Rubiaceae Week: February 6 to 12, 2012-Introduction:
Madder family, Coffee family or Bedstraw family
named after madder genus Rubia
Worldwide in distribution, but mainly distributed in the tropics and subtropics, especially the woody members.
Genera nearly 630, species 13000
Psychotria (1450 species)
Trees (Adina, Neolamarckia) or shrubs (Ixora, Gardenia), rarely herbs (Galium), sometimes climbing (Rubia) with hooked hairs, rarely epiphytic (Myrmecodia) with large swellings on roots inhabiting ants, usually with Iridoids, raphide crystals common. Leaves opposite, with interpetiolar stipules which often become as large a leaves and thus forming whorled arrangement of leaves, simple, entire, often turning blackish when dry, with colleters in leaf axils. Inflorescence cymose, sometimes capitate (Adina), or solitary (Gardenia). Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, rarely zygomorphic (Posoqueria) epigynous, sometimes dimorphic (Randia). Calyx with 4-5 sepals, adnate to ovary, 5-lobed, lobes often very small, one sometimes enlarged and brightly coloured (Mussaenda). Corolla with 4-5 petals, (rarely 8-10), united, tubular, rotate or funnel-shaped, valvate, imbricate or twisted. Androecium with 4-5 stamens, free, epipetalous, anthers bithecous, dehiscence longitudinal, introrse, pollen grains usually tricolporate. Gynoecium with 2 (rarely 1-many) united carpels, ovary inferior, rarely superior (Pugama) or semi-inferior (Synaptantha), bilocular (rarely 1-many locules) with 1-many ovules in each chamber, placentation axile (rarely apical or basal), nectar disc usually present above the ovary, style slender, stigma capitate or lobed. Fruit a berry, capsule, drupe or schizocarp; seeds 1-many, with small embryo, curved or straight, endosperm present or absent.
Economic importance: The family is economically important for being the source of coffee, quinine and a large number of ornamentals. Coffee is obtained from roasted seeds of Coffea arabica and C. canephora. Quinine, a remedy for malaria is derived from several species of Cinchona. Madder (Rubia tinctoria) was formerly cultivated for its red dye alizarin. Important ornamentals include Gardenia, Ixora, Hamelia, Neolamarckia (cadamb tree) and Mussaenda.
Very clear concise description of the family Rubiaceae.
As said above
Latin word Ruber means red. The name of the family comes from the genus Rubia (Madder)
Red dye is obtained from the roots of it.
Attaching a link of my blog written 3 years back.
FAMILY OF THE
Rubiaceae is a large family. In India there are about 76
The habit is
The leaves are
The flowers are
The calyx is
Fruits and the seeds:
The fruit is
Anthocaphalus cadamba (Kadamb)
Mitragyna parviflora (Kalam, Laghukadamb )