Taxon Details: Cynophalla (DC.) J.Presl
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Capparaceae (Magnoliophyta)
Scientific Name:

Cynophalla (DC.) J.Presl
Primary Citation:

Prir. Rostlin 2: 275. 1825
Accepted Name:

This name is currently accepted.

Description: Shrubs to trees, sometimes scandent, glabrous or with simple short trichomes. Terminal branches without subterminal stipules; leaves usually distichous (except the Ecuadorian-Peruvian Cynophalla sclerophylla [Iltis & Cornejo] Iltis & Cornejo), arranged along the branches, the ± short petioles of even lengths, lacking pulvini; supraxillary nectary glands 1 to 3 above the leaf insertion, also on the inflorescences (supraxillary on the lateral racemes or flowers). Inflorescences usually terminal racemes or panicles; flowers with calyx 2-seriate, sepals 4, suborbicular, abaxially convex, decussate and anisosepalous, the outer pair smaller, deciduous at post anthesis; petals 4, white or cream, elliptic or obovate to oblong, sessile, sinistrorsely-torsive in bud; nectaries 4, flat to somewhat concave, usually disposed ± horizontally on the receptacle or few times scaly-like rudimentary and widely divergent on the receptacle; hypanthium absent; stamens 28 to 150(-250), the filaments inserted in several rows, at anthesis radially arranged around the gynophore. Fruit capsules, linear-cylindric and often torulose or/to oblong, with septicidal dehiscence by 1-2(-4) sutures, red to purple, yellow or green tinged with purple, ± lenticellate; seeds with white aril; embryo green, convolute.

Distribution: A Neotropical genus distributed from the United States (southern Florida) and Mexico to northern Argentina and the West Indies.

Ecology: Mostly in lowland forests on well-drained soils.

Number of species: This genus comprises ca. 16 species.