Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Malvastrum A. Gray, nom. Cons.

Herbs or undershrubs. Leaves entire; rarely shallowly or deeply lobed, penninerved. Flowers axillary, solitary, or in clusters or in terminal and axillary spikes; pedicels short. Epicalyx segments 3, slightly adnate to calyx. Calyx campanulate, 5- parted. Corolla yellow, rotate. Staminal column shorter than petals. Carpels 10 - 15; style-branches as many as carpels, filiform with clavate, truncate or capitate-stigmatose tips. Schizocarps discoid; mericarps flattened, reniform, with or without awns, indehiscent; laterally and radially separating from the axis leaving a short columella in centre, veined.

Native in tropical and subtropical America, ca 3 species, 2 of them naturalised ill most tropical countries including India. In India one is naturalised and other rarelY cultivated in gardens.


1a. Mericarps without awns; flowers in dense spikes subtended by bracts; stems, petioles and pedicels appressed with 5 - 10- armed stellate hairs pointing in all directions 1. Malvastrum americanum
b. Mericarps with 3 awns; flowers axillary, solitary or in clusters, ebracteolate; stems, petioles and pedicels appressed with 4-armed stellate hairs, two arms of which pointing upwards and two downwards 2. Malvastrum coromandelianum

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