Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Tribulus Tourn. ex L.

Herbs, annual to perennial, prostrate to semi-erect, branching, hairy to glabrescent. Leaves opposite, one of each pair alternately smaller or sometimes abortive, paripinnate, stipulate; leaflets 6 - 20, opposite, subsessile to sessile. Flowers solitary, axillary, pedicel-late, usually yellow. Sepals 5, pubescent, deciduous or persistent, imbricate. Petals 5, obovate to obovate-oblong, membranous. Disk annular, 10-lobed. Stamens 5 - 10, outer whorl of 5 slightly longer, opposite the petals; filaments filiform; anthers oblong to ovoid. Each of inner whorl of 5 stamens subtended adaxially by intrastaminal gland and abaxially by extrastaminal gland. Ovary globose,covered with bulbous-based stiff hairs, 5-locular; ovules 1 - 5 in each cell; style simple, cylindrical, 5-ridged; stigma 5-rayed. Schizocarps separating into 4 - 5, dorsally spiny, winged or tubercled., indehiscent, mericarps; seeds obliquely pendulous; endosperm absent; cotyledons ovoid.

Distrib. About 30 species, mainly in tropical and subtropical countries of the World. Five species in India.

Chromosome no. n = 6 (Mallick in Chromo Inf. Servo 7: 7.1966)


1a. Fruits with spiny mericarps 2
b. Fruits with winged mericarps 2. Tribulus pentandrus
2a. Intrastaminal glands not ciliate, styles glabrous 3
b. Intrastaminal glands ciliate; style pubescent 4. Tribulus subramanyamii
3a. Each mericarp with 4 spines, basal pair of spines sometimes reduced to tubercles 4
b. Each mericarp with 2 median and 20 - 30 dorsal spines, basal pair of spines absent 3. Tribulus rajasthanensis
4a. Pedicels equal to or longer than subtending leaves; style longer than ovary 1. Tribulus lanuginosus
b. Pedicels shorter than subtending leaves; style shorter than ovary 5. Tribulus terrestris

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