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Family: Onagraceae

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Family Parent: Myrtales Status: Valid

Common Names:

  • EVENING-PRIMROSE FAMILY - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Family Recognition in the Field: Herbs (sometimes woody-based) often with showy flowers with parts usually in 4s and a conspicuously inferior ovary; tube-shaped hypanthium often present; stamens typically 8.

Diagnosis: Annual or perennial herbs or half-shrubs; leaves basal, alternate, or opposite, simple, entire, toothed or pinnately lobed; flowers basal, axillary, terminal, solitary, in spikes, or panicles; hypanthium of a short or elongate, cylindrical tube; calyx lobes or sepals (3)4(5); petals (0)4(5), attached at summit of hypanthium (= floral tube); stamens (4)8(10); pistil usually 4-carpellate; ovary inferior; fruit a dehiscent capsule or an indehiscent, 1-seeded, nut-like capsule.


Notes: A medium-sized (650 species in 18 genera) family, cosmopolitan in distribution but especially of temperate and warm areas of the Americas. The family consists of herbs and shrubs or more rarely trees and includes a number of ornamentals such as Clarkia, Epilobium (FIREWEED), Fuchsia, and Oenothera. Family name conserved from Onagra, a genus now treated as Oenothera (the name Oenothera was published earlier and thus has priority in terms of nomenclature) (Greek: onagra, evening-primrose) (subclass Rosidae)