Rutaceae

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Rutoideae
Spathelioideae
Dictyolomatoideae
Toddalioideae
Flindersioideae
Aurantioideae[2]

Rutaceae, commonly known as the rue[3] or citrus family[4], is a family of flowering plants, usually placed in the order Sapindales.

Species of the family generally have flowers that divide into four or five parts, usually with strong scents. They range in form and size from herbs to shrubs and small trees.

The most economically important genus in the family is Citrus, which includes the orange (C. sinensis), lemon (C. × limon), grapefruit (C. paradisi), and lime (various, mostly C. aurantifolia, the key lime). Boronia is a large Australian genus, some members of which are plants with highly fragrant flowers and are used in commercial oil production. Other large genera include Zanthoxylum, Melicope and Agathosma.

Contents

Characteristics

Most species are trees or shrubs, a few are herbs (Boenninghausenia), frequently aromatic with glands on the leaves, sometimes with thorns. The leaves are usually opposed and compound, and without stipules. Pellucid glands, a type of oil containing cavities, are found on the leaves responsible for the aromatic smell of the family's members; traditionally they have been the primary synapomorphic characteristic to identify the Rutaceae.

Flowers are bractless, solitary or in cyme, rarely in raceme, and mainly pollinated by insects. They are radially or (rarely) laterally symmetric, and generally hermaphroditic. They have four or five petals and sepals, sometimes three, mostly separate, eight to ten stamen (five in Skimmia, many in Citrus), usually separate or in several groups. Usually a single stigma with 2 to 5 united carpels, sometimes ovaries separate but styles combined.

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