Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Byttneria Loefl., nom. cons.

Herbs, shrubs or trees, often climbers, usually prickly. Leaves simple, alternate, lobed or entire; petiolate. Flowers minute, bisexual in much branched axillary or terminal umbellate cymes. Sepals 5, connate at base. Petals 5 with a narrow claw and a hooded limb which usually enter the staminal cup and cover the anther lobes, sometimes with two strap-shaped appendages on both sides of the hood and a long process. Staminal cup with an inner serries of 5 stamens and an outer series of 5 staminodes alternating with stamens; anther lobes reniform, divergent, extrorse; staminodes ovate, acute. Ovary small, 5-loculed; ovules 2 in each locule; styles entire or 5-fid. Capsules globose, spiny, or prickly, septicidally 5-valved, valves breaking away from the central column. Seed 1 in each locule, exalbuminous; cotyledons folded.

Tropical America, Africa, Mascarene Islands, Tropical Asia, West Polynesia, ca 50 species; 4 in India.


1a. Leaves entire 2
b. Leaves lobed 3
2a. Leaves longer than broad, up to 7 cm long, membranous, dentate 3. Byttneria herbacea
b. Leaves orbicular, up to 20 cm in diam., chartaceous, entire 2. Byttneria grandifolia
3a. Leaves glabrescent; capsules covered with stiff spines 1. Byttneria andamanensis
b. Leaves pilose; capsules covered with barbed prickles 4. Byttneria pilosa

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