Plant Family Identification
(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 you seek.)
Plants are annual or perennial with square
stems. Some species have the distinctive scent of mint.
The leaves are simple, opposite on the stem
or the leaves form a rosette.
The flowers are irregular to nearly symmetrical
in form. The corolla is five lobed or bilabiate. The ovary is
superior. There will be two to four stamens.
The fruit is a schizocarp of four mericarps
Plants are mostly large trees and a few shrubs.
All have aromatic bark, wood and leaves. There are about 2,000
species in tropical and warm temperate regions.
In North America there are five native and
two naturalized trees, three native shrubs and one herbaceous
The leaves are mostly alternate, sometimes
opposite or whorled, usually simple in outline.
Fruit is a berry or drupe.
The flowers are many in branched clusters
along the twigs. All flowers are bisexual in nature; three sepals
and three similar petals.
Plants are annual or perennial, carnivorous
aquactic and terrestrial herbs, with solitary flowers or in racemes.
The leaves are basal rosettes or whorled and
alternate on the stem. Aquatic species have leaves that are finely
dissected with bladders for trapping small aquatic insects.
The flower calyx is bilaterally symmetrical
with two to five united sepals. The five united petals form an
upper and lower lip. The lower lip has a spur that projects backward.
There are two stamens. All parts are attached at the base of
The fruit is a capsule with one chamber and
a central column to which many seeds are attached.
There are about four genera and some 300 species distributed
throughout the world. Many are cultivated as garden ornamental
plants in bog gardens.
Plants are mostly perennial herbs from bulbs,
rhizomes, or corms. Some may be woody or tree-like. All have
showy flowers in racemes or branched racemes.
The leaves are alternate, whorled or basal
on the stem.
The flowers are usually bisexual in nature
(perfect) and radially symmetrical. The calyx has three free
sepals which commonly resemble petals. The corolla has three
free petals, or petals and sepals that may be united into a tube.
Look for six stamens (or rarely three). All parts are attached
at the base of the ovary.
The fruit is a capsule or berry.
Worldwide there are 12 genera and almost
300 species. Linen and linseed oil are obtained from the family.
Plants are annual, biannual, or perennial
herbs, rarely trees. The leaves are alternate or opposite on
the stem, simple (no teeth and no lobes) in form.
The flowers are radially symmetrical (regular);
five sepals and five separate petals; each with a narrow base
and drooping off the flower. There are ten stamens that are joined
the base of their stalks. All parts are attached at the base
of the ovary (ovary superior).
Fruit is a five-chambered capsule (rarely
Plants are perennial herbs, woody vines, or
trees with flowers often clustered in spikes.
The leaves may be opposite or alternate on
the stem. The leaf margins may be smooth or toothed.
The flowers are radially symmetrical in form.
The calyx has four to five lobes. The corolla is tubular or bell-shaped
with four or five lobes. There will be four or five stamens.
The ovary is superior.
Fruit is a berry (drupe) or many-seeded capsule.
There are more than 30 genera and some 400
species, widely distributed in warm and tropical regions. Some
family members are cultivated as ornamental garden plants.
Plants are usually six to 30 inches tall,
parasitic on trees and large shrubs.
The flowers are usually radially symmetrical;
bisexual in nature (or occasionally unisexual). There are two
or three sepals that are barely developed; two to three petals
that may be free or united. Look for two or three stamens. All
parts are attached at the top of the ovary (ovary inferior).
The leaves are opposite or whorled on the
stem; leathery and spoon-shaped, or reduced to scales that anchor
themselves to the host plant with suckers that are thought to
be modified roots.
Fruit is a berry or drupe.
The plants are found mainly in tropical and
south temperate regions of the World. There are about 77 genera
and 950 species worldwide.
This is a family of herbs, shrubs, or trees
with flowers borne in racemes or branched clusters.
The leaves are opposite, alternate or whorled
on the stem. Each leaf is simple (no teeth and no lobes).
The flowers are symmetrically radial or bilabiate.
The calyx may be four to six lobed and joined at the base to
form a tube to which the petals and stamens are attached. The
sepals and petals are in equal numbers (occasionally the petals
may be crumpled like crepe paper). There may be twice as many
stamens (eight to twelve) as sepals. All parts are attached at
the base of the ovary (ovary is superior).
Fruit is a many-seeded capsule with two to
There are about 25 genera and some 550 species
distributed throughout the world, except for very cold regions.
Some species are grown as ornamental garden flowers.
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