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Key to Rubiaceae

1 Trees, shrubs, or woody vines.
..2 Prostrate or climbing woody vine (liana), rooting at nodes; corolla lilac; [alien]; [subfamily Rubioideae; tribe Paederieae]
..2 Shrub or tree (sometimes somewhat scrambling, but not rooting at nodes); corolla white, green, maroon, or orange-red; [native or alien].
....3 Inflorescence spherical or globular; [collectively widespread]
......4 Fruits dry, dehiscent; [subfamily Cinchonoideae; tribe Naucleeae]
......4 Fruits fleshy, indehiscent; [subfamily Rubioideae; tribe Morindeae]
....3 Inflorescence cymose, thyrsoid, or corymbose; [Coastal Plain, from s. SC southward].
........5 Flowers orange-red; leaves usually whorled; [subfamily Cinchonoideae; tribe Hamelieae]
........5 Flowers white, green, or maroon; leaves opposite.
..........6 Flowers solitary, terminal; [subfamily Ixoroideae; tribe Gardenieae]
..........6 Flowers in cymose or thyrsoid inflorescences.
............ 7 Inflorescence cymose; some calyx lobes expanded into pink or reddish “flags”; leaves deciduous; domatia not present; [of s. SC southward]; [subfamily Ixoroideae; tribe Condamineeae]
............ 7 Inflorescences thyrsoid; calyx lobes inconspicuous; leaves evergreen; domatia present in secondary vein axils; [of ne. FL southward]
............ ..8 Lateral veins 3-6 on either side of the midvein; fruit white; petals yellowish, > 6 mm long; [subfamily Cinchonoideae; tribe Chiococceae]
............ ..8 Lateral veins 8-14 on either side of the midvein; fruit red; petals white, <5 mm long; [subfamily Rubioideae; tribe Psychotrieae]
1 Herbs (or creeping subshrubs in Mitchella).
............ ....9 Leaves whorled; [subfamily Rubioideae; tribe Rubieae]
............ ....9 Leaves opposite
............ ......10 Flowers paired, the ovaries connate and developing into a single fleshy red fruit; leaves roundish; creeping subshrub; [subfamily Rubioideae; tribe Mitchelleae]
............ ......10 Flowers single or in inflorescences with multiple flowers, the fruits either dry or fleshy and yellowish or black; leaves various; herb; [subfamily Rubioideae; tribe Spermacoceae].
............ ........11 Carpels with few to many seeds.
............ ..........12 Corolla 5-lobed
............ ..........12 Corolla 4-lobed.
............ ............ 13 Capsule longer than the calyx tube; flowers blue, pink, or white
............ ............ 13 Capsule not longer than the calyx tube; flowers white
............ ........11 Carpels 1-seeded.
............ ............ ..14 Flowers in dense, terminal, involucrate heads; flowers 4- or-6-lobed; styles 3
............ ............ ..14 Flowers in axillary or terminal clusters, or single in axils, not involucrate; flowers 4-lobed; styles 2.
............ ............ ....15 Flowers usually solitary in leaf axils; fruit separating into 2 parts.
............ ............ ......16 Sepals 4 and similar in size; style entire; [of dry habitats]
............ ............ ......16 Sepals 2 (or 4, and then markedly dimorphic); style cleft; [of moist to wet habitats]
............ ............ ....15 Flowers in terminal and axillary clusters; fruits not separating into 2 parts.
............ ............ ........17 Carpels opening transversely
............ ............ ........17 Carpels opening longitudinally