Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Large perennial, rhizomatous, laticiferous, acaulescent, aquatic herbs with air canals and scattered vascular bundles devoid of cambium. Rhizomes stoloniferous, branched, creeping, slender or tuberous, producing at nodes adventitious roots, solitary leaf, flower and axillary bud. Leaves simple, stipulate, long-petiolate, orbicular with radiating veins branched dichotomously except the midrib; juvenile ones eccentrically peltate, floating; adult ones centrally peltate, floating or submerged; foliar sclereids absent. Flower solitary on long peduncles, raised well above water, large, showy, rose-pink, white or yellow, bisexual, hypogynous with spirally arranged floral appendages. Sepals 4 - 5, free, intermediate ones larger, caducous; innermost ones sometimes transitional to stamens. Stamens numerous, free, long and linear, each differentiated into a subterete filament, an anther with adaxial to sublateral microsporangia and a distal, clavate, incurved sterile appendage; pollen tricolpate. Carpels (9-)12 - 28(-39), distinct, embedded singly in cavities or turbinate, accrescent receptacles; ovules solitary in each carpel pendulous, orthotropous, anatropous at maturity, bitegmic, crassinucellate; placentation laminar. Nuts ripening above water; pericarp smooth, bony. Seed filling the carpel, exarillate, inoperculate; cotyledons large, fleshy; plumule folded, enclosed in a stipule-like sheath.

Tropical and subtropical regions of West Indies, Columbia, Central America. S .E. United States, Asia to N.E. Australia; one genus and 2 species, one species in India.

Literature. MITRA, R. L. (1990) Nelumbonaceac. In: Fasc. Fl. India 20: 8 - 10. SIMON, J. P. (1971) Comparative serology of the order Nymphaeales 2. Relationships of Nymphaeaceae and Nelumbonaceae. Aliso 7: 325 - 350.

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