Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Ceiba Mill. emend Gaertn.

Trees , generally tall, deciduous; trunk smooth, prickly when young; branches whorled. Leaves digitate, petiolate,5 - 9-foliolate, leaflets articulate. Flowers solitary or clustered in axils of leaves or appear before them, actinomorphic, rarely zygomorPhic, pedicellate, bracteolate; bracteoles tufted hairy fugaceous. Calyx campanulate to tubiform, truncate or irregularly 3 - 12-lobed, lobes valvate, persistent. Petals 5, white, oblanceolate, adnate to the base of staminal tube, pubescent or glabrous inside. Staminal tube cylindrical, short, dividing into 5 filiform bundles bearing linear to anfractose anthers, anthers dehiscing longitudinally; pollen 3-colporate, sexine reticulate. Ovary superior or half inferior, ovoid, 5-loculed, ovules many in each locule; styles filiform dilated into 5-lobed stigma. Capsules oblong, ends pointed, coriaceous or woody, 5-valved, valves densely silky inside; central column winged and persistent. Seeds numerous, ovoid or globose, glabrous, exarillate, embedded in white silky cotton fibres; endosperm scanty; testa crustaceous; cotyledons leafy, contorted; radicles curved.

A small genus of ca 3 species mainly in America, one in tropical Africa. One species introduced and naturalised in hotter parts of India.

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