Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Annual or perennial herbs, shrubs, rarely trees or woody climbers (Hibiscus scandens Roxb.). Stems usually fibrous with mucilaginous sap; bark with dilated rays. Indumentum almost always stellate-hairy or lepidote, simple hairy, sometimes also with gland-tipped hairs. Leaves alternate, petiolate, simple, entire to variously lobed or dissected, sometimes with extra-floral nectaries on veins beneath, stipulate. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual, rarely unisexual or subdioecious (Kydia), solitary, axillary or terminal and or axillary racemes or panicles, 1- to many-flowered, sometimes disposed in terminal racemose spikes in consequence of the upper leaves being absent, pentamerous. Calyx connate up to middle or below, lobed or rarely entire or spathaceous, lobes valvate, sometimes with nectaries on veins outside, persistent or caducous, sometimes accrescent, often subtended by persistent epicalyx, epicalyx segments 3 to many, free or connate, subulate to leafy. Corolla convolute or less commonly imbricate, adnate to the base of staminal column and falling off with it, usually the limb of petals asymmetric. Stamens numerous, monadelphous, staminal column surrounds the ovary and style at base, apex of staminal column 5-toothed (tribes Hibisceae and Ureneae) or entire; anthers dorsifixed, monothecal; pollen echinate. Ovary superior, 3 - 5 or many-loculed; ovules 1 many in each locule on axile placentation; styles as many as or twice the number of carpels, often united, to various degree; stigmas as many as styles, more or less distinct or almost united. Fruit a capsule or schizocarp or rarely an anomalous kind of berry (Malvaviscus), capsules 3 to many-seeded; mericarps 1- many-seeded. Seeds albuminous, hairy or glabrous; embryo mostly curved with a terete radicle and yellow twisted cotyledons.

Tropical, subtropical and temperate regions of the World; ca 88 genera and 2300 species; 22 genera and 93 species in India.

Literature. ABEDIN, S. (1979). Malvaceae. In: Fl. W. Pakistan 130: 1 - 107. 1 - 24 . BORSSUM WAALKES, J. VAN (1966). Malesian Malvaceae revised. Blumea 14: 1 - 213, ff. 1 - 21 . PAUL, T.K. & M.P. NAYAR (1988). Malvaceae in Fasc. Fl. India 19: 64 - 233, ff. 1 - 60.


1a. Styles as many as carpels or styles undivided and stigmas entire 2
b. Styles twice as many as carpels Tribe 5. Ureneae
2a. Fruit a capsule; staminal column 5-toothed or armed at apex, antheriferous throughout or a major portion of it or tipped with clusters of anthers 3
b. Fruit a schizocarp, breaking into mericarps at maturity; staminal column without teeth, apex split up into numerous filaments 4
3a. Carpels remain attached to each another and to central axis at maturity; stipules simple Tribe 3. hibisceae
b. Carpels separate from central axis at maturity; stipules laciniate or completely divided into 2 or 3 segments Tribe 2. decaschisteae
4a. Stigmas decurrent on the adaxial side of style Tribe 4. malveae
b. Stigmas apical or nearly 50, capitate, discoid or obliquely truncate Tribe 1. abutileae

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