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Key to Elaeagnaceae

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1 Leaves alternate; stamens 4; plants monoecious (the individual flowers on a plant bisexual, or some of them staminate); [collectively widespread in our region]
1 Leaves opposite; stamens 8; plants dioecious (the individual flowers either staminate or pistillate); [n. PA northwards]

Key G4: shrubs and subshrubs with alternate, simple, unlobed, entire leaves

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1 Leaves evergreen. {add to 1a: Scaevola in GOODENIACEAE, Morella (inodora) in MYRICACEAE, Ternstroemia in PENTAPHYLACACEAE, Myrsine in PRIMULACEAE, Pyracantha in ROSACEAE, Dodonaea in SAPINDACEAE, Cestrum in SOLANACEAE, Thymelaea in THYMELAEACEAE, Conocarpus in COMBRETACEAE}
  2 Leaves 1-7 mm long, either acicular and spreading or ovate and appressed to the stems
  2 Leaves > 10 mm long.
    3 Leaves linear, > 15× as long as wide; [Monocots]
    3 Leaves broader, < 15× as long as wide; [Eudicots, Basal Angiosperms, or Monocots].
      4 Plant a creeping subshrub, < 1 dm tall
      4 Plant not creeping, > 3 dm tall.
        5 Inflorescence solitary (Illicium in ILLICIACEAE) or variously branched, spicate, racemose, or fascicled, not an involucrate head.
          6 Carpels separate; fruit an aggregate; fresh foliage strongly fragrant; [Basal Angiosperms]
             7 Fruit an aggregate of woody follicles arranged in a whorl
             7 Fruit an aggregate of red to blackish berries, 4-6 mm long, each on a long stipe, giving the aggregate almost the appearance of an umbel
          6 Carpels fused; fruit a berry, drupe, acorn (nut), capsule, or legume; fresh foliage not strongly fragrant; [Eudicots, Monocots, and Basal Angiosperms].
               8 Ovary with 3 carpels; fruit a berry; “leaves” actually cladodes; [Monocots]
               8 Ovary with 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 carpels; fruit a berry, drupe, capsule, legume, or nut; leaves actually leaves; [Eudicots and Basal Angiosperms].
                 9 Leaves largely covered with silver and/or bronze lepidote scales and/or dense stellate hairs below (visible at 10× or higher magnification), giving the lower leaf surface a slightly shiny to almost metallic appearance. {add Lyonia ferruginea and L. fruticosa in ERICACEAE; add Loropetalum in HAMAMELIDACEAE}
                   10 Petals present, conspicuous, connate, white, the corolla rotate; fruit a berry with several seeds; fresh foliage with a strong, tar-like odor
                   10 Petals absent or inconspicuous, greenish and separate if present (note that the calyx is petaloid and white or yellowish in Elaeagnus of ELAEAGNACEAE); fruit a dry capsule with 3 seeds, or a drupe with a single seed; fresh foliage lacking a strong odor.
                     11 Perianth 4-merous; petals absent; petaloid sepals white to cream, fused and salverform; carpel 1; fruit a fleshy, red drupe, with a single seed
                     11 Perianth 5-merous; petals green and separate, or absent; sepals greenish, separate; carpels 3; fruit a 3-valved capsule with 3 seeds
                 9 Leaves with various vestiture (or glabrous), but not as above.
                       12 Flowers in spikes, these solitary opposite leaves or in axillary umbels
                       12 Flowers in other types of inflorescences, not spikes.
                          13 Leaves 1-foliolate on the upper stems, sometimes 3-foliolate below, or all reduced to phyllodial spines; flowers papilionaceous, bright yellow; fruit a legume; stems bright green
                          13 Leaves simple throughout; flowers either small, inconspicuous, tannish, borne in catkins (Quercus), or larger and urceolate, or with almost separate and spreading petals, white to pink or reddish-orange, in various terminal or axillary, branched inflorescences; fruit either a nut in a cupule (an acorn), or a (3-) 5-valved capsule, or a spherical berry or drupe; stems generally brown or tan (sometimes green).
                            14 Flowers small, inconspicuous, tannish, borne in catkins; fruit a nut in a cupule (an acorn)
                            14 Flowers white to pink or reddish-orange, either urceolate or tubular or with separate and spreading petals, in various terminal or axillary inflorescences, or solitary; fruit either a (3-) 5-valved capsule, or a spherical berry with 10+ seeds, or a 1-8 seeded dry or fleshy drupe.
                              15 Flowers white to pink or reddish-orange, rotate or urceolate (the petals united at least basally), in various terminal or axillary inflorescences or solitary; fruit either a 2-5 valved capsule or a spherical berry with 10+ seeds.
                                16 Flowers reddish-orange; corollas bearing post-staminal hairs (appearing as tufts of hair opposite each anther)
                                16 Flowers white to pink; corollas without obvious tufts of hair opposite each anther.
                                  17 Leaves 1 per node or also paired (on one side of the stem) at some nodes (the leaves then uneven in size); inflorescences leaf-opposed; fruit a berry.
                                  17 Leaves 1 per node; inflorescences terminal or axillary, never leaf-opposed; fruit a valved capsule.
                                    18 Seeds with fleshy aril or attachment; ovaries 2-4 carpellate; flowers rotate; leaves entire or very remotely serrulate.
                                       19 Flowers few, not showy, green to greenish-white, inflorescence not densely arranged (flowers also sometimes solitary); capsules not beaked; leaves not revolute or undulate
                                       19 Flowers numerous, showy, white; inflorescence densely arranged; capsules with short beak; leaf margins revolute or slightly undulate
                              15 Flowers white, petals spreading, separate even at the base, in axillary fascicles or racemes; fruit either a fleshy drupe with 4-8 pyrenes, or a dry single-seeded drupe.
1 Leaves deciduous. {add: Ditrysinia in EUPHORBIACEAE, Glochidion in PHYLLANTHACEAE, Phyllanthopsis in PHYLLANTHACEAE, Nierembergia in SOLANACEAE, Edgeworthia in THYMELAEACEAE, Ipomoea (I. carnea) in CONVOLVULACEAE; Swida (S. alternifolia) in CORNACEAE}
                                             22 Inflorescence branched, spicate, a catkin, or consisting of a solitary flower or axillary clusters or whorls, not an involucrate head.
                                                      26 Fruit a globose, spinose capsule bearing a longitudinal ridge across 1 or both faces, thus essentially resembling a spikey ball; perianth (4-)5-merous, consisting of 3 upper connate petaloid claws and two lower sessile petals; fresh plants without a strange musky odor; [Eudicots]
                                                      26 Fruit an oblong berry, greenish-yellow when ripe, not bearing small spines; perianth 3-4-merous, without connate petaloid claws; fresh plants fragrant with a strange, musky odor; [Basal Angiosperms]
                                                    25 Inflorescence of 2 or more flowers; perianth 3-5-merous; fresh plants not musky-fragrant; fruits various, not as above.
                                                          28 Leaves elliptic or narrowly elliptic, broadest near the middle; fresh plants strongly fragrant with a citrus-like aroma; stems unarmed; fruit a drupe, with a single seed
                                                          28 Leaves obovate or oblanceolate, broadest near the apex; stems armed with nodal spines; fresh plants not fragrant; fruit a berry, with several seeds.
                                                        27 Flowers 4-5-merous; fruit fleshy or dry, black, blue, brown, tan, or red at maturity; ovary superior or inferior; [Eudicots].
                                                            29 Fruit either a drupe or berry (indehiscent, and variously fleshy or dry) or a dry 3-valved capsule with 1 seed; inflorescence axillary (solitary, clusters, fascicles, or racemes), or in a terminal raceme (Pyrularia in SANTALACEAE).
                                                              30 Leaves largely covered with silver and/or bronze shiny lepidote scales below, giving the lower leaf surface an almost metallic appearance
                                                                         35 Fruit a red or orange berry, 8-20 mm long; leaves usually on spur-shoots; [salty coastal areas, or exotics of disturbed situations]
                                                                           36 Inflorescence a narrowly cylindrical raceme, clustered several to many at the tip of the previous year’s wood and below the current season’s growth; fruit < 3 mm in diameter
                                                                                38 Fruit dark red to black, the pedicel < 10 mm long; leaf venation very neatly pinnate, with the secondary veins nearly straight and parallel to one another

Key G6: trees with alternate, simple, unlobed, entire leaves

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1 Leaves evergreen. {add to 1a: [Conocarpus] COMBRETACEAE; [Maytenus] CELASTRACEAE}
  2 Leaves tiny, scale-like, broadest at the base and more or less clasping the stem, < 10 mm long and < 1 mm wide
  2 Leaves larger and broader, > 40 mm long and > 8 mm wide.
    3 Fruit a hesperidium; petiole flanged or winged for most of its length, constricted at the base of the blade (except linear in C. medica)
    3 Fruit various (but not a hesperidium); petiole linear (not flanged or winged with leafy tissue).
      4 Leaves pubescent with stellate hairs or peltate scales (sometimes hairs simple), or glandular punctate, appearing as translucent dots (best seen on lower leaf surfaces, with at least 10x magnification).
        5 Leaves (fresh) strongly odorous, glandular-punctate (appearing as translucent dots), with strongly parallel venation; bark on medium-aged to mature trees papery and peeling
        5 Leaves (fresh) not strongly fragrant, with stellate hairs or punctate scales, leaf venation various but not strongly parallel, bark various but not papery
          6 Vestiture of the lower leaf surface of silvery and/or reddish peltate scales; plants hermaphroditic, the flowers bisexual; fruit a fleshy drupe
          6 Vestiture of the lower leaf surface in part of stellate hairs (and also of simple acicular hairs and gland-tipped hairs); plants monoecious, the male flowers in yellow to brownish catkins, the female flowers solitary or in small spikes; fruit a nut in a cupule (an acorn)
      4 Leaves glabrous, or if hairy, with strictly simple hairs.
             7 Flowers solitary, terminal, large (> 5 cm in diameter); pistils many, carpels separate; petals many (typically > 8); leaves mostly > 10 cm long (at least some on a branch longer than 10 cm); fruit an aggregate of follicles, each dehiscing along 1 suture; stipule scar circumferential at each node, encircling the twig
             7 Flowers either in axillary racemes, panicles, umbels, fascicles, or solitary, or in terminal corymbs, umbels, compound cymes, or racemes, small (< 5 cm in diameter); pistil 1, with 1-8 fused carpels; petals 3-8; leaves < 30 cm long; fruit either a drupe, berry, or capsule; stipule scars either absent or linear or triangular, not circumferentially encircling the twig.
               8 Inflorescence terminal, a corymb, umbel, compound cyme, or raceme; fruit either a capsule (dehiscing along 5 longitudinal sutures) or a few-seeded berry.
                 9 Inflorescence a compound cyme; petals deep red to magenta; fruit a few-seeded drupe
                 9 Inflorescence a corymb, umbel, or raceme; petals white or pink; fruit a capsule, opening by 5 longitudinal sutures.
                   10 Capsules ovoid to globose or subglobose, about as long as broad, 5-8 mm long; leaves 5-12 cm long, 2-3× as long as wide
                   10 Capsules elongate, > 2× as long as broad, 8-18 mm long; leaves 10-30 cm long, 3-5× as long as wide
               8 Inflorescence axillary, a raceme, panicle, umbel, fascicle, or solitary; fruit drupaceous, fleshy to dry, but not regularly dehiscent along sutures.
                     11 Flowers solitary, axillary or superaxillary; perianth somewhat fleshy, in whorls of 3; carpels numerous, partly fused; fruit an aggregate syncarp
                     11 Flowers in inflorescences of > 2 flowers; perianth not fleshy, in whorls of 4 or 5 (or 3 in Lauraceae); carpels 2, 3, 4, or 5, fused; fruit a capsule, drupe, or berry
                       12 Inflorescence an axillary raceme (with an elongate central axis, to which all flowers/fruits are attached).
                          13 Fruit a dry, tan to brown, spherical or winged drupe; stamens 5 or 10; carpels 2-5; leaves oblanceolate (rarely narrowly elliptic), < 2.5 cm wide, the apex obtuse (more rarely acute, retuse, or rounded)
                          13 Fruit a fleshy, black, spherical drupe; stamens 10; carpels 1; leaves elliptic, the apex acute to short-acuminate
                       12 Inflorescence either an axillary umbel or fascicle (or reduced to solitary) or an axillary compound inflorescence (panicle or compound cyme), with 2-3 orders of branching.
                            14 Fruit a fleshy and oily 1-seeded drupe; flowers 3-merous, with separate and undifferentiated perianth segments; fresh plants strongly aromatic; inflorescence compound, a panicle or compound cyme (with 2-3 orders of branching); [Basal Angiosperms]
                            14 Fruit a fleshy but not oily 1-8-seeded drupe or berry; flowers 4-8-merous, with differentiated sepals and petals, the petals usually basally fused; fresh plants not strongly aromatic; inflorescence an axillary umbel or fascicle (or reduced to solitary), a central axis absent or < 1 cm long; [Eudicots].
                              15 Plants unarmed (or with marginal leaf prickles or spines); stamens 4-7, not epipetalous; fruit a drupe with 4-8 pyrenes;flowers 4-7-merous
                              15 Plants armed with nodal thorns; stamens 5 and staminodia 5, epipetalous; fruit a berry or drupe with 1 seed;flowers 5-merous
1 Leaves deciduous.
                                16 Leaf base deeply to shallowly cordate, with 3-7 palmate veins from the base; leaf blade about as wide as long or a little longer, mostly 0.9-1.3× as long as wide.
                                  17 Juncture of petiole and leaf blade with 2 red glands; corolla radially symmetrical, with 5-8 petals, white with red veins towards the base of the petals; flowers unisexual; fruit globose, 4-8 cm in diameter; main palmate leaf veins 3 (-5)
                                  17 Juncture of petiole and leaf blade eglandular, but the uppermost 1-3 mm of the petiole swollen into a prominent upper pulvinus; corolla bilaterally symmetrical, with 5 petals, pink to purple (rarely white in some cultivars); flowers bisexual; fruit an oblong, flat legume, 6-10 cm long; main palmate leaf veins 5-7 (-9)
                                16 Leaf base cuneate, rounded, truncate, subcordate, or auriculate (with 2 small “earlobe-like” lobes at the base of the leaf blade), with 1 (mid) vein from the base (3 veins from the base in Celtis in CANNABACEAE); leaf blade about as wide as long, or somewhat to much longer, 0.9-10× as long as wide.
                                    18 Leaves 0.9-1.4× as long as wide (some taxa keyed in both leads).
                                       19 Stipule scars circumferential, forming a line around the twig; flowers and aggregate fruits solitary, terminal; [Basal Angiosperms]
                                       19 Stipule scars not circumferential (or not apparent); flowers and simple fruits in inflorescences of 1-many flowers, axillary or terminal, but not simultaneously solitary and terminal; [Eudicots].
                                           21 Petioles 1-5 (or more) cm long; leaves broadly orbicular, rounded at the base, usually rounded (rarely obtuse or nearly acute) at the apex, entire; hairs on foliage simple or absent; fruit a fleshy drupe
                                           21 Petioles < 1 cm long; leaves various in shape, often acuminate at the apex and/or cuneate at the base, often with some tendency to toothing; hairs on foliage stellate (use at least 10× magnification), at least in part; fruit either a nut borne in a cup (acorn) or a dry, subglobose 3-valved capsule, with 1 seed.
                                             22 Fruit a nut in a cupule (an acorn); flowers unisexual, greenish or brownish, individually inconspicuous, the male flowers borne in catkins
                                               23 Leaves densely covered with silvery peltate scales (use 10× or greater magnification), giving the leaf blade surface a metallic appearance
                                               23 Leaves glabrous, glabrescent or variously pubescent (including densely and silkily so, giving the leaf surface a shiny appearance), but not as above.
                                                 24 Plants bearing nodal thorns; leaves elliptic to obovate, 3-9 cm long, 1-4 cm wide, 1.5-4× as long as wide.
                                                    25 Sap clear, not viscous; sepals 4; petals 4, densely long-hairy on their upper (inner) side); fruit a yellow, 1-seeded drupe, 20-30 mm long; [FL southward]
                                                    25 Sap milky or nearly clear but thick and sticky; sepals 5; petals 5, not densely long-hairy; fruit a black, 5-seeded berry, 5-15 mm long; [widespread in our area]
                                                 24 Plants unarmed (except spiny in Maclura in MORACEAE); leaves various in shape, from broadest towards the base, near the middle, or towards the apex, 3-80 cm long, 1-30 cm wide, 1.5-10× as long as wide.
                                                      26 Leaves distinctly widest near the base (at a point < 0.3× of the way from the base of the leaf blade to its apex), gradually long-tapering to an acuminate apex.
                                                      26 Leaves widest near the middle or towards the tip of the leaf blade (at a point > 0.4× of the way from the base of the leaf blade to its apex).
                                                          28 Pubescence of the foliage stellate (at least in part; simple hairs sometimes present as well); flowers unisexual, the individual flowers inconspicuous, male flowers in catkins; fruit a nut in a cupule (an acorn)
                                                          28 Pubescence of the foliage simple or absent (except stellate in STYRACACEAE); flowers bisexual, conspicuous, borne variously, but not in catkins (except in Leitneria); fruit various.
                                                            29 Leaf surface green (often somewhat paler green than the upper surface, but not whitened).
                                                                 31 Flowers solitary; ovary superior; perianth either 3-merous and whorled or many-merous and spiraled; leaves mostly > 20 cm long and > 8 cm wide, distinctly broadest towards the apex (> 0.6× of the way from the leaf blade base to apex) (except Magnolia acuminata, which is sometimes both shorter, narrower, and broadest near the middle or towards the base); [Basal Angiosperms].
                                                                   32 Flowers axillary, < 2 cm across, brown or maroon; perianth 3-merous, whorled; fresh foliage with a strong musky odor; fruit a fleshy berry; leaves cuneate at the base; twigs lacking circumferential stipule scars at each node
                                                                   32 Flowers terminal, > 4 cm across, white, pale yellow, or pink; perianth many-merous, spiraled; fresh foliage not noticeably aromatic; fruit an aggregate of follicles; leaves cuneate or auriculate at the base; twigs with circumferential stipule scars at each node
                                                                 31 Flowers in inflorescences of several to many; ovary inferior (or superior in Diospyros in EBENACEAE and Cyrilla in CYRILLACEAE); perianth 4-5-merous; leaves mostly < 20 cm long and < 10 cm wide, broadest near the middle or towards the apex; [Eudicots].
                                                                     33 Leaves with prominently parallel-arcing secondary veins; inflorescence a terminal corymb; leaves clustered at the tips of the twigs, thus appearing pseudo-whorled; trichomes of the leaf undersurface predominantly 2-branched (some simple) (use at least 10× magnification); flowers 4-merous; fruit a blue drupe; small tree
                                                                     33 Leaves with secondary veins more obscure and complexly branching into tertiary veins; inflorescence axillary (often on the previous year’s wood), solitary to variously fascicled, clustered, or in racemes; leaves arrayed distichously along horizontal or arching twigs, not prominently clustered or pseudo-whorled (except often in Cyrilla in CYRILLACEAE, Symplocos in SYMPLOCACEAE, and Nyssa in NYSSACEAE); trichomes of the leaf undersurface either simple or stellate (or absent); flowers 4-5-merous; fruit a green, blue, or black drupe, an orange berry, or a green to brownish indehiscent capsule; small to large tree.
                                                                       34 Pubescence of foliage and other parts stellate (use at least 10× magnification); petals 4-5, white, 10-25 mm long; fruit dryish, indehiscent, either longitudinally 2-4-winged or not winged
                                                                       34 Pubescence of foliage and other parts simple; petals either 0, or 4-5 and pink, white, or greenish-yellow, or 10 and greenish-yellow; fruit either a somewhat to very fleshy drupe or berry or a dry, brownish, spherical drupe, 2-2.5 mm in diameter.
                                                                         35 Leaves < 2.5 cm wide, dark green above, somewhat thickened, and tardily deciduous or semi-evergreen; fruit a dry, brownish, spherical drupe, 2-2.5 mm in diameter; inflorescence a narrowly cylindrical raceme with > 40 flowers
                                                                         35 Leaves > 2.5 cm wide, usually medium-green above, herbaceous in texture, promptly seasonally deciduous; fruit a somewhat to very fleshy drupe or berry, > 5 mm in diameter; inflorescence a solitary flower or cluster, head, or irregular raceme of < 15 flowers.
                                                                           36 Fruit a drupe (green when ripe), cylindrical to barrel-shaped, 8-12 mm long; leaves rather thick and leathery in texture, persistent into the winter, dropping tardily or at latest the following spring; flowers bisexual; stamens 30-50, in 5 fascicles
                                                                           36 Fruit a berry (orange when ripe) or a drupe (blue-black, yellow, orange, or red when ripe), 8-50 mm long, spherical or ovoid to ellipsoid; leaves thin in texture, promptly deciduous in the autumn; flowers functionally unisexual; stamens 5-16, separate.
                                                                              37 Fruit a spherical berry, 15-50 mm long, orange when ripe, subtended by the enlarged and persistent woody or leathery calyx; vascular bundles 1 per leaf scar; leaves never toothed; leaves whitish-green beneath; leaf midrib and upper petiole with tiny glands on their upper surfaces (reddish initially, then darkening) (use at least 10× magnification); leaves glabrate to tomentose with curly hairs beneath; female and male flowers on separate trees (dioecious); stamens 16; widest point of the leaf usually at the middle or below, the apex acute to acuminate
                                                                              37 Fruit an ovoid or ellipsoid drupe, 8-30 -40 mm long, blue-black, yellow, orange, or red when ripe; vascular bundles 3 per leaf scar; leaves sometimes bearing a few irregular teeth; leaves pale to medium green beneath; leaf midrib and upper petiole lacking reddish to dark glands on their upper surfaces; leaves glabrous or glabrate beneath; female and male flowers on the same tree (monoecious); stamens 5-12; widest point of the leaf usually beyond or at the middle, the apex obtuse to strikingly and abruptly acuminate
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