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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

VINCA PERIWINKLE

Thomas J. Rosatti & Lauramay T. Dempster

Perennial herb, ± glabrous (except ciliate leaf, sepal margins). Leaf: opposite to subopposite. Inflorescence: flowers generally 1 in leaf axils. Flower: calyx lobes long, slender; corolla tube funnel-shaped, lobes asymmetric; filaments free, attached near top of corolla tube, sharply bent near base, unappendaged, anthers held around top of but free from stigma, each partly sterile, pollen ± free; nectaries 2, alternate ovaries, wide-spaced, generally not exceeding ovaries; style cylindric, widened distally, stigma skirted at base. Seed: glabrous.
6–7 species: southern Europe, northern Africa, to Afghanistan. (Latin: possibly, to bind or wind about)
Unabridged references: [Taylor & Farnsworth 1973 The Vinca alkaloids]
Unabridged note: 2n=46 in Vinca minor, Homo sapiens, and Lepus europaeus (and other hares), not suggesting a close relationship among these taxa, yet supporting the idea that classification should be based on more than one kind of evidence.

V. major L. GREATER PERIWINKLE
NATURALIZED
Plant sprawling. Stem: arching, rooting at tips. Leaf: petiole generally < 1 cm; blade ± 7 cm, ovate, base ± truncate, tip acute. Flower: corolla 3–5 cm wide at top, purple-blue (white). Fruit: curved, rare.
2n=90,92. Coastal bluffs, sheltered places, especially along stream beds; 2–200 m. North Coast, Outer North Coast Ranges, n Sierra Nevada, Sacramento Valley, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, s Outer South Coast Ranges, South Coast, San Gabriel Mountains, San Bernardino Mountains, Peninsular Ranges; southern United States; native probably to Europe. Cult. Mar–Jun(Jan) {Weed listed by Cal-IPC} [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 Apr 24 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Vinca, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=48131, accessed on Apr 24 2014

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click for enlargement Vinca major
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© 1995 Saint Mary's College of California

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