Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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S.P. Banerjee and B.B. Pramanik

Herbs, shrubs or undershrubs, small trees, rarely lianas. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite, simple, entire or toothed, rarely lobed; stipules minute or leafy. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, rarely plants polygamous or dioecious, hypogynous or slightly perigynous, medianly zygomorphic or actinomorphic, solitary or in axillary or terminal racemes, spikes or panicles, often bracteolate. Sepals 5, free or slightly connate, persistent, imbricate, often ciliate. Petals 5, free, or rarely shortly connate, generally sessile, imbricate, unequal, the lowermost often gibbous or spurred and larger than others and differentially shaped. Stamens 5, mostly bypogynous; filaments free or connate, alternate with petals, closely connivent around pistil; anthers 2-loculed, basifixed or adnate, introse, one of them often spurred, dehiscence by longitudinal slits; connective produced apically; 2 abaxial anthers sometimes spurred. Ovary superior, sessile, subglobose, unilocular with generally 3 - 5 carpels, placentae parietal with 1 - 2 or numerous ovules on each; ovules bitegmic, crassinucellar, anatropous; style simple, mostly sigmoid or thickened above; stigma various, usually truncate, lobed, beaked or simple. Fruit usually a loculicidal 3-valved capsule, or a berry or nutlet. Seeds numerous, smooth or rough, rarely tomentose, often arillate, sometimes winged in woody lianas; embryo straight; cotyledons thin, wider than radicle; endosperm moderate or copious, rarely scanty, fleshy.

Cosmopolitan, tropical and temperate regions; ca 22 genera and ca 900 species, 3 genera and 41 species in India.

Literature. BANERJEE, S.P. & B.B. PRAMANIK (1983) Violaceae. In: Fasc. Fl. India 12: 1 - 40, ff. 1 - 39. GRIERSON, A. J. C. (1991) Violaceae. In: Pl. Bhutan 2(1): 222 - 228, ff. 26 0 - x. JACOBS, M. & D. M. MOORE (1972) Violaceae. In: Fl. Males. I, 7(1): 179 - 212. ff. 1 - 20. QAISER, M. & SAOOD OMER (1985) Violaccae. In: Fl. Pakistan 166:1 - 28, ff. 1 - 8. TENNANT, J. R. (1963) Notes on Tropical African Violaceae. Kew Bull. 16(3): 409 - 435, ff. 1 - 2.


1a. Shrubs or small trees; flowers actinomorphic; abaxial stamens not spurred at base 2. Rinorea
b. Herbs or sometimes suffruticose; flowers zygomorphic; abaxial stamens often spurred at base 2
2a. Leaves subsessile; sepals not produced at base; petals unequal in size; seeds longitudinally ribbed 1. Hybanthus
b. Leaves long-petioled; sepals pouched or produced at base; petals equal or subequal in size; seeds smooth 3. Viola

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