Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Ericales are a large and diverse order of dicotyledons. The order is represented with many various life forms, starting from trees and bushes, to lianas and herbaceous plants. Together with ordinary autophytic plants, the Ericales include chlorophyll-deficient mycotrophic plants (e. g. Sarcodes sanguinea) and carnivorous plants (e. g. genus Sarracenia).
Many species have five petals, often grown together.
Mycorrhiza is an interesting property, frequently associated with the Ericales. Indeed, the symbiosis with root fungi is quite common among the order representatives, and there are even three kinds of it which can be found exclusively among Ericales (namely, ericoid, arbutoid and monotropoid mycorrhiza). In additional, some families among the order are notable for their exceptional ability to accumulate aluminium (Jansen et al., 2004).
Ericales are a cosmopolitic order. Areas of distribution of families vary largely - while some are restricted to tropics, others exist mainly in arctic or temperate regions. The entire order contains over 8000 species, of which the Ericaceae account for 2000-4000 species (by various estimates).
Doubtlessly, the most important plant in the order is the tea (Camellia sinensis) from the Theaceae family. The order also includes some edible fruits, namely kiwi fruit (Actinidia deliciosa), persimmon (genus Diospyros) and some tropical fruits. Many Ericales species are cultivated for their showy flowers.
The following families are typical of newer classifications:
- Family Actinidiaceae (kiwifruit family)
- Family Balsaminaceae (balsam family)
- Family Clethraceae (clethra family)
- Family Cyrillaceae (cyrilla family)
- Family Diapensiaceae
- Family Ebenaceae (ebony family)
- Family Ericaceae (heath family)
- Family Fouquieriaceae (fouquieria family)
- Family Lecythidaceae (brazil nut family)
- Family Maesaceae
- Family Marcgraviaceae
- Family Mitrastemonaceae
- Family Myrsinaceae
- Family Pellicieraceae
- Family Pentaphylacaceae
- Family Polemoniaceae (phlox family)
- Family Primulaceae (primrose family)
- Family Roridulaceae
- Family Sapotaceae (sapodilla family)
- Family Sarraceniaceae (pitcher plant family)
- Family Sladeniaceae
- Family Styracaceae
- Family Symplocaceae
- Family Ternstroemiaceae
- Family Tetrameristaceae
- Family Theaceae (tea family)
- Family Theophrastaceae
These make up a basal group of asterids . Under the older Cronquist system, the Ericales included a smaller group of plants, which were placed among the Dileniidae :
- Family Ericaceae
- Family Cyrillaceae
- Family Clethraceae
- Family Grubbiaceae
- Family Empetraceae
- Family Epacridaceae
- Family Pyrolaceae
- Family Monotropaceae
- B. C. J. du Mortier (1829). Analyse des Familles de Plantes : avec l'indication des principaux genres qui s'y rattachent, 28. Imprimerie de J. Casterman, Tournay.
- S. Jansen, T. Watanabe, P. Caris, K. Geuten, F. Lens, N. Pyck, E. Smets (2004). The Distribution and Phylogeny of Aluminium Accumulating Plants in the Ericales. Plant Biology (Stuttgart) 6, 498-505. Thieme, Stuttgart. (Available online: DOI | Abstract)
- W. S. Judd, C. S. Campbell, E. A. Kellogg, P. F. Stevens, M. J. Donoghue (2002). Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach, 2nd edition. pp. 425-436 (Ericales). Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Massachusets. ISBN 0878934030.
- E. Smets, N. Pyck (Feb 2003). Ericales (Rhododendron). In: Nature Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. Nature Publishing Group, London. (Available online: ELS Site)
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details