Taxaceae


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Related to Taxaceae: Cupressaceae, Pseudotsuga, yew family

Taxaceae

 

a family of gymnospermous plants. Representatives of Taxaceae are evergreen trees and shrubs, usually heavily branched. The leaves, for the most part, are needle-like, linear, or linear-lanceolate and often asymmetrical. The plants are most often dioecious. The male spikelets, which are found in the axils of the leaves, may be solitary or gathered into catkins. The fruits are greatly reduced and are not shaped like cones; at the base they are surrounded by several pairs of scalelike leaves and bear one ovule. Mature seeds are surrounded by a fleshy aril. The family consists of approximately 20 species, which grow mainly in the northern hemisphere. There are five genera: Taxus, Torreya, Pseudotaxus (one species, in China), Austrotaxus (one species, in New Caledonia), and Amentotaxus (several species, in China and Vietnam).

References in periodicals archive ?
Temperate Sciadopityaceae 1/1 Japan Taxaceae 4/20 Bihemispheric, Eurasia, N.
The Taxaceae thus appears to have branched from ancestors within the Utrechtiaceae and is the only modern family to have done so.
On the morphology and relationships of the Taxaceae.
The Taxaceae are characterized by a unique reproductive structure that has fueled prolonged and insightful discussion about interpretation and origin of the complex compound megasporangiate strobilus of other conifers (Buchholz, 1934, 1948; Chamberlain, 1935; Coulter & Chamberlain, 1917; Florin, 1931, 1948c, 1951, 1954; Gaussen, 1979; Janchen, 1949; Keng, 1969; Pilger, 1903, 1916a, 1916b, 1926; Robertson, 1907; Sahni, 1920; Saxton, 1934; Sugihara, 1943, 1946; Sporne, 1965; Wang et al.
The Taxaceae aril is the fleshy part of the megasporophyll and the apex of the axillary shoot (Chamberlain, 1935; Coulter & Chamberlain, 1917; Florin, 1954; Wilde, 1944).
The microsporangiate strobilus of gymnosperms is simple, but within the Taxaceae and the Cephalotaxaceae there are clear examples of compound pollen strobili, and those that appear simple are currently interpreted to be reduced compound structures (Keng, 1969; Wilde, 1944, 1975).
In most species of Taxaceae the mature plants are profusely branching, spreading shrubs or small trees.
New discoveries and continued floristic work, particularly in China, have added to our body of knowledge on the Taxaceae (Buchholz, 1948; Chen & Wang, 1978, 1984; Cheng, 1934, 1947; Cheng & Fu, 1975; Cheng et al.
The Taxaceae are a family of five genera and 25 species (including 2 artificial hybrids) distributed in the northern hemisphere except for the monotypic Austrotaxus, which occurs in New Caledonia, and one species of Taxus in Indonesia [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED].
The Taxaceae are distinguished from other conifer families (except for Cephalotaxaceae) by compound pollen strobili or simple structures derived from compound pollen strobili, peltate microsporophylls, and solitary, terminal ovules embedded in a fleshy closed or open aril.
Applying the principles that the root is more likely to bear ancestral features and that the resin canal is primitive among conifers (Jeffrey, 1903) led Bliss (1918) to contend that the Taxaceae are the most modern gymnosperm family.
The principal area of disagreement among gymnosperm taxonomists concerning the Taxaceae has been the evolutionary position of the family in relation to other groups of conifers.