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Family: Loganiaceae

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

Common Names:

  • STRYCHNINE - English, United States of America
  • LOGANIA FAMILY - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Family Recognition in the Field: Herbs or vines with opposite simple leaves; stipules present; corollas sympetalous, radially symmetrical; fruit a capsule developing from a superior ovary.

Diagnosis: Ours annual or perennial herbs or high-climbing, twining, woody vines; leaves opposite, sessile or short-petioled, simple, entire or nearly so; leaf bases connected around the stem by united short stipules or a stipular ridge; flowers sessile or short-pedicelled, terminal or axillary, solitary or in cymes or cymose spike-like inflorescences; corollas funnelform to salverform or nearly tubular, 5-lobed; sepals 5, united at least basally; stamens 5; pistil 2-carpellate; ovary superior; fruit a capsule or separating into 2 carpels at maturity.


Notes: A medium-sized (ca. 570 species in 29 genera) tropical to temperate family of herbs, shrubs, trees, and vines. [a PLANT OF TOXIC/ POISONOUS NATURE]. The family contains numerous extremely poisonous and medicinal plants (due to alkaloids, iridoids, and saponins) such as Strychnos nux-vomica L. (source of strychnine); some were used as arrow poisons in South America and as ordeal poisons in Africa; the family also includes ornamentals such as Gelsemium (CAROLINA or YELLOW JESSAMINE). Polypremum, here treated in the Buddlejaceae, is sometimes placed in the Loganiaceae. Family name from Logania, a genus of 15 species native from Australia to New Caledonia and New Zealand. (Named for James Logan, 1674-1751, Irish botanist and writer, William Penn's agent in the U.S., and governor of Pennsylvania) (subclass Asteridae).