Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Fagonia Tourn. ex L.

Annuals or perennials, spreading to upright herbs or undershrubs with woody stem at base, diffusely branched; branches terete or quadrangular, sulcate or striate. Leaves opposite, 1 - 3-foliolate, rarely simple, glandular hairy to glabrous; stipules usually spiny and acicular; leaflets subsessile or petiolulate, linear to broadly ovate, entire, mucronate. Flowers solitary, axillary, pedicellate, purplish-pink, violet or rarely yellow. Sepals 5, deciduous or persistent, imbricate. Petals 5, spathulate, clawed, caducous, imbricate. Disk short, inconspicuous. Stamens 10, inserted on disk; filaments filiform; anthers oblong. Ovary ovoid or obovoid, sessile, pentagonous, 5-celled; ovules 2 in each cell; style simple, persistent; stigma simple, capitate. Fruits globular or pyramidal, deeply 5-angled, glandular pubescent to glabrous, dehiscing septicidally into 5 basally dehiscent one-seeded cocci; seeds oblong-ovoid, compressed; testa mucilaginous; endosperm horny; cotyledons ovate.

Distrib. Widely distributed in deserts and dry regions of the World, excepting Australia; about 50 species; 4 species in India.

Chromosome no. 2n = 18,20,22,24 (Fedorov, Chromo Numb. Fl. Pl. 727. 1974).

Uses. Among Indian species F. indica Burm. f. and F. schweinfurthii Hadidi are known to cure asthma, fever, vomiting, dysentry and urinary discharges and also to reduce tumours and purify blood.


1a. Internodes terete; stipular spines equal to or shorter than leaves 2
b. Internodes quadrangular; stipular spines longer than leaves 2. Fagonia bruguieri
2a. Calyx persistent 3
b. Calyx deciduous 1. Fagonia arabica
3a. Fruiting pedicels equal to or shorter than fruits 3. Fagonia indica
b. Fruiting pedicels twice as long as fruits 4. Fagonia schweinfurthii

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