Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Trees or shrubs, sometimes buttressed at base. Leaves usually coriaceous or subcoriaceous, crenate to subentire, pinnately veined; secondary veins branched towards margin to join superadjacent veins and to terminate in a gland beneath each teeth or at margin. Flowers bisexual, subtended by caducous or persistent bracts, spirally arranged, singly or in glomerules in terminal or subterminal racemes, panicles or spikes. Hypanthium funnel-shaped, adnate to lower half of ovary; sepals and petals in separate whorls, perigynous, somewhat accrescent in fruit. Sepals 4 - 8 (-12), with an episepalous nectar gland opposite each. Petals as many, often similar to and alternating with sepals, inserted at throat of calyx-tube. Stamens solitary before each petal or 2 or more in fascicles on and or before each petal, between disc lobes and often alternating with staminodes; anthers didymous, dorsifixed, extrorse; pollen tricolporate, endoaperture lalongate. Carpels 2 - 5, connate into unilocular, half inferior ovary usually hairy outside and sometimes also inside, maturing into a coriaceous or bony fruit, beaked at apex; ovules 1 - many, pendulous on parietal placenta, confined to apex; styles (2-) 3 - 9, free or shortly connate at base; stigma capitellate. Fruits ovoid or subglobose, splitting into valves at apex or indehiscent. Seeds 1 - few, minute, angular, oblong; endosperm fleshy; cotyledons foliaceous.

Pantropical; ca 200 species, 6 in India.



KEY TO THE SPECIES


1a. Stamens solitary before each petal 2
b. Stamens in groups of 3 or more, on and or before each petal 4
2a. Tertiary veins prominently railed beneath, oblique to midrib; flowers sessile, in glomerules of 2 - 5 in pendulous spikes 5. Homalium tomentosum
b. Tertiary veins not prominently railed beneath, more or less perpendicular at least along midrib; flowers pedicelled, arranged singly or in atomerules in racemes or panicles 3
3a. Flowers arranged singly in divaricately branched panicles 3. Homalium napaulense
b. Flowers in glomerules of 2 - 15 or more in simple racemes rarely shortly branched towards base 1. Homalium ceylanicum
4a. Flowers sessile in spikes 6. Homalium travancorium
b. Flowers pedicelled in racemes or panicles 5
5a. Racemes simple, sparsely flowered 2. Homalium jainii
b. Panicles divaricately branched, moderately flowered 4. Homalium schlichii


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