Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Herbs, undershrubs or rarely trees, more or less pubescent; bark fibrous. Leaves simple, alternate, more or less pubescent, serrate, petiolate. Flowers small, in axillary or terminal clusters or umbellate corymbs. Sepals 5, connate at base, tube cup-shaped or funnel-shaped with 2 fine teeth. Petals 5, free, spathulate, marcescent. Stamens 5; filaments connate forming a spindle-shaped staminal cup or tube; anthers extrorse. Staminodes absent. Ovary sessile, 5-loculed, ovules 2 in each locule, ascending; styles 5, free or connate at base. Capsules globose or subglobose, loculicidally 5-valved. Seeds 1 in each locule, angular or flat with a wing, brown or black; endospermous; embryo straight; cotyledons flat.

Tropics of both the hemispheres, ca 60 species; 3 in India.


1a. Small trees; flowers in umbellate corymbs; capsules oblong; seeds wigned 3. Melochia umbellata
b. Herbs or undershrubs; flowers in clustered cymes; capsules globose or subglobose 2
2a. Herbs or undershrubs; flowers mostly in terminal clusters; calyx teeth much shorter than tube 1. Melochia corchorifolia
b. Undershrubs; flowers in axillary clusters; calyx teeth equal to or longer than tube 2. Melochia nodiflora

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