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Sapindaceae:

This family has 2,215 species in 147 genera. Its flowers however, are not all that well known as they are not very showy, they're small, and they're often greenish or yellowish. The maple family (Aceraceae) has recently been added to this family. In Hawaii, a common mountain plant in native forests is the a'ali (Dodonaea viscosa). One of the favorite fruits of oriental people are those of the Leeche tree (Litchi chinensis). In this family are also the popular, but rare, Longon, Rambutan, and Pulasam trees.


Systematics: flowers are small, often yellow or greenish. They are mostly unisexual (functionally). There are from 4-5 petals and 4-5 sepals. The petals have basal appendages on the inner side. The stamen are distinct with hairy filaments. There is often a nectariferous disk that is asymmetrical.

Specimens List

Lychee (Litchi chinensis)

Tasty aril around a seed.



Floral Diagram


Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum)

This aril is similar to lychee.


Golden-rain tree (Koelreuteria formosana)

These trees can be found adorning streets in the tropics.


Akee (Blighia sapida)

The fruit forms an aril, which can only be eaten safely when ripe. The rest of the fruit is poisonous.

map

Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Maples were recently put into the Sapindaceae family. It is the state tree of Rhode Island.

Links to more information

 

 
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