Rutaceae: Rue or Citrus Family Characteristics, Floral formula, Floral Diagram And Economic Importance



Diagnostic characters of Rutaceae

I. Vegetative characters:


Mostly perennial trees (a perennial tree or simply perennial is a type of plant that lives more than two years), some shrubs (generally shrub or bush is a small- to medium-sized perennial woody plant).


Fibrous tap root, branched mostly infected with fungus.


Woody (hard stem, wood produced from secondary xylem); spiny / prickly (thorn or prickle); cylindrical (straight and rounded stem).


Petiolate (petiole is a stalk that attaches a leaf to the plant stem); Leave alternate or opposite simple or compound: exstipnlate; reticulate venation (When veins or the nerves shows network or web-like arrangement all over the lamina or leaf-blade, it is called as reticulate venation).


II. Floral characters:


Terminal or axillary cymes or panicle.


Pedicifiate; bracteate or ebracteate; actinomorphic; Regular; complete; hermaphrodite (hermaphroditism is the presence of separate male and female flowers on the same individual); hypogynous:


Sepals 4 or 5, free or united or fused; in case of zygomorphic flower it becomes gamosepalous and tubular; imbricate; sometimes deciduous. imbricate; green.


Petals 4 or 5; free, variously coloured, polypetalous rarely gamopetalous, imbricate.


In most of cases the stamens are obdiplostemonous (having the stamens in two whorls with those of the outer whorl opposite the corolla) and 10 in number, Twice the number of petals or sometimes numerous, free or polyadelphous, anther basifixed or versatile, dithecous.


Carpel 4 or 5 or sometimes more; pentacarpellary, syncarpous; compound ovary; superior ovary with a prominent nectariferous disc below it; axile placentation.


Berry or drupe.


Non-endospermic seed or exalbuminous seed.

Rutaceae floral formula and floral Diagram


Economic Importance of Rutaceae



This family is important  for citrus fruits [produces vitamins particularly vitamin C (ascorbic acid) ] like orange, lemons, sweet lemon and grape fruit. This family is ranked III-rd in food production.

Medicinal plants: 

Most of the plants of family rutaceae have medicinal importance. Their fruits are rich source of vitamins and minerals. Most of vitamin C is obtained from these fruits. Aegle gives tannic acid. Leaves of Alurniya koenigii are used in flavoring. The twigs of Zuntho.xyhtn, akttuni are used as tooth brushes. Oil of lemon is utilized in the formation of mosquito oil.

Ornamental plants: 

Plants like Limonia, Ruta, Calodendrum, Luvunga scandens, Ptelea, Murraya are cultivated in gardens and parks because of their scented flowers for fragrance.

Uses in perfumes:

The large white fragrant flowers and fruits are in perfumes.


Distribution pattern

Rutaceae family is commonly called as orange family. This family has globally distribution. It is huge family. It has 120 genera and 900 species. They are mostly distributed in tropical and temperate regions. The members of the family rutaceae are distributed in temprate and tropical regions and they are predominant in  Australia and South Africa.


Common species of Rutaceae

  • Citrus acida (Lime)
  • Citrus limon (Lemon)
  • Citrus medial (Lemon ,H)
  • Citrus aurantium (Orange)
  • Citrus limetta (Sweet lime)
  • Citrus aurantiifolia (Key lime)
  • Poncirus trifoliata (Trifoliate orange)

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