Characteristics of Apocynaceae



  • These are mostly twining or erect shrubs and lianes, a few herbs, and trees with latex. Bicollateral bundles or internal phloem are often present.


  • The leaves are simple, opposite, or whorled, rarely alternate.


  • The flowers are regular, bisexual, and hypogynous, in cymes. They are usually salver or funnel-shaped, often with corona.


  • The sepals are five in number, and rarely four, gamosepalous, and often united only at the base.


  • There are five petals, rarely four. They are gamopetalous and twisted.


  • There are five stamens, rarely four. They are epipetalous, alternating with the petals, included within the corolla tube. The anthers are usually connate around the stigma and adnate to it. The disc is ring-like or glandular.


  • The carpels are two or (2), apocarpous or syncarpous, superior. When apocarpous, each ovary is one-celled with marginal placentation, and when syncarpous the ovary may be one-celled with parietal placentation, or two-celled with axile placentation. There are 2-∞ ovules in each.


  • There is a pair of follicles, barriers, or drupes.


  • The seeds often have a crown of long, silky hairs and they mostly have endosperm.

Floral formula:

Floral formula
Floral diagram of Apocynaceae
Fig.1: Floral diagram of Apocynaceae


Make sure you also check our other amazing Article on : Morphology of Seeds
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