Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Fioria vitifolia (L.) Mattei in Bot. Ort. Bot. Palermo n.s. 2: 71. 1916. Hibiscus vitifolius L., Sp. pl. 696. 1753; Masters io Fl. Brit. India 1: 338. 1874. H. obtusifolius Willd.,Sp. Pl. 3: 829. 1801. H. vitifolius L. var. genuina f. indica Hochr. in Ann. Cons. Jard Bot. Geneve 4: 169. 1900.

Beng.: Ban-kapas,· Sans.: Bhar advaji Vankarpasa; Tel.: Karu-patti.

Herbs or undershrubs, 1 - 2 m high. Leaves 2.5 - 15 x 2 - 12 cm, broadly ovate to orbicular, subcordate to rounded at base, acute at apex, crenate-serrate or dentate, 3 - 5-lobed or unlobed; petioles 2 - 13 cm long; stipules 2 - 5 mm long, linear. Flowers axillary, solitary; pedicels 1.5 - 6 cm long, accrescent, articulate. Epicalyx segments 7 - 12, 6 - 12 x ca 0.5 mm, linear, erect, ultimately spreading or reflexed. Calyx campanulate, 5-lobed, lobes 5 - 15 x 6 - 10 mm, ovate to deltoid. Corolla yellow with dark purple centre; petals 2.5 - 5 x 1 - 3 cm, obovate, obtuse or rounded at apex. Staminal column glabrous, antheriferous throughout. Ovary ovoid, obtuse, 5-angular, 5-loculed; style arms up to 4 mm long, glandular hairy; stigmas clavate, hairy. Capsules 1.5 - 2 cm across, shorter than calyx, shortly beaked, beaks ca 3 mm long, 5-winged, wings bristly, splitting laterally on the keels during dehiscence. Seeds 2 - 4 in each locule, 2 - 3 mm across, reniform, verruculose, glabrous,brownish-black.

Fl. & Fr. April - Dec.

Distrib. India: Throughout in tropical and subtropical areas on roadsides, forest edges, waste lands.

Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Africa, Myanmar, Malesia and Australia.

Notes. This species was treated previously by Masters (1874) and Borssum Waalkes (1966) under Hibiscus. Mattei (l.c.) transferred it to Fioria based mainly on fruit with conspicuous, scarious, strongly veined wings- a unique character absent in the genus Hibiscus.

In this species the density of the indumentum and the leaflobation are variable even on an individual plant. The density of the indumentum depends on the habitat, the indumentum is dense on plants growing in sunny places than in shade.


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