Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Guttiferae nom. alt

Evergreen trees or shrubs with milky, white, greenish or yellow sap, often resinous; oil glands or passages in leaves and other parts always present. Leaves opposite, decussate, rarely verticillate, simple, entire, usually coriaceous, sometimes membranous, rarely stipulate, venation characteristic on drying. Inflorescence terminal or axillary, fascicled, racemose or panicled, often reduced to solitary flowers; bracts and bracteoles various. Flowers regular, white, yellow, pinkish or red, hypogynous, unisexual or polygamous or bisexual; the perianth cyclical or spiral, often decussate. Sepals 2 - 6, imbricate or decussate, persistent or caducous. Petals 2 - 6, rarely more or absent, imbricate, contorted or decussate. Stamens mostly numerous, almost free or variously connate, 1 - 6-adelphous, as many as petals; reduced to staminodes in female flowers, staminodes mostly fewer than stamens or absent; anthers various, dehiscing transversely, vertically or circumscissile. Ovary superior, 1 many-loculed with 1 - 4 erect (basal), axile or rarely parietal placentation; styles slender, short or absent, rarely 2; stigmas various, free or connate, sometimes peltate or lobed, sessile or subsessile. Fruit baccate, capsular or drupaceous, often indehiscent, pulpy or not. Seeds large, without albumen; embryo either with large radicle and small cotyledons or vice-versa.

Pantropical, chiefly in Asia and America, rare in Africa; ca 40 genera and ca 1000 species; 5 genera and 53 species in India.

Literature. MAHESHWARI, J.K. (1964, 1965 &. 1972). Taxonomic studies on Indian Guttiferae I, II &. III and Morpho-taxonomic studies on Indian Guttiferae: Bull. Bot. Surv. India 2: 139 - 148; 5:335 - 343; 6: 107 - 135 and In: MURTHY, Y.S. et al. Adv. Pl. Morph. 137 - 152, respectively. SEETHARAM, Y.N. (1985). Clusiaceae: Palynology and Systematics. Travaux de la sec. Sci. et Tech. XXI: 59. (Inst.Francis de Pondicherry).

Notes. This family is of much economic importance and provide many kinds of valuable timber, useful gums and resins and edible fruits. Some species have medicinal value while others are cultivated as ornamentals and for fruits. Several species are endemic in India.


1a. Stigmas more or less sessile, broadly peltate, entire or radiately lobed; ovary bi-to plurilocular, locules 1-ovuled; fruits baccate; cotyledons absent or minute; stamens connate in various ways; petiole base usually foveolate 2. Garcinia
b. Styles distinct, long, slender with peltate, entire, 2 - 4-fid or -lobed or acute stigmas; ovary usually uni-to bilocular, rarely 2 - 4-locular, locules 1 - 2-or 4-ovuled; fruits drupaceous or capsular; cotyledons large, well developed; stamens free or connate at base only; petiole base not foveolate 2
2a. Leaves with numerous, very close, straight, parallel lateral veins with no minor veins; ovary unilocular with a solitary ovule 1. Calophyllum
b. Leaf venation not as above, lateral veins often arcuate and forking and with minor veins; if as above then with much fewer, parallel laterals; ovary otherwise 3
3a. Sepals 2, ovary 2 - 4-locular; stigma 2 - 4-lobed; fruit a drupe, pulpy 3. Mammea
b. Sepals 4 - 5; overy 1 - 2-locular; stigmas acute, incised or 4-fid; fruit a capsule or a drupe, not pulpy 4
4a. Sepals and petals 4 each; style 1; stigmas incised to 4-fid 4. Mesua
b. Sepals 4 - 5; petals 5 - 6; styles 2; stigma acute 5. Poeciloneuron

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