Phrymaceae (Schauer 1847), also known as the Lopseed family, is a small plant family in the order Lamiales. It now consists of about 190 species, distributed worldwide but with the majority in western North America (about 130 species) and Australia (about 30 species).
Previously, this family was monotypic with the genus Phryma, and limited in geographic range to eastern North America and eastern China. This genus was previously placed by Cronquist in the verbena family Verbenaceae.
New research of phylogenetic relationships (Beardsley & Olmstead, 2002) has revealed that several genera, traditionally included in the figwort family Scrophulariaceae, are actually more closely related to the newly defined and expanded Phrymaceae. A more recent paper has suggested that the genus Rehmannia is closely related to Mazus and Lancea, but has also cast doubt on the inclusion of these genera in Phrymaceae.
The family Phrymaceae is mainly defined by the following three characteristics:
* Tubular, toothed calyces (with five lobes).
Members of this family occur in the most diverse habitats, ranging from deserts, river banks or mountains. They can be annuals or perennials, with a length between a few centimeters to woody shrubs of 4 m high.
The floral structures within Phrymaceae can be rather different, even so that a morphological assessment becomes difficult. Their corollas can be bilaterally or radially symmetrical.
Even reproduction is brought about by different breeding systems: asexual, self-fertilizing, outcrossing or mixed mating. Some are pollinated by insects, others by hummingbirds.
The most common fruit type in this family is a readily dehiscent capsule containing numerous seeds, but exceptions exist (an achene, as in Phryma leptostachya, or a berry-like fruit as in Leucocarpus).
* Subfamily Mazoideae
* Beardsley, P. M. & Olmstead, R. G. 2002. Redefining Phrymaceae: the placement of Mimulus, tribe Mimuleae, and Phryma. American Journal of Botany 89: 1093-1102 (available online here).
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License