Geraniales is an order of flowering plants involving trees, shrubs, and herbs primarily found in the temperate and the tropics. The flowers are bisexual with 5 sepals, 5 petals, 10 stamens, 4-5 carpels, and a superior ovary. The geraniums, bridal wreath, and the common stork’s bill are some of the crucial plants under Geraniales.
Table of Contents
Geraniales comprises 2 families, 17 genera and 897 species. The Geraniales are a part of the eudicots under the rosid subclade.
- Geraniaceae (Geranium family)
- Francoaceae (Bridal wreath family).
Members of Geraniaceae (7 genera and 866 species) are primarily found in the temperate regions. However, some plants are distributed in the tropics. The tree and perennial herbs of Francoaceae (9 genera and 31 species) are distributed in Africa and South America.
- Plant Type: Members of Geraniales are trees, shrubs, and herbs.
- Stem: Some taxa have pachycaul stems.
- Leaves: The leaves are alternate or opposite, simple or compound, and stipulate or exstipulateWhat is exstipulate?Without stipules; Stipule is a small structure of appendage found at the base of some leaf petioles.. Some leaves are spiny or scaly.
- Flowers and inflorescence: The flowers are bisexual. The inflorescences are cyme, umbels, raceme, or panicles. Other flowers are solitary.
- Sepals and petals: Most flowers have 5 sepals and 5 petals. Other members have 4 sepals and 2 or 4 petals.
- Stamens and carpels: Most stamens are 10. The carpels are 4-5.
- Ovary and fruit: The ovary of the flowers is superior, and the fruit is a capsule or a schizocarp.
- Seeds: The seeds are endospermic or non-endospermic.
Geraniales Flowers and Reproduction
The Geraniaceae flowers are small or medium, actinomorphicWhat is actinomorphic?A characteristic of the flower exhibiting radial symmetry such as starfish or Daisy flower; capable of being bisected into identical halves along more than one axis, forming mirror images. Opposite is Zygomorphic. or zygomorphicWhat is zygomorphic?A characteristic of the flower having only one plane of symmetry, as in a pea or snapdragon; bilaterally symmetrical; especially in reference to a flower or corolla; Opposite is Actinomorphic; irregular flower;, mostly bracteateWhat is bracteate?Possessing or bearing bracts., and hypogynous. Some species have an epicalyx in the flowers.
- The flowers are bisexual and are axillary solitary or in cymes or umbels. The biseriate and dichlamydeousWhat is dichlamydeous?Having a perianth composed of a distinct calyx and corolla. perianth comprises 5 imbricateWhat is imbricate?overlap or cause to overlap; in botany terms, scales, sepals, or plates having adjacent edges overlapping; with margins of structures overlapping like shingles on a roof. or valvateWhat is valvate?Sepals having adjacent edges abutting rather than overlapping; opening by valves; edges of structures coming together so that the margins touch but won't overlap. sepals and 5 imbricate petals.
- Most flowers have 10 stamens in 2 whorls. The syncarpousWhat is syncarpous?Flowering having united carpels; Contrast apocarpous. gynoecium consists of a superior ovary and often 5 carpels. Some species have 2, 3, or 8 carpels. The stigmas are as many as the number of the carpels.
- The nectaries of the flowers are usually located between the stamens and the petals. Pollination of the Geranium species is via insects, either through cross-pollination or self-pollination.
- Francoaceae flowers are bisexual and are aggregated in racemes or panicles. The bracteate flowers are regular or very irregular. The calyxWhat is calyx?A collective term for all the sepals of a flower; the lowermost whorl of floral orgrans (Plural form is calyces). and the corollaWhat is corolla?A collective term referring to the petals of a flower. are distinct in the perianth.
- The calyx is made up of 4 (to 5) valvate sepals. The corolla consists of 2 or 5 contorted or imbricated petals. The petals can be clawed or sessile.
- The attractive Francoa sonchifolia (Bridal wreath) has tiny, cup-shaped, pink or white flowers in racemes. Its flowering stalk may reach 90 cm in height.
Geraniales Family Differences
- The Geraniaceae species are herbs or shrubs.
- The leaves are alternate or opposite, simple or compound, usually stipulate, scaly, or spiny.
- The flowers are bisexual, and the inflorescence is a cyme, an umbel, or a solitary flower.
- The perianth is biseriate with 5 sepals and 5 petals.
- The stamens are usually 10; biseriate. The gynoecium is syncarpous with often 5 carpels.
- The ovary of the flowers is superior, and the fruit is a capsule or a beaked schizocarp.
- The seeds of the fruit are non-endospermic.
- The species are trees and perennial herbs.
- The leaves of the plants are alternate, simple, exstipulate, and petiolate. More or less, the leaves are sheathing. The Francoaceae leaves are rhizomatousWhat is rhizomatous?Bearing rhizomes. Rhizome is an underground stem, with nodes and short to elongate internodes.. The plants have basal aggregations of leaves.
- The plants are bisexual in racemes or panicles.
- The calyx and corolla are distinct in the perianth. There are usually 4 sepals in 1 whorl and 2 or 4-5 petals in 1 whorl.
- The stamens of the flowers are 4-8, and the carpels are often 4.
- The ovary is superior, and the fruit is an erect capsule.
- The seeds of the fruit are many, tiny, and endospermic.
Geraniales Example Species
Geraniales is a small order of flowering plants with low economic importance. Most of the species of Geraniales are cultivated for aromatic oil and perfume purposes. Some plants are used in traditional medicine.
- Common stork’s bill – The root, young stems, and young leaves of the Common stork’s bill are edible. The whole plant has medicinal uses. The whole plant can produce green dye. The powder from the dried plant is used during the storage of the watermelon seeds to prevent the watermelon disease.
- Garden stork’s bill – The species is used as a border plant.
- Cut-leaved cranesbill – The Cut-leaved cranesbill has many medicinal uses. The dried flowers can produce a brown dye.
- Wood geranium – This species has ornamental value. Further, the entire plant of Wood geranium has many uses in traditional medicine.
- Dysentery herb – The species is usually used in the garden. Its medicinal uses involve the treatment of insomnia and dysentery.
- Monsonia angustifolia -M. angustifolia is used as traditional medicine in South Africa to treat erectile dysfunction and increase libido.
- Bridal wreath – The flowers of the Bridalwreath plant are cultivated for flower arrangements and bouquets.
- Honey flower – The parts of the Honey flower has many uses in traditional medicine.
- Honeybush – The plant’s root is poisonous but is used as a treatment for snakebite.
- Woolly bottlebrush – The Woolly bottlebrush plant is valued for its ornamental purpose. The species is used to make utensils traditionally. Furthermore, the plant is rich in phytochemical flavonoids making the researchers explore its medicinal value.