1. Peridiscaceae Kuhlm.

    1. This family is accepted.


Every, J.L.R. (2010). Neotropical Peridiscaceae.


Trees, deciduous . Leaves alternate , simple , lamina leathery, margins entire , tri-nerved, large pit on the underside in each axil of basal lateral veins ; pulvinate at both ends of petiole ; stipules present,  intrapetiolar , caducous (leaving prominent scars). Inflorescence axillary racemes (Peridiscus Benth.) or fascicles (Whittonia Sandwith), bracteoles large and  persistent . Flowers regularly symmetrical, bisexual ; sepals 4-5(-6) (Peridiscus) or 7 (Whittonia), imbricate , reflexed when open; apetalous ; stamens numerous; ovary superior , syncarpous, half immersed in disc and glabrous (Peridiscus) or woolly and on top of disc (Whittonia); carpels 3-4; styles 3(-4), free , ovules 6-8, pendulous. Fruit drupaceous (unknown in Whittonia). Seed 1 per fruit .

General Description
Notes on delimitation
  • This little known family is currently assigned to the Saxifragales (APGIII).
Number of genera
  • Two of the family's three genera have been collected in the Neotropics, both of which are monotypic: Peridiscus lucidus Benth and Whittonia guianensis Sandwith.
Distribution in the Neotropics
  • Collected in both Brazil and the Guianas.
Other important characters
  • Fruit only known from Peridiscus.
Distinguishing characters (always present)
  • No petals.
  • Stipules leave prominent scars.
  • Leaves alternate.
  • Leaf with three main veins.
  • Pulvinus at both top and bottom of petiole.
  • Large, persistent bracteoles.
  • Sepals imbricate.
  • Disk present.
Important literature

APG III. 2009. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161(3): 105-121.

Heywood, V.H.H. 2007. Peridiscaceae. In: V.H. Heywood, R.K. Brummitt, A. Culham and O. Seberg (eds.). Flowering plant families of the world. P. 249. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Mabberley, D.J. 2008. Mabberley's plant book. Third edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Stevens, P.F. 2008. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 9 onwards. http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/


Medusandraceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:2. 1958

Trees or shrubs
Leaves alternate, simple, entire or crenate; stipules present, sometimes small and early caducous
Flowers hermaphrodite, racemose or spicate, actinomorphic, hypogynous or perigynous
Sepals 5, open or imbricate in bud, free, or united only at the base
Petals 5, free, imbricate in bud
Stamens numerous, or 5 fertile opposite the petals alternating with 5 staminodes, free from each other; anthers 4-celled, opening laterally
Disk present or absent
Ovary superior, syncarpous, 1-celled, with a central column; ovules 6–8, pendulous from the apex of the column, anatropous; styles 3 (–4), free
Fruit with persistent calyx, capsular, dehiscing into 3 (–4) valves, or by the cohesion of 2 valves appearing 2-valved
Seed solitary in each fruit, with copious endosperm and small straight embryo


Peridiscaceae Kuhlm. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Arq. Serv. Florest. 3: 4. 1950 (1950)

Accepted by

  • APG IV (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/boj.12385


Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Milliken, W., Klitgard, B. and Baracat, A. (2009 onwards), Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics.