Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

JSP Page
N. P. Balakrishnan

Shrubs or small trees, with mucilaginous canal producing yellow, orange or reddish sap or gum, often deciduous. Leaves spirally arranged, simple, entire or palmatipartite or digitate, serrate, palmately or pinnately nerved; stipules small, caducous. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, showy in terminal or axillary racemes, corymbs or panicels, often thyrsoid. Sepals 4 - 5, free, imbricate, caducous soon after anthesis leaving 5 basal glands. Petals 4 - 7, free, imbricate or contorted. Stamens many; filaments long, free or basally connate; anthers 2-loculed, basifixed or dorsifixed, dehiscing by short slit at about the middle or by 1 or 2 apical pores or short slit at apex. Disk present, annular or absent. Ovary superior, entire or 1-loculed or falsely 2-loculed or 3 - 5 loculed in lower half; ovules many, on 2 or 3 - 5 parietal placentae, bitegmic, anatropous; style 1, elongate, filiform, recurved in bud; stigma apical, bilobed or denticulate. Fruit a loculicidal 2 - 5-valved capsule; compressed; endocarp membranous, septifrugal, 2 - 5-valved. Seeds many, erect or pendant, reniform or obovoid, often pilose or woolly, narrowed at base on elongated funicle, covered by red fleshy testa or long white wool; endosperm copious, oily or not; embryo straight or curved; cotyledons broad.

Tropical America, Africa, India to Malesia and N. Australia; 3 genera and ca 28 species, 2 genera and 2 species in India.

Literature. BACKER, C. A. (1951) Bixaceae. In: Fl. Males. 1, 4: 239 - 241, ff. 241, tt. 1 - 2. PAUL, T. K. & M. P. NAYAR (1988) Cochlospermaceae. In: Fasc. Fl. India 19: 16 - 19, t.1, f.3. STEENIS, C. G. G. J. van (1949) Cochlospermaceae. In: Fl. Males. 1, 4: 61 - 63, f. 1.


1a. leaves entire; petals pink; disk annular; ovary and capsules covered densely by thick flexible bristles; ripe seeds with a thick red testa 1. Bixa
b. Leaves palmatipartite, petals yellow; disk absent; ovary and capsules not covered by such bristles; ripe seeds wrapped in long white wool 2. Cochlospermum

JSP Page
  • Search