Proteaceae Juss., Gen. Pl.: 78 (1789)
  • P. H. Weston
Part of the The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants book series (FAMILIES GENERA, volume 9)


Perennial shrubs or trees; plants usually completely bisexual but sometimes dioecious or andromonoecious; clusters of short lateral roots (‘proteoid roots’)often produced. Leaves alternate or less commonly opposite or whorled, simple or pinnately to bipinnately or rarely palmately compound, entire or pinnately to tripinnately or rarely dichotomously dissected, often with marginal teeth, estipulate, petiolate or sessile; venation pinnate or occasionally parallel or palmate, or reduced to a single vein; stomates brachyparacytic or rarely laterocytic (in Bellendena); trichomes usually 3-celled, occasionally also glandular, rarely plants glabrous. Inflorescence simple or compound, axillary or terminal, with flowers borne laterally either singly or in pairs, rarely also with a terminal flower, racemose or raceme-like or paniculate or condensed. Flowers usually bisexual, actinomorphic or zygomorphic, hypogynous; perianth of 4 (3 in Grevillea donaldiana and 5 in a minority of flowers of Eidothea hardeniana) valvate, free or variously united tepals; stamens (3)4(5), opposite tepals, usually all fertile or sometimes 1 or more sterile; filaments partly or wholly adnate to tepals or rarely free; anthers basi fixed, usually bilocular and tetrasporangiate but occasionally the lateral anthers unilocular and bisporangiate; 1-4 hypogynous glands usually present, scale-like or fleshy, free or fused into a crescentic or annular nectary; gynoecium of 1 carpel (sometimes 2, free carpels in Grevillea banksii); ovary superior, sessile or stipitate, with variously positioned marginal placentae; style usually distinct, often with apex functioning as a pollen presenter; stigma small or sometimes relatively large and plate-like, terminal or subterminal; ovules 1 to many, anatropous to orthotropous, bitegmic, crassinucellate. Fruit dehiscent or indehiscent, a follicle, achene, drupe or drupe-like. Seeds 1 to many, sometimes winged; endosperm present or absent at maturity. A family comprising 80 genera and about 1,700 species, distributed mainly in the southern hemisphere, where it is almost completely restricted to Gondwanic continental blocks and fragments (Fig. 130). It is most diverse in Australia, followed by southern Africa, South America, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Malesia, South and East Asia, tropical Africa, Central America, Madagascar, New Zealand, Fiji, southern India, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu and Micronesia.


Pollen Presenter Floral Bract Involucral Bract Dentate Margin Flower Pedicellate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. H. Weston
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Botanic GardensSydneyAustralia

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