Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Pleiospermium (Engl.) Swingle

Shrubs or small trees; stems and branches armed with single or sometimes paired spines, occasionally unarmed. Leaves alternate, uni-to trifoliolate; petioles cylindric or narrowly to broadly winged or marginate; leaflets entire along margins, coriaceous, glabrous, gland-dotted. Inflorescences axillary or pseudoterminal (from uppermost leaf axils) paniculate cymes, or uniflowered. Calyx usually cupular with 4 or 5 deltate to lanceolate sepals. Petals 4 or 5, linear-oblong. Stamens 8 or 10, free; filaments glabrous; anthers linear-oblong. Disk cupulate, glabrous. Ovary subsessile or stipitate, glabrous or hairy to pilose, 3 - 5-locular; each locule with 2 ovules; style continuous with ovary, slender or thick; stigma capitate or subglobose with 4 or 5 stylar canals and a pair of oil glands between each pair of stylar canals. Fruit subglobose to oblong, 4- or 5-locular with rudimentary pulp-vesicles; pericarp soft, glandular; seeds 4 or 5, subobovoid, compressed, ca 1 cm long, embedded in an oily or resinous matrix; testa smooth or wrinkled.

Tropical and subtropical parts of S. and S. E. Asia. S. India and Andamans. Sri Lanka, Java, Borneo and Sumatra; 5 species, one in India.

Notes. Pleiospennium is very closely related to Pamburus and Merope chiefly in fruit characters but is distinct. It differs from Pamburus in having thinner, finely reticulate, uni-or trifoliate leaves with the lamina distinctly articulated with the petiole, and the ovary seated on an annular fleshy disk. From Merope it can be distinguished by its floral, fruit and seed characters.

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