Portulacaceae Juss.

First published in Gen. Pl. [Jussieu] 312. 1789 [4 Aug 1789] (as "Portulaceae") (1789)nom. cons.
This family is accepted

Descriptions

Ghazanfar, S. A., Edmondson, J. R. (Eds). (2016). Flora of Iraq, Volume 5, Part 1: Elatinaceae to Sphenocleaceae. Kew Publishing

Morphology General Habit
Mostly herbs
Morphology Leaves
Leaves opposite or alternate, simple, usually fleshy; stipules scarious or setaceous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers cymose, racemose or solitary, regular, hermaphrodite
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals usually 2, free or united
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals usually 4–6, free or united below
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 4–6, opposite the petals, or more to many, sometimes borne on corolla
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary superior or rarely semi-inferior, of 2 or more united carpels, 1-locular; ovules 1-many, basal, fruit usually a circumscissile or valvular capsule.
Distribution
A family of some 19 genera and 350 species allied to the Aizoaceae, cosmopolitan but with its greatest development in the New World; one genus in Iraq.
[FIQ]

George R. Proctor (2012). Flora of the Cayman Isands (Second Edition). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Morphology General Habit
Usually succulent unarmed herbs, prostrate or erect, rarely somewhat shrubby at the base
Morphology Leaves
Leaves alternate, subopposite or opposite, simple, entire
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers regular, perfect, solitary, clustered at the tips of branches, or else in terminal racemes or panicles; sepals 2; petals usually 4–6, free
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens equal in number to the petals, or sometimes less or more
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary superior or half-inferior, 1-celled, with free-central placentation; style with 3–7 stigmatic branches; ovules 2 to many.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit a capsule, circumscissile or splitting by 3 valves; seeds 2–numerous, with curved embryo.
Distribution
A family of about 20 genera and 500 species, mostly American.
[Cayman]

Portulacaceae, Sylvia M. Phillips. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2002

Morphology General Habit
Annual or perennial herbs, occasionally soft-wooded shrubs or small trees, usually with most parts rather succulent
Morphology Leaves
Leaves opposite or alternate, simple, entire; nodal and axillary scales and/or hairs sometimes present
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence cymose, sometimes reduced to a solitary axillary flower, or congested into a raceme-like panicle or terminal head of sessile flowers surrounded by an involucre of leaf-like bracts
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers regular
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals 2, slightly unequal, the outer overlapping both margins of the inner, free or basally connate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals (3–)4–5(–12), free or basally connate, sometimes adnate to the ovary base, usually conspicuous but fugacious
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium
Stamens 3–numerous, often adherent to the petals
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium
Ovary superior or (in Portulaca) partly inferior, with 2–5 carpels, unilocular, placentation free-central or basal, ovules few to many; style simple; stigma capitate or branched
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit a capsule, circumscissile or dehiscing longitudinally, rarely indehiscent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 1 to many on long persistent funicles, black or brown with a pale aril (in Flora area), often glossy or with a metallic sheen, embryo curved, testa smooth or concentrically ornamented
[FTEA]

Portulacaceae, H. Wild. Flora Zambesiaca 1:2. 1961

Morphology General Habit
Annual or perennial herbs or shrubs, often succulent
Morphology Leaves
Leaves sessile or petiolate, opposite or alternate; stipules scarious or modified into many or few hair-like axillary appendages or absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, variously racemose, paniculate or cymose or solitary
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals 2, imbricate, free or united at the base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals 4–6 (in all African genera), imbricate, free or connate up to half-way or more, often fugacious
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium
Stamens as many as the petals or more numerous, free or adnate to the petals
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium
Ovary superior or half inferior, 1-locular or partially divided into several loculi near the base; placentation basal; ovules 1-?; style simple or variously divided
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit a capsule dehiscing by longitudinal valves or circumscissile, very rarely an indehiscent nutlet
[FZ]

Portulacaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:1. 1954

Morphology General Habit
Herbs or undershrubs, often, succulent; leaves alternate or opposite, with scarious or setose stipular appendages
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers actinomorphic, hermaphrodite, solitary or variously cymose or racemose
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals 2, imbricate, free or united at the base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals 4–6, imbricate, free or connate at the base, soon falling
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium
Stamens as many as and opposite the petals or more numerous, free; anthers 2-celled
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium
Ovary superior or half-inferior, 1-celled with basal placenta; ovules 1 to many; style usually variously divided
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit a capsule dehiscing by valves or by a transverse split (circumscissile), rarely a nut and indehiscent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds globose-reniform; embryo surrounding the copious mealy endosperm
[FWTA]

Milliken, W., Klitgard, B. and Baracat, A. (2009 onwards), Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Morphology General Habit
Annual or perennial herbs, shrubs or small trees, sometimes with thickened and succulent stem base, caudex or underground storage; roots swollen and tuberous in several species
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules absent but hairs, bristles or scales present in leaf-axils of many species, these generally interpreted as reduced stipules,  axillary pubescence copious in some species
Morphology Leaves
Leaves alternate or occasionally opposite, sometimes in the form of perfoliate umbrella-like structures (Montia L.); petioles poorly defined; blades flattened to terete, normally glabrous, sometimes succulent , base usually narrow, margins entire
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences of solitary flowers or paniculate, but commonly described as dichasia converting distally into monochasia, monochasia frequently straightened to resemble racemes or spikes, axes sometimes reduced, resulting in condensed head -like inflorescences
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers actinomorphic or slightly zygomorphic (Montia), bisexual or rarely unisexual, small to large and showy, short-lived, often cleistogamus; sepals usually 2 (-3) or many (Lewisia Pursh), imbricate, persistent or deciduous (Talinum Adans.); petals (2-) 5 (12 or rarely more), free or sometimes connate at base; stamens 1 (Monocosmia Fenzl) - numerous, opposite petals, often grouped in bundles when numerous, filaments usually free, sometimes fused basally to perianth base, anthers basifixed, longitudinally dehiscent; pollen spinose, endexine poorly developed; gynoecium syncarpous,  ovary superior or inferior or semi-inferior (Portulaca L.), carpels (2) 3 (8), 1-locular throughout or initially plurilocular and becoming 1-locular distally (Portulaca), style cleft to various lengths, branches and/or stigmas as many as carpels; placentation basal or free -central, ovules 1-many, mostly campylotropous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruits dry capsules dehiscing circumscissilely or by longitudinal valves (3-6), valves in some genera longitudinally involute
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds (1) 3- numerous, cochleate - reniform to angular or rounded, testa often distinctly sculptured; sarcotesta present, surrounding seed; embryo slightly curved to almost circular, endosperm absent or almost absent; perisperm often abundant.
Diagnostic
Key differences from similar families: Portulacaceae are characterized by the presence of the herbs succulent, leaves alternate or apparently opposite, flowers with 2 sepals and 5 petals and fruit capsules. Sometimes they can be confused with Aizoaceae (herbs succulent and fruit capsules) but they have the leaves opposite, less often alternate; flowers with 3-8 tepals and fruit capsules loculicidal, rarely septicidal or circumscissile. See below. Notable genera and distinguishing features: Calandrinias.l.: sepals persistent, stylefree and capsules indehiscent. Portulaca: inferior or semi inferior ovary; circumscissile capsules. Talinum: sepals deciduous. Distinguishing characters (always present): Herbs, shrubs or subshrubs, often succulent. Hairs or scales present in leaf-axils. Fruits capsules, dehiscing circumscissilely or by longitudinal valves. Seeds often distinctly sculptured. Leaves alternate or apparently opposite and simple. Flowers usually with 2 sepals; petals usually 5; locule 1; placentation basal or free -central.
Distribution
Most of genera are endemic to the Neotropics. Portulaca is cosmopolitan. Talinum occurs in America and Africa. The Portulacaceae are cosmopolitan, with 25-30 genera and 450-500 species. Most genera and species occur in the west of North America, South America and Africa with some representatives in Europe and Asia. In tropical America and the bordering regions there are about 11 genera and probably 170 species. Of the 11 tropical and subtropical American genera: Calandrinias.l. (Calandrinia Kunth, Baitaria Ruiz & Pav. and Cistanthe Spach) is found throughout the Andes. Monocosmia Fenzl is restricted to north Argentina and Chile. Mona O. Nilsson is restricted to Colombia and Venezuela. Lenzia Philippi is an endemic of Chile. Talinaria Brandegee and Talinopsis A.Gray are restricted to Mexico. Talinum Adans. s.l. is found throughout tropical America. Portulaca L. is cosmopolitan.
Note
Some species are widespread as weeds. Portulacagrandiflora Hook. is cultivated in numerous colour forms including double flowers. Portulacaoleracea L. was formerly cultivated as a salad and spice plant. Talinumtriangulare (Jacq.) Willd. is cultivated as a salad plant. Number of genera: Eleven Neotropical genera: Calandrinia (Calandrinia) (10 species) Calandrinia (Cistanthe) (25 species) Calandrinia (Baitaria) (40 species) Grahamia Gill. (1 species) Lenzia (1 species) Lewisia (2 species) Mona (1 species) Monocosmia (1 species) Montia (12 species) Portulaca (40 species) Talinopsis (1 species) Talinum (14 species) Talinaria (1 species) Notes on delimitation: The Portulacaceae were placed in the Caryophyllales by Cronquist. The family is one of those strongly nested among the other betalain-producing families of the Caryophyllideae and as currently circumscribed is closely allied with the Cactaceae, Basellaceae and Didieraceae. The close alliance of Cactaceae with Portulacaceae has been demonstrated with morphological data (hairs or scales present in leaf-axils) and molecular data.
[NTK]

Sources

  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Iraq

    • Ghazanfar, S. A., Edmondson, J. R. (Eds). (2013-2019). Flora of Iraq, Volumes 5.1, 5.2 and 6.0. Kew Publishing
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of the Cayman Islands

    • Flora of the Cayman Islands
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • 'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Neotropikey

    • Milliken, W., Klitgard, B. and Baracat, A. (2009 onwards), Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics.
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0