Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Scandent shrubs or small trees. Leaves spirally arranged; petiole elliptic to orbicular, toothed, crenate or subentire, rarely serrulate; stipules caducous. Inflorescence terminal, axillary or lateral racemes or cymes. Flowers 5-merous, minute, unisexual and then plants dioecious or bisexual, pedicellate. Sepals valvate or imbricate, persistent. Petals inserted under the disc. Fertile stamens inserted on or below the margin of the disc; filaments glabrous or papillose; anthers ovoid or oblong-ellipsoid, obtuse or apiculate; sterile stamens smaller; anthers ovate-oblong, acute or acuminate. Ovary free from the disc or slightly confluent with it, 3-locular; sterile ovary in male flowers much smaller than the fertile one; ovules 2 or 1 in each locule. Disc cupular, membranous or fleshy and flat. entire or lobed. Fruits capsular, subglobose, loculicidally 3- valved. Seeds 1-6, arillate.

Mostly in tropical and subtropical East Asia to Australia and Latin America, fewer in N. America and Madagascar; ca 31 species, 7 in India.

Literature. DING HOU (1955). A revision of the genus Celastrus. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 42: 215-302.


1a. Inflorescence only terminal 6. Celastrus paniculatus
b. Inflorescence both terminal and axillary 2
2a. Evergreen shrubs; inflorescence without vegetative buds; fruits 1 seeded 3
b. Deciduous shrubs; inflorescence with vegetative buds; fruits 3-6-seeded 5
3a. Leaves densely reticulate; disc membranous, cup-shaped. 1. Celastrus hindsii
b. Leaves not densely reticulate; disc fleshy, flat 4
4a. Capsules cylindric, stipulate; seeds pinkish brown 5. Celastrus monospermus
b. Capsules angular. ovoid; seeds blackish brown 4. Celastrus monospermoides
5a. Veinlets of leaves elevated on both surfaces; seeds rugose 3. Celastrus membranifolius
b. Veinlets of leaves immersed above and elevated beneath; seeds smooth 6
6a. Filaments glabrous; anthers apiculate; seeds ellipsoid-ovoid 2. Celastrus hookeri
b. Filaments papillose; anthers ovoid; seeds plano-convex 7. Celastrus stylosus

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