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Family: Phrymaceae

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

Common Names:

  • LOPSEED FAMILY - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Family Recognition in the Field: The only species is a Verbenaceae-like herb with opposite leaves and small flowers in spike-like inflorescences; in fruit the calyces (enclosing the fruits) are reflexed and parallel to the inflorescence axis.


Notes: A monotypic family native to Asia and North America. Phryma has been placed in the Verbenaceae by a number of authorities (e.g., Cronquist 1981; Kartesz 1994). However, Chadwell et al. (1992) concluded that when a variety of characters including pollen morphology are considered, a position near, but not within subfamily Verbenoideae is best supported. Chadwell et al. (1992) further indicated that definitive familial placement of Phryma cannot be determined until the broader problem of family delimitation in the Lamiales as a whole is addressed. In a recent molecular study of Labiatae and Verbenaceae (Wagstaff & Olmstead 1997), Phryma ". . . emerges as a distinct lineage, not clearly associated with any other group within the Lamiales s.l." In order to emphasize its distinct phylogenetic position, we are recognizing it at the family level. (subclass Asteridae)