Plants, Fine Art Prints

- Art Gallery -

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Myrtales

Familia: Lythraceae
Genera: AdenariaAmmanniaCapuroniaCreneaCupheaDecodonDidiplisDiplusodonDuabangaGalpiniaGinoriaHeimiaKoehneriaLafoensiaLagerstroemiaLawsoniaLourtellaLythrumPehriaPemphisPhysocalymmaPleurophoraPunicaRotalaSocotriaSonneratiaTetrataxisTrapaWoodfordia

Paleogenera: †Shirleya

Genera: Adenaria - Ammann


Lythraceae J.St.-Hil., Expos. Fam. Nat. 2: 175. 1805.

Type genus: Lythrum L. Sp. Pl. 1: 446. (1753)

Notes: The traditional intrafamilial classification is rejected on morphological and molecular grounds in favour of two super-clades yet to be formally circumscribed (Graham et al., 2005 and Stevens, 2016).

J.St.-Hil. 1805. Exposition des Familles Naturelles 2: 175. 2: 175.
Graham, S.A., Hall, J., Sytsma, K. & Shi, S.H. 2005. Phylogenetic analysis of the Lythraceae based on four gene regions and morphology. International Journal of Plant Sciences 166(6): 995–1017. JSTOR Full text PDF from ResearchGate Reference page.
Graham, S.A. 2010. Revision of the Caribbean Genus Ginoria (Lythraceae), Including Haitia From Hispaniola 1. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 97(1): 34–90. DOI: 10.3417/2007028 Reference page.
Graham, S.A. & Gandhi, K. 2013. Nomenclatural Changes Resulting from the Transfer of Nesaea and Hionanthera to Ammannia (Lythraceae), Harvard Papers in Botany 18(1): 71–90. DOI: 10.3100/025.018.0101 Reference page.
Pigg, K.B. & DeVore, M.L. 2005. Shirleya grahamae gen. et sp. nov. (Lythraceae), Lagerstroemia-like fruits from the middle Miocene Yakima Canyon flora, central Washington State, USA. American Journal of Botany 92(2): 242–251. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.92.2.242 Reference page.
Stevens, P.F. 2001 onwards. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 14, July 2017 [and more or less continuously updated since]. Online. Reference page. List of Genera in LYTHRACEAE.

Vernacular names
العربية: خثرية
беларуская: Плакуновыя
català: Litràcies
čeština: Kyprejovité
dansk: Kattehale-familien
Deutsch: Weiderichgewächse
English: Loosestrife family
Esperanto: Litrumacoj
eesti: Kukesabalised
فارسی: حناییان
suomi: Rantakukkakasvit
français: Lythracées
עברית: כופריים
hrvatski: Vrbičevke
hornjoserbsce: Krawinowe rostliny
magyar: Füzényfélék
հայերեն: Արենախոտազգիներ
日本語: ミソハギ科
ქართული: ცოცხმაგარასებრნი
한국어: 부처꽃과
kurdî: Famîleya hine û hinaran
lietuvių: Raudokliniai
മലയാളം: ലൈത്രേസി
Nederlands: Kattenstaartfamilie
norsk: Kattehalefamilien
polski: Krwawnicowate
русский: Дербенниковые
slovenčina: Vrbicovité
svenska: Fackelblomsväxter
తెలుగు: లైత్రేసి
ไทย: วงศ์ตะแบก
Türkçe: Kınagiller
українська: Плакунові
Tiếng Việt: Họ Bằng lăng
中文: 千屈菜科

Lythraceae is a family of flowering plants, including 32 genera, with about 620 species of herbs, shrubs, and trees.[2] The larger genera include Cuphea (275 spp.), Lagerstroemia (56), Nesaea (50), Rotala (45), and Lythrum (35).[3] It also includes the pomegranate (Punica granatum, formerly in Punicaceae) and the water caltrop (Trapa natans, formerly in Trapaceae). Lythraceae has a worldwide distribution, with most species in the tropics, but ranging into temperate climate regions as well.

The family is named after the type genus, Lythrum, the loosestrifes (e.g. Lythrum salicaria purple loosestrife) and also includes henna (Lawsonia inermis). It now includes the pomegranate, formerly classed in a separate family Punicaceae. The family also includes the widely cultivated crape myrtle trees. Botanically, the leaves are usually in pairs (opposite), and the flower petals emerge from the rim of the calyx tube. The petals often appear crumpled.


Lythraceae species are most often herbs, and less often shrubs or trees; the shrubs and trees often have flaky bark.[4] Traits shared by species within the Lythraceae that distinguish them from belonging to other plant families are the petals being crumpled in the bud and the many-layered outer integument of the seed.[3]

The leaves generally have an opposite arrangement, but sometimes are whorled or alternate. They are simple with smooth margins and pinnate venation.[3] Stipules are typically reduced, appearing as a row of minute hairs,[3] or absent.[4]

The flowers are bisexual, radially or occasionally bilaterally symmetric, with a well-developed hypanthium. The flowers are most commonly quadimerous but can be heximerous, with four to eight sepals and petals. The sepals may be distinct, partially fused to form a tube, or touching without overlapping. The petals are crumpled in the bud and wrinkled at maturity, and are typically distinct and overlapping; they are occasionally absent.[3] Usually, twice as many stamens as petals are seen, arranged in two whorls, and the stamens are often unequal in length. Occasionally, the stamens are reduced to one whorl, or are more numerous with multiple whorls.[2] The ovary is typically superior, infrequently semi-inferior,[5] or rarely inferior. The two to many carpels can be fused together (syncarpous), with two to numerous ovules in each locule, with axile placentation of the ovules.[3]

Heterostyly – the presence of two (distylous) or three (tristylous) distinct flower morphs within a species differing in the lengths of the pistil and stamens – is common within the Lythraceae.[3]
Fruits and seeds

The fruit is usually a dry, dehiscent capsule, occasionally a berry. The seeds are usually flattened and/or winged, with a multilayered outer integument.[3] Epidermal hairs that expand and become mucilaginous when wet are found in about half the genera.[2]

The Lythraceae are widely distributed, but with most species tropical and some temperate.[2][3] They are absent from the Sahara and most arid regions of Australia.[2] Many species occur in aquatic or semi-aquatic habitats (Decodon, Didiplis, Rotala, Sonneratia, Trapa).[3][4]

Economic importance

Edible crops include the pomegranate (Punica granatum) and the water caltrop (Trapa bicornis or T. natans). The pomegranate is cultivated for the fleshy arils surrounding the seeds, and the water caltrop for its seeds. Henna (Lawsonia inermis) is cultivated for the dye of the same name, derived from its leaves.

Ornamentals are grown from a number of genera, including Cuphea, Lagerstroemia (crape myrtles), and Lythrum (loosestrifes).[3]

Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is an invasive exotic weed of wetlands throughout Canada and the United States.[6]


Within the order Myrtales, the family Lythraceae is most closely related to the Onagraceae, with the Combretaceae sister to both families.[3][5] Molecular phylogeny work has led to the inclusion of the formerly recognized families Duabangaceae, Punicaceae, Sonneratiaceae, and Trapaceae.[5]


Lythraceae has 31 genera in five subfamilies:

Subfamily Lythroideae Juss. ex Arn. 1832 = 'Lythraceae sensu stricto', 27 genera:[7]


Subfamily Punicoideae (Horan. 1834) S. A. Graham, Thorne & Reveal 1998 = 'Punicaceae',[8] 1 genus:


Subfamily Sonneratioideae (Engl. & Gilg 1924) S. A. Graham, Thorne & Reveal 1998,[8] 1 genus:


Subfamily Duabangoideae (Takht. 1986) S. A. Graham, Thorne & Reveal 1998 = 'Duabangaceae',[8] 1 genus:


Subfamily Trapoideae Voigt 1845 = 'Trapaceae', 1 genus:


Subfamily Incertae sedis

†Shirleya Pigg & DeVore (Miocene, Washington state)[9]


Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x.
Stevens, P.F. (2001–2011). "Angiosperm Phylogeny Website". Retrieved 15 February 2011.
Judd, Walter S.; Christopher S. Campbell; Elizabeth A. Kellogg; Peter F. Stevens; Michael J. Donoghue (2008). Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach (3rd ed.). Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates. pp. 412–414. ISBN 978-0-87893-407-2.
Mabberley, David J. (2008). Mabberley's Plant Book: A portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 508. ISBN 978-0-521-82071-4.
Graham, Shirley; Cavalcanti, Taciana B. "Neotropical Lythraceae". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
"Plants Profile for Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)". PLANTS Database. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
Christenhusz, M. J. M.; Byng, J. W. (2016). "The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase". Phytotaxa. 261 (3): 201–217. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.261.3.1.
Graham, S. A., R.F. Thorne, & J.L. Reveal (1998). "Validation of subfamily names in Lythraceae". Taxon. 47 (2): 435–436. doi:10.2307/1223775. JSTOR 1223775.

Pigg, K.B.; DeVore, M.L. (2005). "Shirleya grahamae gen. et sp. nov.(Lythraceae), Lagerstroemia-like fruits from the middle Miocene Yakima Canyon flora, central Washington State, USA". American Journal of Botany. 92 (2): 242–251. doi:10.3732/ajb.92.2.242. PMID 21652401.

Further reading
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lythraceae.
Wikispecies has information related to Lythraceae.

Little S. A.; Stockey R. A.; and Keating; R. C. (2004). "Duabanga-like leaves from the Middle Eocene Princeton chert and comparative leaf histology of Lythraceae sensu lato". American Journal of Botany. 91 (7): 1126–1139. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.7.1126. PMID 21653468.
Carr, Gerald. "Lythraceae". University of Hawaii. Archived from the original on 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2008-12-20.

Plants Images

Biology Encyclopedia

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Home - Hellenica World