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  1. Goodeniaceae R.Br.

    1. This family is accepted.


Goodeniaceae, F. G. Davies. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1978

Trees, shrubs or herbs, without latex
Leaves alternate, rarely opposite, or radical, exstipulate, simple, often obovate to spathulate
Inflorescence cymose or reduced to solitary axillary flowers
Flowers hermaphrodite, protandrous, irregular
Calyx adnate to the ovary basally, distally free as a 5-toothed or entire limb
Corolla with a long tube split for part or all of its length and a limb divided into 5 subequal lobes
Stamens 5, from the base of the corolla, free or occasionally joined at the anthers; anthers dehiscing introrsely
Ovary superior to inferior, 1–2-locular, each containing 1 or several ovules; style emerging laterally from the split corolla-tube, bearing a cup-shaped ciliate indusium around the simple or bifid stigma
Fruit a capsule or drupe
Seeds with endosperm

Every, J.L.R. (2009). Neotropical Goodeniaceae.


Small trees or spreading shrubs. Leaves simple , alternate , spiraling, petiolate , fleshy , glabrescent, margin entire , venation pinnate , midrib prominent ; exstipulate , axillary hairs long. Inflorescence axillary dichasia or cyme , pedunculate. Flowers hermaphroditic, zygomorphic , 5- merous , bracteolate; calyx synsepalous, cup-like, persistent ; corolla tubular, with adaxial deep split (exposing indusium), fan-like, winged (appearing trilobed), hirsute within; stamens 5, opposite sepals, free of corolla , anthers dehisce in bud , introrse; gynoecium syncarpous, ovary inferior, carpels 2, locules 2, style with hairy pollen -collecting indusium and stylar cup, stigma bilobed. Fruit a drupe , hard, indehiscent with thick endocarp and fleshy or corky mesocarp . Seed 1 per locule .

General Description
Notes on delimitation
  • Currently circumscribed in the Asterales as sister group to Calyceraceae and Menyanthaceae (Stevens 2008). Placed in the Campanuales by Cronquist.
Number of genera
  • 1 Genus:  Scaevola L. with 3 species.
  • Scaevola plumieri occurs throughout the Neotropics.
  • S. wrigtii is endemic to eastern Cuba.
  • S. taccada is an exotic invasive found in the British Virgin Islands.
General notes
  • Scaevola: (from the Latin scaevus meaning 'left-handed') - a reference to a legendary one-handed Roman hero Mucius Scaevola, who was likened to the genus, as its flowers appear to have been cut in half.
  • Insect pollinated.
Distribution in the Neotropics
  • Scaevola plumieri (L.) Vahl can be found throughout coastal areas of the Neotropics.
  • S. wrigtii (M.Gomez) is endemic to eastern Cuba.
  • S. taccada (Gaertn.) Roxb (= S. sericea Vahl) is a paleotropical species naturalized in the British Virgin Islands.
Distinguishing characters (always present)
  • Members of the Neotropical Goodeniaceae are readily distinguished by an unique floral character known as the 'indusium' which is a cup-shaped specialized stylar outgrowth below the apex of the style (that attracted the interest of Charles Darwin), and which acts as a pollen presenter.
Other important characters
  • The fan-shaped corolla and marginal membranaceous wings making each lobe appear trilobed.
  • Barbulae (hairy outgrowths) found at the edge of petal wings and down into the throat.
  • Indehiscentfruit, which lacks a clear demarcation between the hard endocarp and outer layers with unthickened cell walls.
Important literature

Brizicky, G. K. 1966. The Goodeniaceae in the southeastern United States. J. Arnold Arbor. 47:293-300.

Carolin, R. G. 1966. Seeds and Fruit of the Goodeniaceae. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 91: 58-83.

Carolin, R. C. 1992. Flora of Australia 35, Brunoniaceae, Goodeniaceae, p. 4-300, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

Cronquist, A.1981. An integrated system of classification of flowering plants. Colombia University Press, New York.

Dassanayake, M. D. 1997. A revised handbook to the flora of Ceylon, vol. 10: 284-7. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.

Ghisalberti, E. L. 2004. The Goodeniaceae. Fitoterapia 75 (5): 429-446.

Gustafsson,M. H. G. 2004. Goodeniaceae. Pp. 173-4. In: Smith, N., Mori, S. A., Henderson, A., Stevenson, D. W. and Heald, S. V. (eds.). Flowering Plants of the Neotropics. The New York Botanical Garden, Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Heywood, V.H., R.K. Brummitt, Culham, A. and Seberg, O. (eds.). Flowering plant families of the world, p.159. Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Howarth, D. G., Gustafsson, M.H.G., Baum, D. A., Motley, T.G. 1996. Phylogeny of the Asterales sensu lato based on rbcL sequences with particular reference to the Goodeniaceae. Pl. Syst. Evol. 199:217-42.

Howart, D. G. et al 2003. Phylogenetics of the genus Scaevola (Goodeniaceae): Implication for the dispersal patterns across the Pacific Basin and Colonisation of the Hawaiian Islands. American Journal of Botany 90(6): 915-923.

Maas, P. J. M. & Westra, L. Y. Th. 2005. Neotropical Plant Families. 3rd ed. P. 132. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag K.G., Ruggell.

Stevens, P. F. (2008). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 9 onwards.

Watson, L. and M. J. Dallwitz (1992 onwards). The Families of Flowering Plants: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. Version: 14th December 2000.


Goodeniaceae, F.N. Hepper. Flora of West Tropical Africa 2. 1963

Herbs or undershrubs
Leaves alternate or rarely opposite; stipules absent
Flowers zygomorphic
Calyx tubular, adnate to the ovary, rarely free
Corolla gamopetalous, bilabiate or rarely 1-lipped, lobes valvate, often induplicate
Stamens 5, alternate with the corolla-lobes, free or rarely shortly adnate to the corolla; anthers 2-celled, free or connivent around the style
Ovules 1 or more in each cell, erect or ascending Ovary mostly inferior, 1-4-celled; stigma indusiate at the top
Fruit drupaceous or nut-like, or capsular
Seeds small, with straight embryo in the middle of copious endosperm

Goodeniaceae, E. Launert. Flora Zambesiaca 7:1. 1983

Herbs, small shrubs or rarely shrubs or small trees without latex, rarely spinescent
Leaves usually alternate, rarely opposite, sometimes all radical, entire, simple, exstipulate
Flowers sometimes solitary and axillary but more often arranged in a spike, raceme or panicle, hermaphrodite, protandrous
Calyx tubular, adnate to the ovary or very rarely free; limb consisting of 5 persistent lobes, rarely entire
Lobes valvate, subequal Corolla sympetalous, 5–merous, bilabiate or very rarely 1–lipped; tube long, often villous inside
Stamens 5, alternating with the corolla–lobes and inserted at the base of the corolla, usually free but sometimes joined with the anthers; anthers 2–thecous, with the theca parallel and opening longitudinally
Disc sometimes present
Ovary mostly inferior, 1–2 (–4)–locular; ovules 1–several, erect or ascending Style simple or rarely divided, emerging laterally from the split corolla–tube; stigma truncate or bilobed, with an apical indusium
Fruit a drupe, capsule or nutlike
Seeds with endosperm, small, flat, with a thin or thick and often crustaceous testa


Accepted Genera

Other Data

Goodeniaceae R.Br. appears in other Kew resources:


First published in Prodr. [A. P. de Candolle] 573. 1810 [27 Mar 1810] (1810)

Accepted by

  • APG IV (2016)


Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

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 2020. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

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