Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants banner
  • Species information
  • About
  • Resources
  • Home
banner
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Family Profile

Apocynaceae

Family Description

A family of about 380 genera and 4700 species, mostly tropical with only a few genera and species in temperate regions; about 30 genera occur naturally in Australia.

Genera

Allamanda - A genus of about 12-15 species in central America; two species have become naturalised in Australia. Forster & Williams (1996).

Alstonia - A genus of about 40-45 species in Asia, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands; six species occur naturally in Australia. Forster (1992d); Forster & Williams (1996); Markgraf (1974); Monachino (1949); Royen (1964); Sisiyasa (1998).

Alyxia - A genus of about 120 species in Asia, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands. Markgraf (1977). Probably about eight species occur naturally in Australia. Forster (1992b); Forster & Williams (1996); White (1933, 1936).

Asclepias - A genus of about 100 species centred in America with a few species elsewhere; one species has become naturalised in Australia.

Calotropis - A genus of three or four species in Africa, Arabia and tropical Asia; two species have become naturalised in Australia. Forster (1992e, 1996c).

Carissa - A genus of about 30-35 species in Africa, Madagascar, Asia, Malesia, Australia and New Caledonia; four species occur naturally in Australia. Boiteau (1981); Forster (1992c); Forster & Williams (1996); Markgraf (1971).Leeuwenberg & Dilst (2001) reduced all Australian species to synonyms of the widespread species, Carissa spinarum L, but the four species are still recognised in Queenland.

Cascabela - A genus of about seven species from Mexico and Central America; one species has become naturalised in Australia. Forster & Williams (1996); Royen (1964).

Catharanthus - A monotypic genus native to Madagascar; naturalised in Australia. Boiteau (1981); Forster & Williams (1996).

Cerbera - A genus of about seven species in Madagascar, Asia, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands; four species occur naturally in Australia. Blake (1948, 1959); Forster & Williams (1996).

Ceropegia - A genus of more than 100 species in Africa, India, Asia, Malesia and Australia; one species occurs naturally in Australia. Forster (1996c).

Cryptostegia - A genus of two species endemic to Madagascar, both species are naturalised in Australia. Forster (1991, 1996c).

Cynanchum - A genus of more than 200 species, cosmopolitan; 11 species occur naturally in Australia. Forster (1996c).

Dischidia - A genus of 30-40 species, mainly in Asia and Malesia; four species occur naturally in Australia. Forster & Liddle (1996b).

Gomphocarpus - A genus of about 50 species in tropical and southern Africa; three species have become naturalised in Australia.

Gunnessia - A monotypic genus endemic to Australia. Forster (1996c).

Gymnanthera - A genus two species in Malesia and Australia; two species occur naturally in Australia. Forster (1996c).

Heterostemma - A genus of about 12 species in India, China, SE Asia, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands; two species occur naturally in Australia. Forster (1996c).

Hoya - A genus of more than 300 species mainly in Malesia but also in India, SE Asia, Australia and the Pacific islands; six species occur naturally in Australia and one has become naturalised. Forster & Liddle (1996a).

Ichnocarpus - A genus of 12 species in Asia, China, Malesia and Australia; two species occur naturally in Australia. Forster (1993); Forster & Williams (1996);Middleton (1994).

Kopsia - A genus of about 20 species in SE Asia, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands; one species occurs naturally in Australia. Forster & Williams (1996); Markgraf (1972).

Marsdenia - A genus of more than 250 species in Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands; 33 species occur naturally in Australia. Forster (1996c).

Melodinus - A genus of about 75 species in Asia, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific Islands; four species occur naturally in Australia. Forster & Williams (1996).

Neisosperma - A genus of about 18 species in the Seychelles, Asia, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands; two species occur naturally in Australia. Forster & Williams (1996); Fosberg & Sachet (1977).

Ochrosia - A genus of about 21 species in the Mascarenes, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands as far east as the Marquesas and Hawaii; three species occur naturally in Australia. Forster & Williams (1996); Fosberg et al. (1977); Markgraf (1979); Hendrian (2004).

Parsonsia - A genus of about 130 species in SE Asia, Malesia, Australia, the Pacific islands and New Zealand; 35 species occur naturally in Australia. Forster & Williams (1996).

Phyllanthera - A genus of seven species in Malesia, New Guinea and Australia; one species occurs naturally in Australia. Forster (1996); Venter & Verhoeven (2001).

Sarcolobus - A genus of 14 species in India, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands; three species occur naturally in Australia. Forster (1996c).

Sarcostemma - A genus of 60-70 species in Africa, Asia, Malesia and the Americas; three species occur naturally in Australia. Forster (1996c).

Secamone - A genus of about 20 species with a world-wide distribution; four species occur naturally in Australia. Fide Forster (1996c). One species occurs naturally in Australia. Fide Klackenberg (1992). The generic distribution appears to include Africa, Madagascar, Asia, Australia and New Caledonia.

Tabernaemontana - A genus of about 100 species, almost pantropic, not in the Americas; two or three species occur naturally in Australia. Forster (1992a); Foster & Williams (1996); Leeuwenberg (1988, 1991). Despite the recent excellent revisionary work by Forster (1992a), Tabernaemontana is still a difficult genus, in this key we have recognized two species and in this treatment we have been influenced by the growth habits of the plants. This means that our species concepts differ slightly from those of Forster but it will not prevent the user from identifying their plant to at least the generic level.

Tylophora - A genus of more than 75 species in Africa, India, China, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands; 12 species occur naturally in Australia. Forster (1996c).

Voacanga - A genus of about 12 species in Africa, Asia, Malesia and Australia. Leeuwenberg (1985). One species occurs naturally in Australia. Forster & Hyland (1991); Forster & Williams (1996).

Wrightia - A genus of 16 species in Africa, Asia, Malesia and Australia; four species occur naturally in Australia. Forster & Williams (1996); Ngan (1965).

References

Blake, S.T. (1948). Studies in Australian Apocynaceae and Asclepiadaceae. I. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 59:161-168.

Blake, S.T. (1959). New or noteworthy plants, chiefly from Queensland. I. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 70:33-46.

Boiteau, P. (1981). Apocynacees. In 'Flore de la Nouvelle-Caledonie et Dependances.' Vol. 10, (Museum Nationale D'Histoire Naturelle: Paris.), pp. 1-302.

Everist, S.L. (1974). 'Poisonous Plants of Australia.' (Angus & Robertson: Sydney.), 684 pp.

Forster, P.I. (1991) A taxonomic revision of Cryptostegia R.Br. (Asclepiadaceae: Periplocoideae). Australian Systematic Botany 4:571-577.

Forster, P.I. (1992a). Circumscription of Tabernaemontana pandacaqui (Apocynaceae) in Australia. Australian Systematic Botany 5:521-531.

Forster, P.I. (1992b). A taxonomic revision of Alyxia (Apocynaceae) in Australia. Australian Systematic Botany 5:547-580.

Forster, P.I. (1992c). A taxonomic revision of Carissa (Apocynaceae) in Australia. Australian Systematic Botany 5:581-591.

Forster, P.I. (1992d). A taxonomic revision of Alstonia (Apocynaceae) in Australia. Australian Systematic Botany 5:745-760.

Forster, P.I. (1992e). A taxonomic account of the genus Calotropis R.Br. (Asclepiadaceae) in Australia. Nuytsia 8:201-208.

Forster, P.I. (1993). A taxonomic revision of Ichnocarpus (Apocynaceae) in Australia and Papuasia. Australian Systematic Botany 5:533-545.

Forster, P.I. & Hyland, B.P.M. (1991). Voacanga grandifolia (Miq.) Rolfe (Apocynaceae), a new generic record for Australia. Austrobaileya 3:561.

Forster, P.I. & Williams, J.B. (1996). Apocynaceae. In 'Flora of Australia.' Vol. 28, (CSIRO Australia: Melbourne.), pp. 104-196.

Forster, P.I. & Liddle, D.J. (1996a). Hoya. In Forster, P.I. (1996). Asclepiadaceae. In 'Flora of Australia.' Vol. 28, (CSIRO Australia: Melbourne.), pp. 231-237.

Forster, P.I. & Liddle, D.J. (1996b). Dischidia. In Forster, P.I. (1996). Asclepiadaceae. In 'Flora of Australia.' Vol. 28, (CSIRO Australia: Melbourne.), pp. 237-241.

Forster, P.I. (1996c). Asclepiadaceae. In 'Flora of Australia.' Vol. 28, (CSIRO Australia: Melbourne.), pp. 197-283.

Fosberg, F.P. & Sachet, M.H. (1977). Nomenclature of the Ochrosiinae (Apocynaceae): 1. Application of the names Neisosperma Raf. and Calpicarpum G. Don. Adansonia, Ser. 2, 17:19-22.

Fosberg, F.P., Boiteau, P. & Sachet, M.H. (1977). Nomenclature of the Ochrosiinae (Apocynaceae): 2. Synonymy of Ochrosia Juss. and Neisosperma Raf. Adansonia, Ser. 2, 17:23-33.

Hendrian. (2004). Revision of Ochrosia (Apocynaceae) in Malesia. Blumea 49: 101-128.

Klackenberg, J. (1992). Taxonomy of Secamone (Asclepiadaceae) in Asia and Australia. Kew Bulletin 47:595-612.

Leeuwenberg, L.J.M. (1985). Voacanga Thou. Agricultural University Wageningen, Papers 85-3:6-80.

Leeuwenberg, L.J.M. (1988). Series of revisions of Apocynaceae XXI. Notes on Tabernaemontaneae. Agricultural University Wageningen, Papers 87-5:1-32.

Leeuwenberg, L.J.M. (1991). 'A revision of Tabernaemontana: the Old World Species.'(Royal Botanic Gardens: Kew.), 205 pp.

Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. & Dilst, F.J.H. van (2001) Series of revisions of Apocynaceae XLIX. Carissa L. Wageningen University Papers 2001-01: 36.

Markgraf, F. (1971). Florae Malesianae Praecursores LI. Apocynaceae I. 1. Carissa, 2. Catharanthus, 3. Melodinus, 4. Leuconotis, 5. Chilocarpus. Blumea 19:149-166.

Markgraf, F. (1972). Florae Malesianae Praecursores LIII. Apocynaceae II. 6. Urnularia, 7. Willughbeia, 8. Kopsia. Blumea 20:407-425.

Markgraf, F. (1974). Florae Malesianae Praecursores LIV. Apocynaceae III. Alstonia. Blumea 22:20-29.

Markgraf, F. (1977). Florae Malesianae Praecursores LV. Apocynaceae IV. Alyxia. Blumea 23:377-414.

Markgraf, F. (1979). Florae Malesianae Praecursores LIX. Apocynaceae V. Ochrosia, Neisosperma. Blumea 25:233-247.

Middleton, D.J. (1994). A revision of Ichnocarpus (Apocynaceae). Blumea 39:73-94.

Monachino, J. (1949). A revision of the genus Alstonia (Apocynaceae). Pacific Science 3:133-182.

Ngan, P.T. (1965). A revision of the genus Wrightia (Apocynaceae). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 52:114-175.

Royen, P. van (1964). Apocynaceae. In 'Manual of the Forest Trees of Papua & New Guinea.' Part 9, (Department of Forests: Port Moresby.), pp. 1-52.

Sidiyasa, K. (1998). Taxonomy, phylogeny and wood anatomy of Alstonia (Apocynaceae). Blumea Supplement 11, 230 pp.

Stanley, T.D. & Ross, E.M. (1986). Asclepiadaceae. In 'Flora of South-eastern Queensland.' Vol. 2, (Queensland Department of Primary Industries: Brisbane.), pp. 306-319.

Venter, H.J.T. & Verhoeven, R.L. (2001). Diversity and relationships within the Periplocoideae (Apocynaceae). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 88(4): 566.

White, C.T. (1933). Ligneous plants collected for the Arnold Arboretum in North Queensland by S.F. Kajewski in 1929. Contributions from the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University 4:1-113.

White, C.T. (1936). Contributions to the Queensland Flora, No. 5. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 47:51-84.