Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Shrubs or small trees, dioecious or rarely monoecious, very rarely scandent shrubs, nearly glabrous. Leaves simple, alternate, short petioled; stipules caducous. Inflorescences unisexual or rarely bisexual, cymose, axillary and terminal, solitary, paired or 3-flowered (umbellate), shortly racemiform or thyrsoid, often tending towards dichasial branching. Male flowers: bracteate, pedicellate; calyx cupular, 5-lobed, imbricate; petals 5, imbricate, white; disc of 5 free glands; stamens biseriate, 8 - 16, the outer usually free or sometimes partially or shortly connate; the inner united into a column; anthers 2-loculed, with broad connectives, dorsifixed or basifixed (in the same flower), longitudinally dehiscent; pistillode absent. Female flowers: bracteate, pedicellate; sepals 5, free or shortly connate, imbricate, often gland-pitted or emarginate at apex, accrescent in fruit; petals 4 or 5, imbricate, white, caducous; disc glands connate in a ring or shortly cupular-annular; staminodes absent; ovary 3-locular; locules 1-ovuled; styles 3, connate at base or free, bifid. Fruits capsular, tricoccous, evanescently pubescent or glabrous, woody, splitting into bivalved parts leaving a central column; seeds trigonous with a broad convex back; endosperm fleshy; cotyledons flat, broad.

Tropical South India, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Sri Lanka, Indo-china, Hainan, West Malesia, New Guinea and Lesser Sunda Islands, ca 15 species; 4 species in India.

Literature. CHAKRABARTY, T. & N. P. BALAKRISHNAN (1990). Genus Dimorphocalyx Thw. (Euphorbiaceae) in India. Proc. Indian Acad. Sci. (Pl. Sci.) 100: 285 - 299, ff. 1 - 4.


1 a. Plants monoecious; inflorescences bisexual (endemic to Andaman Islands) 1. Dimorphocalyx balakrishnanii
b. Plants mostly dioecious (occasionally monoecious); inflorescences unisexual (occurring in South India and Sri Lanka) 2
2 a. Inflorescences somewhat dichasial; stamens 8; ovary glabrous; styles 2 - 3 mm long, free; fruits glabrous 2. Dimorphocalyx beddomei
b. Inflorescences not dichasial; stamens 10 - 16; ovary pubescent; styles 3 - 7 mm long, connate below into a column; fruits evanescently pubescent 3
3 a. Branchlets, petioles, peduncles and pedicels glabrous; leaves elliptic to lanceolate, rounded, obtuse to acute at base, acuminate at apex; female pedicels 3 - 10 mm long; sepals glabrous; stamens 10 - 16, filaments of outer stamens free almost up to base 3. Dimorphocalyx glabellus
b. Branchlets, petioles, peduncles and pedicels pubescent; leaves obovate to oblanceolate, attenuate at base, obtuse to subacute at apex; female pedicels up to 2 mm long; sepals appressed-pilose; stamens 16 - 20, filaments of outer stamens shortly connate at base, free above 4. Dimorphocalyx kurnoolensis

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