Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Annual or perennial undershrubs or shrubs; young parts densely minute stellate- hairy. Leaves palmi-lobed to-parted or undivided, angular, palminerved with nectaries on nerves beneath. Flowers axillary, solitary or in clusters. Epicalyx campanulate, 5-lobed, lobes connate at base. Calyx campanuiate, 5-lobed, lobes ovate or ovate-lanceolate, connate at base with 1-nerved nectaries. Corolla rotate, pink, purplish-red, stellate-pilose outside; petals 5. Staminal column as long as petals, truncate or denticulate at apex; antheriferous towards tip; anthers subsessile. Ovary depressed globose, 5-loculed, locules uniovulate; styles divided from about middle into 10 arms, reflexed; stigmas discoid or capitate, papillose. Schizocarps subglobose; mericarps 5, separating at maturity, triangularly obovoid, dorsally convex and covered with glochidiate spines, indehiscent. Seeds obovoid-trigonous, glabrous, ascending.

Monotypic, pantropical.

Notes. Linnaeus (1753) in his Species Plantarum described 3 species under Urena, viz. U. lobata, U. sinuata and U. procumbens. Subsequently several botanists described many other species and varieties. Guerke (Fl. Brasiliensis 12, 3: 457 - 596. 1892) maintained 2 Linnaean species, viz. U. lobata and U. sinuata with 9 and 2 varieties respectively. Hochreutiner (Ann. Cons. jard. Bot. Geneve 5: 131 - 145. 1901) retained only one species (U. lobata) with 14 varieties, subsequently adding 3 more. Most botanists (Masters 1874, Cooke 1901, Gamble 1915, etc.) dealing with Indian species of Urena oaintained 2 species viz., U.lobata L. and U. sinuata L. Borssum Waalkes (1966) maintained only U. lobata with 2 subspecies, viz. lobata end sinuata based mainly on epicalyx characters and in each subspecies he included 2 varieties. All taxa recognised by Borssum Waalkes occur in India. After studying these taxa in field and herbarium, Borssum Waalkes's view is followed in this flora.

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