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APOCYNACEAE DOGBANE FAMILY

Thomas J. Rosatti, except as noted

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, tree, often vine; sap generally milky. Leaf: simple, alternate, opposite, subwhorled to whorled, entire; stipules 0 or small, finger-like. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, cyme, generally umbel- or raceme-like, or flowers 1–2. Flower: bisexual, radial; perianth parts, especially petals, overlapped, twisted to right or left, at least in bud; sepals generally 5, fused at base, often reflexed, persistent; petals generally 5, fused in basal ± 1/2; stamens generally 5, attached to corolla tube or throat, alternate lobes, free or fused to form filament column and anther head, filament column then generally with 5 free or fused, ± elaborate appendages abaxially, pollen ± free or removed in pairs of pollinia; nectaries 0 or near ovaries, then 2 or 5[10], or in stigmatic chambers; ovaries 2, superior or ± so, free [fused]; style tips, stigmas generally fused into massive pistil head. Fruit: 1–2 follicles, (capsule), [berry, drupe]. Seed: many, often with tuft of hairs at 1 or both ends.
200–450 genera, 3000–5000 species: all continents, especially tropics, subtropical South America, southern Africa; many ornamental (including Asclepias, Hoya, Nerium, Plumeria, Stapelia); cardiac glycosides, produced by some members formerly treated in Asclepiadaceae, used as arrow poisons, in medicine to control heart function, and by various insects for defense. [Fishbein 2001 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 88:603–623] Asclepiadaceae ("asclepiads"), although monophyletic, included in Apocynaceae because otherwise the latter is paraphyletic. Complexity of floral structure, variation in asclepiads arguably greatest among all angiosperms. Pattern of carpel fusion (carpels free in ovule-bearing region, fused above), present ± throughout Apocynaceae (in broad sense), nearly unknown in other angiosperms. Base chromosome number generally 11; abundance of latex, generally small size of chromosomes evidently have impeded cytological investigations. —Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Civeyrel et al. 1998 Molec Phylogen Evol 9:517–527; Rosatti 1989 J Arnold Arbor 70:307–401]

Key to Apocynaceae

CATHARANTHUS
Perennial herb, evergreen, ± puberulent. Leaf: opposite to subopposite. Inflorescence: flowers generally 1 in leaf axils. Flower: calyx lobes long, slender; corolla tube ± cylindric, lobes asymmetric; filaments free, attached near top of corolla tube, ± straight, unappendaged, anthers held above stigma, free from each other, stigma, each completely fertile, pollen ± free; nectaries 2, alternate ovaries, widely spaced, generally exceeding ovaries; style thread-like, stigma skirted at base. Seed: glabrous.
3–7 species: Madagascar, India; cultivated, alien, widely naturalized in tropics, subtropics. (Greek: pure flower) [Kai et al. 1997 Soil Sci Plant Nutr 43:227–235]
Unabridged references: [Taylor & Farnsworth 1975 The Catharanthus alkaloids.]

C. roseus (L.) G. Don MADAGASCAR PERIWINKLE
WAIF
Plant erect, 30–60 cm. Leaf: petiole generally < 1 cm; blade ± elliptic, base ± tapered, tip mucronate. Flower: corolla 3–5 cm wide at top, pink. Fruit: ± straight.
2n=16. Canyons, desert springs; < 200 m. South Coast, Desert; native to Madagascar. Widely cultivated, naturalized in tropics, subtropics, often a waif in warm temperate; evidence of naturalization in California lacking; yields alkaloids extensively used in treatment of childhood leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, other human cancers. Summer [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Dec 21 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Catharanthus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=18352, accessed on Dec 21 2014

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Catharanthus roseus Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.