Sytsma, K. J. Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
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An order of flowering plants, division Magnoliophyta (Angiospermae), in the superorder Rosanae (eudicotyledons). The order Geraniales consists of 6 families (Francoaceae, Geraniaceae, Greyiaceae, Ledocarpaceae, Melianthaceae, and Vivianiaceae), 15 genera, and more than 800 species. Members of the Geraniaceae constitute the vast majority of the order and are temperate herbs or soft shrubs with deeply cleft or compound leaves (see illustration). The other families are mainly woody and are found in South America or Africa. Flowers typically have 5 sepals and petals, 10 stamens, and 5 fused carpels that separate from the central axis of the pistil when in fruit. Many species [for example, Pelargonium (Geraniaceae) and Melianthus (Melianthaceae) species] possess volatile compounds. See also: Eudicotyledons; Magnoliophyta; Plant kingdom
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