Apocynaceae: Dogbane family
This family contains 355 genera and 3,700 species. It is very diverse in the tropics. They include the typical Hawaiian Plumeria (which is Mexican), the Oleander, and the Periwinkle. The plants in this family have diverse alkaloids which have lead to their toxicity and to their use in medicine. Periwinkles (Vinca minor) are used to treat a certain type of cancer. Rauwolfia, in the tropics is used to treat high blood pressure.
Systematics: opposite leaves, milky sap, stipules reduced or absent, flowers have petals fused and typically overlap the bud. Flowers have a single style and stigma. Calyx and corolla 5 lobed. Mostly superior ovaries. Stamen on corolla tube and short - often pressed to a large club-like form on the style. Apocynid types united by the style.
Asclepiod types (recently added): stamen massive, pollinia in pairs, 2 carpels, carpels joined at the top only. United by the stigma.
Links to more information