Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Shrubs or small trees, sometimes scandent. Leaves simple, alternate. Flowers in axillary racemes, panicles or solitary. Bracts minute. Calyx cup- shaped, accrescent in fruit. Petals 3, 5 or 6, more or less cohering. Fertile stamens usually 3, rarely 4-5. Staminodes 5-6, usually bifid; rarely undivided anthers versatile. Ovary half immersed in the disc, 3-loculed at base, 1-loculed above; style simple; stigma 3-lobed. Fruit drupaceous, more or less covered by accrescent calyx. Seed 1.

Tropical Africa, Madagascar, Indo-Malaya and Australia; about 55 species, 6 in India.


1a. Plants armed 4. Olax scandens
b. Plants unarmed 2
2a. Flowers solitary, axillary 3. Olax nana
b. Flowers in axillary racemes 3
3a. Petals 3 1. Olax acuminata
b. Petals 5 or 6 4
4a. Petals 6 combined in 3 pairs 2. Olax imbricata
b. Petals 5 5
5a. Young branches transversely wrinkled; peduncles ascending, scarcely exceeding the bracts 6. Olax zeylanica
b. Young branches not wrinkled transversely; peduncles drooping, longer than the bracts 5. Olax wightiana

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