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Family: Simaroubaceae

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

Common Names:

  • QUASSIA - English, United States of America
  • SIMAROUBA FAMILY - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Family Recognition in the Field: The single introduced species in nc TX is easily recognized as a tree with large, alternate, pinnately compound leaves with leaflets having a few, basal, glandbearing teeth (the leaflets are without the pellucid dots found in the similar Rutaceae); flowers small and numerous in panicles.


Notes: A small (110 species in 13 genera) family of mainly tropical trees and shrubs with a few extending to temperate Asia; simaroubilides-triterpenoid lactones-are usually present making the bark, wood, and seeds bitter. Some have been used medicinally, as insecticides, for timber, or as ornamentals. Simaroubaceae are similar to Rutaceae and Meliaceae and possibly similar to the ancestral group from which these families were derived. Family name conserved from Simarouba, a genus now treated as Quassia, a tropical genus of 35 species. (From the Carribbean name for one of the species) (subclass Rosidae).