Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Shrubs or small trees, more or less stellate-pubescent. Leaves simple, alternate. Flowers bisexual, axillary or in fascicles or in long or short spikes. Calyx tubular, 5-fid. lobes often unequal. Petals 5, entire or somewhat 2-lipped with long claw, claws ofted with ear-shaped appendages. Staminal column adnate to gynophore, slightly curved towards apex, exserted, dilated above into 3 lobes, each lobe again bifurcated bearing an anther on each tooth; anthers 2-celled; staminodes arising from inner wall of the staminal column alternately between fertile lobes. Ovary at the top of the gynophore, 5-lobed, 5-locular; styles awl-shaped, more or less united, slightly thickened and stigmatose at the tips. Follicles straight or spirally twisted. Seeds tubercled; endosperm scanty; cotyledons leafy.

In tropics of both the hemispheres, predominantly in America, ca 60 species; 5 in India.


1a. Ripe carpels spirally twisted 3. Helicteres isora
b. Ripe carpels straight and not twisted 2
2a. Leaves oblique 3
b. Leaves symmetrical 4
3a. Flowers in many-flowered elongated slender racemose cymes 1. Helicteres elongata
b. Flowers in few-flowered short spikes 5. Helicteres plebeja
4a. Leaves oblong-obtuse, entire 4. Helicteres obtusa
b. Leaves ovate-oblong, acuminate, unequally serrate 2. Helicteres hirsuta

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