Plant Family Identification - T
(Applies only to those plant families identified within the Wildflowers of Escambia site. When this page is loaded, scroll down to find the general plant family description you seek.)


Taxaceae (Yew) -- Family is trees or sometimes shrubs, slightly aromatic and resinous, without flowers or fruit. These are mostly in northern temperate regions.

The leaves are evergreen, alternate on the stem, spreading in 2 rows, needle-like, flattened and stiff, with short leafstalks extending down the twig.

Twigs are slender, much-branched, with 2 lines below each leaf, rough with scars from fallen leaves, ending in scaly buds.

Seeds and cones mainly on separate plants, usually solitary from scaly bud at leaf base. Seeds are naked, not in cones. The form is nut-like and hard, elliptical, with a soft outer coat or cuplike base. Male cones are rounded, with several pollen scas on a stalk.

About 20 species worldwide, including 4 native tree and 2 shrub species in North America in the genera yew (Taxus) and torreya (Torreya).

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Taxodiaceae (Redwood) -- Medium-sized to very large, aromatic and resinous trees. The trees bear no flowers or fruit.

The leaves are needlelike or scalelike, often of both kinds, mostly evergreen (deciduous in baldcypress, Taxodium, mainly alternate in spirals. Twigs are often very slender and shedding with the leaves.

Cones are pollen baring sacs, and naked seeds are borne on the same plant. Male cones are small and herbaceous, with 2 to 9 pollen-sacs. Female cones are hard or woody, rounded or slightlky elliptical, at the end of twigs, with many flat cone-scales lacking bracts. The 2 to 9 naked seeds are angled or narrowly winged at the base of cone-scale.

There are about 15 species in temperate North America, east Asia, and Tasmania, 2 eastern and 2 western.

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Theaceae (Tea) -- The Tea family is shrubs or small trees.

Silky Camellia
Stewartia malachodendron

The flowers are often large, showy and aromatic; generally solitary or a few clustered along twigs; bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form, often with 2 scales at the base. The calyx will have 5 to 7 separate and overlapping sepals that persist at the base of each fruit. The corolla has 5 separate or united white or pink petals that may be overlapping at the base. There will be many stamens. Look for many stamens that are oten united to the corolla in 5 opposite groups; and 1 pistil composed of a 2- to 5-celled ovary that is generally superior, with 2 or more ovules in each cell, and 2 to 5 persistent styles, often united at the base.

The leaves are alternate, evergreen, simple, usually leathery, sometimes with lines parallel to midvein, no stipules.

Fruit is usually a hard capsule with a central persistent column or a berry or a drupe.

About 500 species of trees and shrubs, mostly in tropical and subtropical areas but also in warm northern temperate regions; 4 native species in southeastern United States.

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Tiliaceae (Linden - Basswood) -- Trees, or in tropical regions also shrubs and herbs, deciduous except in tropics. The plants commonly have fibrous bark.

Carolina Basswood
Tilia caroliniana

The leaves are alternate on the stem, in 2 rows, simple in form, often oblique or unequal and with 3 or more main veins from the base. Each leaf is toothed, commonly with star-shaped hairs, and with paired stipules.

The flowers are in branched clusters (hanging from a strap-shaped stalk in basswood), bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form. The calyx has 5 separate sepals, 5 petals (sometimes none), many stamens usually united at the base in groups of 5 to 10, and 1 pistil with a 2- to 10-celled ovary. There will be 1 style, and as many stigmas as cells.

Fruit is nut-like (rounded and 1- to 3-seeded in basswood), capsule, or drupe-like.

Worldwide, there are more than 400 species, represented by the basswood or linden genus (Tilia) with 3 native species and a few tropical herbs in North America,

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Typhaceae (Cat-Tail) -- These aquatic or marsh herbs with creeping rootstocks, long, narrow leaves, and tiny flowers crowded in terminal spikes, with the male (staminate) ones at the top and female (pistillate) below. The spikes above bracts, which fall early.

The flower sepals and petals are merely hair-like bristles. The male flowers have 2 to 5 stamens. Female flowers are single on a stalked ovary.

The leaves are sword-like, on opposite sides of the stem and therefore 2-ranked, with bases sheathing the stem.

Fruit is a 1-seeded nutlet.

There are about 18 species in one genus, that occurs in temperate and tropical regions.

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