More flowering plant families 2

More flowering plant families 2 – Periwinkle, Convolvulus, Olive, Acanthus and Verbena – are described here. To see how these families fit onto the evolutionary order of flowering plant families click HERE

For an alphabetical list of 42 flowering plant families click HERE

Periwinkle Family – Apocynaceae – A large family of 200 genera and 2000 species but mainly tropical with only Vinca and Oleander as temperate ornamentals. Lesser Periwinkle Vinca minor and Greater Periwinkle Vinca major are prostrate evergreens used for ground cover in gardens but are also found in the wild.  Oleander is an evergreen shrub found around the Mediterranean and as far east as China. Basic Flower Parts – 5  Petals, 5 Stamens, 1 style

Convolvulus Family – Convolvulaceae – A family of 1650 species includes 3 commonly-known genera – Convolulus, Calystegia and Ipomoea. Flowers have funnel-shaped corollas and plants have winding stems (hence the family name). The first two genera are known as Bindweeds and have flowers that are white/pink. Ipomoea flowers are many-coloured. Basic Flower Parts – 5  Sepals, 5  Petals , 5 Stamens, 1 style. 

Olive Family – Oleaceae – is named after the genus Olea which is the Latin name for the Olive. It has 25 genera and 600 species of shrubs and trees. It includes Jasmine, Forsythia, Ash, Olive, Lilac, Osmanthus and Privet. Winter Jasmine Jasminum nudiflorum is a shrub that is native to China. It has yellow flowers from November to the end of February. It was collected by Robert Fortune on a plant collecting trip in 1843 and brought back to Britain. Basic Flower Parts – 4 sepals, 4  petals, 2 stamens, 1 style

Acanthus Family – Acanthaceae – The  family has 250 genera and 2500 species. It is mainly tropical but the Acanthus genus has 30 species around the Mediterranean.  The commonest species in the UK is Bear’s Breeches Acanthus mollisIts leaves are believed to be the model for the ornaments carved at the top of ancient Greek columns. Basic Flower Parts – 4 or 5  Sepals, 4 or 5  Petals – 2-lipped , 2 usually 4 Stamens, 1 style.

Verbena Family – Verbenaceae – The family of 35 genera and 1200 species includes the genera Verbena and Lantana. Verbena bonariensis and Verbena rigidaare very common garden plants in Britain. They are native to South America. Lantana are tropical plants, introduced to Europe by Dutch explorers from tropical America in the 17th century. Basic Flower Parts – 5 Sepals, 5 Petals, 4 Stamens, 1 style.