Skip to main content


Zygophyllaceae A family of xerophytic or halophytic, mostly woody, perennial shrubs, with some herbs and trees, in which the leaves are opposite, usually fleshy, leathery, or hairy, with stipules which often become spiny. The branches are sometimes joined at the nodes. The flowers are regular, bisexual, and are held in cymes, paired or solitary. They have 4 or 5 overlapping sepals and the same number of petals, usually also overlapping, although in some species the petals are absent. The stamens are in whorls of 5 with up to 3 whorls. The ovary is superior, usually of 5 fused carpels, and often winged. There are usually 5 locules with numerous ovules. The stigmas are lobed and held in a short style. The fruit is a dehiscent capsule, or berry- or drupe-like, containing endospermic seeds. There are 6 subfamilies, divided mainly by the structure of their fruit. The family contains some valuable timber trees, e.g. of Guaiacum species (lignum vitae) which give a very durable timber. Other species produce edible fruit, and some are used medicinally. There are 27 genera, with about 250 species, found in tropical and subtropical regions of both hemispheres.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Zygophyllaceae." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . 26 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Zygophyllaceae." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . (April 26, 2019).

"Zygophyllaceae." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved April 26, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.