Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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A.S.Chauhan, T.K.Paul

Trees or shrubs, rarely scandent. Leaves alternate, rarely subopposite, simple, often serrate or entire, more or less coriaceous, usually exstipulate. Flowers axillary or extra-axillary, rarely lateral or terminal, solitary or in fascicles, regular, bisexual, rarely unisexual, often showy, subtended by 2 - 3 bracteoles at the base of calyx. Sepals 4 - 7, usually 5, free or slightly connate, imbricate, often unequal, persistent. Petals 4 - 9, usually 5, free or connate at base, imbricate or contorted. Stamens numerous, sometimes. 5 or 15, adnate to petals, free or connate at base, uniseriate to multiseriate; anthers basifixed or versatile, dehiscence longitudinal, rarely poricidal. Ovary superior, rarely half inferior (in Anneslea), sessile, usually 3 - 5 or rarely 1 - 10-loculed, ovules 2 - many in each locule, rarely solitary; styles 1 - 5, free or partly united; stigmas usually small, capitate or entire. Fruit a berry, achene or capsule with persistent sepals at base and style at apex. Seeds small, few or more; endosperm scanty, rarely copious; embryo straight or curved.

Tropical and subtropical regions, mainly in America and Asia, a few in Africa; ca 16 genera and ca 500 species; 9 genera and ca 24 species in India.

Notes. The family Ternstroemiaceae (s.l.) of Bentham & Hooker have been split into a number of small families viz. Ternstroemiaceae, Actinidiaceae, Stachyuraceae and Theaceae etc. But most taxonomists are of the opinion that the split families Ternstroemiaceae and Theaceae should be kept together under the family Theaceae as two distinct tribes viz. Camellieae and Temstroemieae and this is followed in this flora.


1a. Anthers versatile; fruit a loculicidal or septicidal capsule Tribe 1. Camellieae
b. Anthers basifixed; fruit a berry or achene Tribe 2. Ternstroemieae

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