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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Study of Different Families

A British systematic botanist J. Hutchinson published his work, The Families of Flowering Plants in 1926 on dicotyle-dons and in 1934 on monocotyledons. Hutchinson made it clear that the plants with sepals and petals are more primitive than the plants without petals and sepals on the assumption that free parts are more primitive than fused ones.



Habit: These are herbs and climbers, and rarely shrubs or trees with a bulb or rhizome, or with fibrous roots.


Leaves: These are simple, radical or cauline, or both.


Flowers: The flowers are regular, bisexual (rarely uni-sexual) dioecious, as in smilex. They are trimerous and hypogynous. The bracts are usually small and scarious (thin, dry and membranous).


Inflorescence: This may be a spike, raceme, panicle or umbel, often on a scape.


Perianth: The perianths are petaloid. There are usually six in two whorls. They may be 3+3 and free (polyphyl-lous), or (3+3), and united (gamophyllous).


Androecium: There are six stamens in two whorls, 3+3, rarely free or united with the perianth (epiphyllous) at the base. The anthers are often dorsifixed.


Gynoecium: There are (3) carpels (syncarpous). The ovary is superior and three celled. There are usually ∞ ovules in two rows in each loculus. The placentation is axile. There are (3) or 3 styles.


Fruit: This may be a berry or capsule.


Seeds: The seeds are albuminous.


Floral formula: H P3 + 3 or (3 + 3) A3 + 3 G(3)


                                        Floral diagram of liliaceae 

Examples: Onion, garlic, aloe, colchicum, etc.


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