Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Polycarpaea Lam., nom. cons.

Herbs, annual or perennial, usually erect. Leaves opposite or pseudoverticillate, linear to obovate; stipules fimbriate or scarious. Flowers many, in spreading or condensed cymes. Sepals 5 scarious, sometimes coloured. Petals 5, entire, 2-toothed or erose marginate . Stamens 5, united together and with the petals forming a tube. Ovary 1-locular, ovules few to many; style slender, 3-fid. Capsules 3-valved; seeds ovoid or flat.

Tropical and subtropical regions; ca 50 species, 3 species in India.


1a. Leaves radical ones in rosettes, obovate to spathulate; flowers in spikes at top of fasciculate or subumbellate branches 3. Polycarpaea spicata
b. Leaves not in rosettes, linear to lanceolate; flowers in irregular cymes 2
2a. Plants tomentose to glabrescent; stipules more than 1.2 mm long; cymes dense or lax 1. Polycarpaea corymbosa
b. Plants glabrous; stipules less than 1 mm long; cymes lax 2. Polycarpaea diffusa

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