Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Jayashree Bhattacharya

Annual or perennial herbs or undershrubs; aquatic, semiaquatic or terrestrial. Leaves simple, opposite or whorled, entire or crenate-serrate, stipulate. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual, hypogynous, minute, axillary, solitary or in dichasial cymes. Sepals 3 - 5, free or rarely connate at base, alternate with petals, persistent. Petals 3 - 5, free, imbricate. Stamens as many as or twice the number of petals in 2 whorls, alternating with petals, free, persistent; anthers versatile, dithecous, longitudinally dehiscent. Ovary 3 - 5-carpellary, syncarpus, superior, 3 - 5-locular, placentation axile with numerous anatropous ovules; styles 3 - 5, rarely 2, free, short; stigma clavate or globose. Capsules dehiscing septicidally or septifrugally. Seeds numerous, minute, with or without endosperm; testa often rugose; embryo cylindric, straight or curved with short cotyledons.

Throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world, 2 genera and ca 40 species; 2 genera and 8 species in India.

Literature. BACKER, C.A. (1951) Elatinaceae. In: STEENIS, C.G.G.J. VAN, Fl. Males. 1, 4: 203 - 206. COOK, C.D.K. (1968). Elatinaceae. In: TUTIN, et al., Fl. Europea 2: 295 - 296. GHAFOOR, A. & S.I. ALI (1972) Elatinaceae. In: NASIR, E.& S.I.ALI, Fl. W. Pakistan 19: 1 - 5.MASON, H.L.A. (1957). Fl. Marsh. California 577 - 587. NIDENZU, F (1925). Elatinaceae. In: ENGLER, A. & K. PRANTL, Nat. Pflanzenfam. ed. 2, 21: 270 - 276. SOHMER, S.H. (1980). Elatinaceae. In: DASSANAYAKE, M.D. & F.R. FOSBERG, Rev. Handb. Fl. Ceylon 1: 424 - 427.


1a. Plants erect, decumbent or ascending; flowers pentamerous; sepals free, acute, with thick midrib; ovary ovoid, ellipsoid, globose or subglobose, gradually narrowed into style; capsules crustaceous; embryo straight 1. Bergia
b. Plants prostrate; flowers trimerous; sepals connate at base, obtuse, without midrib, ovary depressed globose, abruptly narrowed into style; capsules membranous; embryo curved 2. Elatine

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