Lacistemataceae Holistic Database

Neotropical Plant Families Database U.K. Communities of Woodland & Scrub Species 2000 University of Reading Herbarium RNG, University of Reading, U.K.


Welcome to all things relating to Lacistemataceae.

The aim of this electronic monograph is to aggregate all knowledge regarding Lacistemataceae and to make this knowledge free and open access.

The material is gathered from a wide variety of sources including herbaria holotypes, literature, genetic databases, Codes of Nomenclature, the Convention of Biological Diversity, Flora Brasiliensis, IUCN Red List and many many more. External links to other websites are found under the Useful websites tab.

This website was originally written for the Convention on Biological Diversity : 2010 Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) Target 1 : to provide "a widely accessible working list of known plant species, as a step towards a complete world flora". As GSPC 2010 has been succeeded by GSPC 2011-2020 this website now relates to :

Objective I : Plant Diversity is well understood, documented and recognized;
Objective IV : Education and awareness about plant diversity, its role in sustainable livelihoods and important to all life on Earth is promoted";

You may have a few questions regarding Lacistemataceae, hopefully I have covered most of the questions you may have thought of. Click on the question to see the answer.

(The drop down answers do not work in Microsoft IE and Edge - for some unknown reason these web browsers do not conform to HTML5!)

Why did you write this website?

I love taxonomy, cybertaxonomy, the etymology of plant names, plant monographs and the definition of species.

Also the need to 'keep up' with the exponential growth of information becoming available online (especially herbaria specimen material where I have discovered many common names for species!) which ultimately makes paper books and journals out of date as soon as they are written.

Our world is changing rapidly and is creating new jobs that have never existed before. This video demonstrates what is happening because of the cyber world - Did You Know? by Katy Scott uploaded to Youtube 2018 July 17.

What is taxonomy?

Take a look at the excellent Youtube video for an explanation - Planet Bob by Arizona State University & MediaAlchemy.

What is a plant monograph?

A monograph is a detailed study of a single specialized subject, in this case Lacistemataceae.

Why did you choose this plant family to write about?

According to The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2016) there are 416 flowering plant families and I wanted to write an electronic monograph for my MSc. Plant Diversity dissertation (University of Reading, Reading, U.K.).

At the time I was interested in Neotropical plants and due to time constraints for project completion so the family chosen needed to be small. The previous expert Dr Herman Otto Sleumer died in 1993 therefore I decided to take over his role and update his monograph for the 21st Century cyber age.

What is this website based upon?

Sleumer H O (1980) Flora Neotropica: Monograph Number 22 - Flacourtiaceae, The New York Botanical Garden, New York: 182-206

What is Lacistemataceae?

A family of plants.

How many genera are there?

Two : Lacistema and Lozania

How many species are there? (as of 2018 Nov 01)

16. 11 Lacistema and 6 Lozania

What was the first species discovered, when, where and by whom?

Lacistema aggregatum. However at that time the plant was called Piper aggregatum as it was believed to be a member of the Piperaceae family (Peppers). It was collected in Suriname but it is unknown when this plant was collected or by whom but it was first described by Peter Jonas Bergius (translated from Swedish to English - Google Translator required) in 1772. Bergius may have collected this plant himself but there is no evidence to support this idea.

Where can I read about this first species description and where can I view the specimen?

The description was written in the language of science - Latin and can be viewed online at the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
Bergio P J (1772) Ternio graminum ex America Novorum descripta et iconibus illustrata in Acta Helvetica, Physico-Mathematico-Anatomico-Botanico-Medica figuris aeneis illustrata, et in Usus Publicos exarata, Typis & Sumptibus Joh. Rodolphi Im-Hof et Filii, Volumen 7: pages 131-132.
The book illustration Table X was drawn from the actual collected specimen which can be viewed online at The Bergius Herbarium (SBT), Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.

Why is the family name Lacistemataceae and not Lacistemaceae?

Answer to follow

Where do these species live?

In the Neotropics also known as the New World or the Americas.

The family is distributed from Mexico south across the Isthmus of Panama and south to Northern Argentina.

Which countries and states in particular?
... List to follow

What kind of plants are they?

Trees and shrubs (woody species)

Which ecological niche do they live in?

In the forest understorey - beneath the main forest canopy. In newly open forest where trees have fallen. Colonisers of open and waste ground. Treated as a weed in agriculture.

What plant characteristics are always found in these species?

The leaves are simple with drip tips and always on alternate sides of the twigs.
Flower inflorescence (a catkin) occur only between the leaf petiole and stem (the axil).
The flowers are miniscule (1 millimetre in length) and require the use of a hand lens or microscope to investigate.
The flower has a single bifurcating stamen.

How can I identify this family from other Neotropical families?

I recommend using the Kew Neotropical Flowering Plant Families Key online at Lucid

Do any of these species have any economic uses?

Answer to follow

Where do I find genetic information for this family>


Why is the website background yellow?

It is yellow for two reasons.
1 : for dyslexics it makes the text easy to read;
2 : I am photosensitive it reduces the brightness of the pages.