All parts are attached at the base of the ovary (superior ovary).

The leaves are one whole part, and some may be compound; leaves may be alternate or opposite on the stem.

Fruit is round, three-lobed and dividing into three one-seeded sections.

There are nearly 290 genera and some 7,500 species worldwide, mostly in warm or hot regions

. Among the valuable products of the family are rubber, castor oil, tung oils and tapioca. Most members of the family are poisonous, and their milky sap will irritate the membranes of the eyes and mouth.

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