Plant Family Identification - Z
(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.)


Zingiberaceae (Ginger) -- Zingiberaceae is the largest family of the order Zingiberales, with approximately 50 genera and over 1,000 species.

Butterfly Ginger
Hedychium coronatum

Ginger is found throughout the tropics, but are especially abundant in Southeast Asia. The ginger plant is a taxon of perennial herbs with creeping horizontal or tuberous rhizomes, comprising 47 genera. Many species are important ornamental plants, spices, or may be used for its medicinal properties. Important members of the family include ginger, turmeric, myoga, cardamom, and galangal. The plant is either self-supporting or epiphytic.

The flower is distinguished by the presence of a labellum (the fusion of two sterile stamens), and by the presence of essential oils in their tissues. The perianth is comprised of two whorls. The calyx is herbaceous or membranous, three-lobed or spathaceous tubular.

The leaves are alternate or arranged in two vertical rows (distichous). The leaves are not considered to be basal or said to be in terminal aggregations.

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Zygophyllaceae (Caltrop) - About 200 species of shrubs, herbs, and a few trees are found in tropical or subtropical regions. Two native tree species and several species of shrubs and herbs are found in North America.

Puncture Weed
Tribulus cistoides

The flowers are solitary or few. Each flower is bisexual in nature, and symmetrical in form, generally with five sepals and five yellow or blue petals. The disc will have five to 15 stamens often with scales at the base, and one pistil.

The leaves are opposite on the stem, pinnately compound with an even number of leaflets that are asymmetrical with unequal sides. There are no teeth, often leathery, with paired stipules.

Stem twigs have rings at the enlarged nodes.

The fruit is usually an angled or winged capsule with few seeds. 

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