Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Thespesia Sol. ex Correa, nom. cons.

Trees or shrubs; branchlets with an indumentum of scales or stellate hairs. Leaves simple, entire or palmilobed, often with extrafloral nectaries, palmately veined; stipules early caducous. Flowers solitary, axillary or in racemes by reduction of upper leaves; pedicels generally articulate, thickened at apex into a hypanthium. Epicalyx segments 3 or 6, free, caducous. Calyx cyathiform, nearly truncate, remotely denticulate, persistent. Corolla large, showy, mostly yellow with a dark purple centre. Staminal column shorter than petals, cylindric, antheriferous throughout. Ovary 5-loculed or 10 by 5 false dissepiments; style unbranched; stigma clavate, 5-sulcate or rarely 5-lobed. Capsules globose or pyriform, indehiscent or partly dehiscent or loculicidal; pericarp woody. Seeds 3-many in each locule, obovoid, glabrous, pubescent or tomentose.

In tropical and subtropical regions of the World, ca 18 species; 4 in India.


1a. Leaves with a linear nectary on midrib beneath, 3 - 5 -lobed, densely stellate-hairy; seeds 8 - 15 in each locule; shrubs up to 2.5 m high 2. Thespesla lampas
b. Leaves without nectaries on midrib beneath, not lobed, lepidote; seeds 2 - 4 in each locule; shrubs or trees, 1 - 10 m high 2
2a. Epicalyx segments early caducous; capsules without any acumen 3
b. Epicalyx segments persistent; capsules with a short acumen 1. Thespesia danis
3a. Leaves deeply cordate, green; pedicels 2 - 5 cm long, jointed near base; capsules indehisccnt; seeds covered with simple hairs 3. Thespesia populnea
b. Leaves shallowly cordate or subtruncate; copper coloured; pedicels 8 - 12 cm long. not jointed; outer layer of capsules dehisccnt; seeds covered with short clavate or bulbous hairs 4. Thespesia populneoides

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