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Lecythidaceae A. Rich., nom. cons.
the Brazil nut family
The family is named for the type genus Lecythis. This name is derived from the Greek ληκυθος (lékythos), an oil-flask, due to the fruits being large woody capsules hanging down from the branches and resembling pots. When the fruit is ripe, the lid comes off and the nuts fall to the ground. This type of fruit is called a pyxidium, and is a characteristic of many trees in this family, which contains some of the most spectacular plants in the world because of their large showy flowers, as well as their unusual fruits. Most members have fibrous bark and a linseed smell. Some of them are ecologically dominant species in Amazonian rainforests. Species of the family have numerous flower and fruit features that reflect adaptation for the purposes of pollination by bees and bats, and seed dispersal by wind, water and animals. Most have flowers with numerous stamens basally fused into a ring, or staminodes forming a cup-like structure covering the stigma.
Barringtonia asiatica - Fish Killer Tree
Couroupita guanensis - Cannon-ball Tree
Planchonia careya - Cocky Apple
Page last updated 25th March 2018