Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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A. Pramanik and M. Gangopadhyay

Herbs, shrubs, climbers or lianas, erect or creeping, rarely trees, dioecious or rarely monoecious. Leaves spiral, exstipulate, simple or occasionally compound, entire or palmately lobed, peltate or not, palmately nerved; petioles often swollen at base and/or at apex. Inflorescences usually axillary or on old woods, racemes, fascicles, panicles or cymes; bracts small, often leafy; bracteoles short. Flowers unisexual, actinomorphic or zygomorphic,2 - 3-merous, small. Perianth free or connate, 2 many-seriate, often differentaited into calyx and corolla; sepals 6 (1 - 12), in 2 - 4 series each of 3 or sometimes 4 - 5 sepals, imbricate; petals 3 - 6 in 1 or 2 whorls, usually smaller than innermost sepals or absent. Male flowers: Stamens 2 - many; filaments free or variously connate, often forming peltate synandrium on androphore; anthers 2 or 4-loculed, transversely or vertically dehiscing; pistillode small or absent. Female flowers: Staminodes 6, usually subulate or absent; carpels 1 - 6, free, superior; styles terminal or basal, simple or deeply lobed; stigmas terminal, capitate or discoid, entire or lobed; ovules 1 or 2, ventral, amphitropous. Fruits sessile or stalked, drupes or a few drupelets, often compressed, with subbasal or terminal style-scar; exocarp membranous to coriaceous; mesocarp fleshy; endocarp straight or strongly curved, horseshoe-shaped, usually bony, rarely crustaceous, variously ornamented. Seeds globose, reniform or curved, rarely straight; endosperm ruminate; embryo elongate or ellipsoid; cotyledons foliaceous, rarely folded.

Mainly tropical, extending to N. America and temperate Asia; 8 tribes with about 73 genera and ca 350 species, 5 tribes with 20 genera and 43 species in India.

Literature. DIELS, L. (1910) Menispermaceae. In: Engler, Pflanzenr. IV. 94 (Heft 46): 1 - 345. FORMAN, L. L. (1986) Menispcrmaeeac. In: Fl. Males. I, 10(2): 157 - 253. MIERS, J. (1871) Menispermaceae. Contrib. Bot. 3: 1- 402. THANlKAIMONl, G. (1968) Morphologie des Pollens des Menispermacees. Trav. Sect. Sci. Techn. Inst. Franc. Pondicherry 5: 1 - 56. THANIKAIMONI, G. (1986) Evolution of Menispennaceae. Canad. J. Bot. 64: 3130 - 3133. WILKINSON, H.P. (1989) Lear anatomy of the Menispennaceae, tribe Tiliacoreae Miers. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 99: 125 - 174.


1a. Perianth scarcely differentiated into sepals and petals 2
b. Perianth very frequently differentiated into sepals and petals 3
2a. Endocarp curved, smooth or fibrous, less ornamented Tribe 1. COSCINEAE
b. Endocarp straight, smooth, sometimes strongly rugose Tribe 2. FIBRAUREAE
3a. Cotyledons not foliaceous; endosperm non-ruminate Tribe 3. MENISPERMEAE
b. Cotyledons divaricate, foliaceous; endosperm ruminate 4
4a. Drupes shortly horeshoe-shaped Tribe 4. TILIACOREAE
b. Drupes straight or subrotund to subelliptic Tribe 5. TINOSPOREAE

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