Cardiopteris

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Cardiopteris

Description

Sinistrorsely twining herbs with white milky juice. Leaves spirally arranged, simple or lobed to varying degrees, cordate, palmatinerved, long-petioled, glabrous as is the stem, exstipulate. Flowers bisexual, or polygamous (andromonoecious), small, subsessile, in unilateral repeatedly forked cincinni, composed of loose axillary panicles, ebracteate. Petals (4-)5, caducous, lower half forming a widely funnel-shaped corolla, lobes imbricate in bud. Stamens (4-)5 inserted on the upper part of the corolla tube, alternate with its lobes; Ovary oblong-ovoid, subquadrangular (rudimentary in ♂), 1-celled; Fruit indehiscent, compressed, with 2 longitudinal broad and transversely striate stramineous wings, obovate-elliptic to orbicular in outline, apex emarginate, crowned by the columnar accrescent soft and green stigma, base very shortly or hardly (Mal.), sometimes elongately contracted into a kind of stipe. Seed 1, linear, sulcate;

Distribution

Bougainville: present E. Malesia: present N. Queensland: present SE. Asia: present Solomon Islands: present W. Malesia: present
Two spp., one in SE. Asia and W. Malesia, and one in E. Malesia. The genus extends to the Solomon Islands (Bougainville) and N. Queensland; cf. .

Taxonomy

Cardiopteris was conceived as type of a monogeneric family by BLUME (1847 or 1849) and R. BROWN (1852); it was considered to constitute a subfamily of the Icacinaceae by ENGLER (1893) and POST & KUNTZE (1904), and again as a distinct family within the Celastrales by KING (1893), WILLIAMS (1915, as Peripterygiaceae), GAGNEPAIN (1910, 1911), SLEUMER (1942, as Peripterygiaceae), HUTCHINSON (1959) and TAKHTAJAN (1966).
The pollen of the genus shows no distinctive features against Icacinaceae and resembles very much that of the Afro-Malagasian genus Cassinopsis SONDER.
Note. The family name Cardiopteridaceae is derived from the original spelling Cardiopteris used by WALLICH and later by BLUME and others. ENGLER changed the name to Cardiopteryx, which would be more correct as an allusion to the winged fruit, a substitute name, however, which cannot be used according to the Code; for this reason, the family name ‘Cardiopterygaceae’, proposed recently, has not been used.

Uses

The leaves are eaten as a vegetable.

Citation

ENGL. - in E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam. 3. 1893: 239, 257
HASSK. - in Flora. 1847: in adnot.
HASSK., Cat. Hort. Bog. 1844: 235
SLEUM. - in E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam., ed. 2, 20b. 1942: 400
BACK. & BAKH.f. - in Fl. Java. 1965: 62
AMSH. - in Back., Bekn. Fl. Java, (em. ed.), 6. 1948: fam. 135, p. 9
[WALL. ex] ROYLE - in Taxon. 1962: 28
em. Bl. - in Rumphia. 1847 or 1849: 205
[WALL. ex] ROYLE - in Nat. Tijd. N. I. 1855: 64
BAKH. F. & STEEN. - in Fl. Mal. Bull. 1960: 725
[WALL. ex] ROYLE - in Rumphia. 1849: t. 177