Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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S.N. Biswas

Annual or perennial herbs, shrubs, trees, rarely climbers. Leaves simple, opposite and decussate, verticillate, rarely alternate, sessile or shortly petioled, entire or gland-toothed, often marked with translucent and sometimes with black or red glandular dots and/or lines, exstipulate, pinnately veined, sometimes 3-veined from base. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, yellow, red or white, terminal and sometimes axillary, rarely solitary or in 1-many-flowered cymes to thyrsoid, rarely racemose or corymbose, bracteate initially, homostylous or heterodistylous. Sepals 4 - 5, free or rarely connate at base, imbricate, entire or margins variously divided and often glandular. Petals 4 - 5, free, imbricate, sessile or clawed, antisepalous, entire or margin variously divided and often glandular, lamina glandular like leaves, sometimes with nectariferous basal appendage, glabrous, caducous or persistent. Stamens numerous or rarely definite, epipetalous, free or variously united in 3 - 5, rarely 6 - 8 bundles/fascicles; anthers 2-locular, dorsfixed; often connective gland-tipped, dehiscence longitudinal. Ovary 3 - 5-carpelled, syncarpous, superior, 3 - 5-locular, rarely 1-locular, with few to many anatropous ovules on parietal placentation, rarely ovules solitary and basal; rarely placentation axile or pseudo-central; styles 3 - 5, free or connate at base, slender; stigmas punctiform to capitate. Fruits capsular, dehiscing septicidally or loculicidally, 3 - 5-valved, rarely a berry. Seeds 1-numerous, sometimes winged or carinate; embryo straight or curved; exalbuminous.

Cosmopolitan except for Arctic regions and most of Polynesia, ca 7 genera and 550 species; ca 3 genera and 29 species in India.

Notes. The family Hypericaceae is sometimes treated as subfamily of Guttiferae (Clusiaceae).

Literature. KHAN, H.A. (1969). Pollen morphology of Indian Hypericaceae. J. Palynol. (Lucknow) 5: 97 - 99. ROBSON, N.K.B. & P. ADAMS (1968). Chromosome numbers in Hypericum and related genera. Brittonia 25: 95 - 106. ROBSON, N.K.B. (1974) Hypericaceae In: STEENIS, C.G.G.J. VAN, Fl. Males. 1, 8: 1 - 29. ROBSON, N.K.B. & D.G. LONG (1984) Hypericaceae In: GRIERSON, A.J.C & D.G. LONG, Fl. Bhutan 1: 372 - 378. ROBSON, N.K.B. (1973) Guttiferae In: NASIR, E. & S.I. ALI, Fl. W. Pakistan 32: 1 - 12.


1a. Trees; leaves devoid of black or translucent glands; capsules loculicidally 3-valved; seeds winged 1. Cratoxylum
b. Herbs or shrubs; leaves with black or translucent glands; capsules septicidal; seeds wingless 2
2a. Petals yellow; stamens numerous, filaments generally free; hypogynous scales absent 2. Hypericum
b. Petals white; stamens always 9, in 3 fascicles with filaments united almost up to the middle, alternating with 3 hypogynous scales 3. Triadenum

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