Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Berchemia Necker ex DC., nom. cons.

Trees or shrubs, erect or climbing. Leaves opposite, subopposite or alternate, coriaceous, penninerved; nerves parallel, nervules transverse; stipules small, deciduous, often intraxillary or free. Inflorescence axillary, spicate, paniculate or clustered at ends of branches. Flowers 5 or 6-merous, sessile or pedicellate, polygamous. Calyx 5-lobed, rarely 6; tube short, hemispherical or turbinate. Petals 5, rarely 6, obovate, unguiculate, cucullate. Stamens 5, rarely 6; anthers large, ovate, 2-celled; filaments filiform, often flattened. Disc fleshy, annular, margin free, swollen. Ovary superior, sunk in the disc but free from it, ovoid, 2-loculed; style 2-tid or notched; stigma terminal, obtuse, convex. Drupes surrounded at base by the rim of calyx or 5-lobed calyx tube, ellipsoid,on ripening black, purple or yellow; putamen crustaceous or woody; exocarp fleshy. Seeds 2, linear-oblong; testa membranous; raphe lateral; albumen fleshy; cotyledons narrowly oblong; radicle short.

North America, Africa, but mostly in S. Asia; 22 species, 3 in India.

Notes. In India species of Berchemia are confined to subtropical N. W. Himalaya and tropical evergreen forests of E. Himalaya.


1a. Flowers 6-merous 1. Berchemia edgeworthli
b. Flowers 5-merous 2
2a. Climbing shrubs; lateral nerves 9-15 pairs; fruits surrounded at base by the rim of calyx 2. Berchemia floribunda
b. Undershrubs; lateral nerves 6-8 pairs; fruits surrounded at base by the 5-lobed calyx tube 3. Berchemia lineata

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