Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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27. Endospermum Benth., nom. cons.

Trees, evergreen, usually dioecious, rarely flowers bisexual, unarmed, with watery or coloured sap, sometimes myrmecophilous; indumentum usually of simple or sometimes partly or completely of stellate hairs. Leaves alternate, petioled, peltate or non-peltate, usually palmately 3-nerved or rarely pinnately nerved; glands often present at the base of the leaf-blade and at the forks of lateral nerves beneath and also often along the margins above; petioles usually constricted at one or both the ends, leaving large conspicuous scars on branches; stipules small, caducous. Inflorescences thyrsoid, usually branched; bracts and bracteoles concave. Flowers unisexual or occasionally bisexual; calyx campanulate, 3 - 6-lobed or dentate; petals absent. Male flowers: clustered; stamens (5 -) 6 - 10 (- 12), spirally arranged on an androphore; filaments fused at base, free above; anthers peltate, (3 -) or 4-loculed, dehiscing by longitudinal slit; pistillode absent. Female flowers: solitary; ovary (1 -) 2 - 3 (- 7)-loculed, with one ovule in each locule; styles united into a disc with lobed sessile stigma; staminodes absent. Bisexual flowers: clustered or solitary; calyx lobed; stamens 5 or ca 10, either at the base of the ovary or spirally arranged on a short androgynophore; otherwise androecium and gynoecium as in male and female flowers. Fruits drupaceous, indehiscent, 2 - 3 (- 7)-loculed; exocarp thin to rather thick and fleshy; endocarp thin, woody and fibrous. Seeds 2 or 3, ecarunculate; testa hard, reticulately ribbed; endosperm whitish to orange, soft; embryo very small, flat; cotyledons 2, elliptic or ovate; radicle triangular, acute.

Tropical and subtropical regions of NE. India, Andaman Islands, Myanmar, S. & SE. China, Thailand, Vietnam to Malesia, tropical Australia (Queensland) and up to Fiji Islands, ca 13 species; 3 in India.

Literature. SCHAEFFER, J. (1971). Revision of the genus Endospermum Bth. (Euphorbiaceae). Blumea 19: 171 - 192.


1a. Petiole glands 0 - 2; male inflorescences simple or almost so 2. Endospermum diadenum
b. Petiole glands 2; male inflorescences compound, paniculate racemes 2
2a. Petiolar glands globose, 2 - 3 mm in diam 1. Endospermum chinense
b. Petiolar glands cylindrical or spiniform, 3 - 4 mm long 3. Endospermum peltatum

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