Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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P.K. Hajra

Herbs or shrubs or rarely trees; branchlets glabrous, rarely hirsute or tomentose. Leaves usually alternate rarely opposite, simple, sessile or petiolate, entire, crenate, serrate or crenate-serrate; stipules lateral or intrapetiolar, rarely absent. Inflorescence racemose, cymose, spicate or of solitary flowers. Flowers bisexual, regular. Sepals 4 - 5, imbricate, free or connate at base. Petals 5, blue, yellow or white, rosy, contorted, hypogynous or rarely perigynous, fugacious. Stamens as many as or double or trible the number of petals, sometimes alternating with small staminodes; filaments connate at base; anthers introrse, 2-locular. Ovary 3 - 5-locular, each locule often subdivided by a false septum, ovules 2 in each locule, pendulous from inner angle; styles 3 - 5, filiform; stigmas capitate. Fruit a septicidal capsule or drupe; seeds compressed, shining; endosperm copious, scanty or absent; embryo straight, cotyledons flat.

Cosmopolitan, ca 12 genera and 290 species; 5 genera and 12 species in India.

Notes. The circumscription of the family Linaceae has been debated by several botanists. J.D. Hooker (Fl. Brit. India 1: 409-417. 1874) has dealt with 7 genera and 22 species under the tribes: Eulineae, Hugonieae, Erythroxyleae and Ixonantheae.

Winkler (in Engler & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. ed. 2. 19a: 107. 1931) treated it as a family excluding the tribe Nectaropetaleae and his treatment is followed in this flora.

Literature. ABDULLA, P (1972). Linaccac. In: Nasir, E. and S. I. Ali, Fl. W. Pakistan 21: 1 - 6. HAJRA, P.K. (1983). Linaccae & Ixonanthaceae. In: Pasc. Fl. India 13: 1 - 16. OCKENDON, D.J. & S.M. WALTERS (1968) Linaceae (Linum). In: TUTIN et al., Fl. Europea 2: 206 - 211. WINKLER, H. (1931). Linaceae In: ENGLER, A. & K.PRANTL, Nat. pflanzenfam. ed. 2, 19a: 82 - 130.


1a. Erect undershrubs or herbs; stamens as many as petals 2
b. Shrubs often climbing by hooks; stamens usually double the number of petals 3
2a. Sepals with one or two rows of gland-tipped bristles 1. Anisadenia
b. Sepals without gland-tipped bristles 4
3a. Flowers ebracteolate 2. Hugonia
b. Flowers bracteolate 3. Indorouchera
4a. Herbs with branches erect; Leaves sessile, mostly 1-nerved; petals neither clawed nor crested at base; styles 5 capsules 5 or falsely 10-locular 4. Linum
b. Undershrubs with branches both erect and prostrate; leaves petiolate, pinnately nerved; petals clawed and crested at base; styles 3 - 4; capsules 3 - 4-locular 5. Reinwardtia

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