Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Cayratia A.L. Juss., nom. cons.

Climbing or creeping shrubs, sometimes herbaceous; tendrils leaf-opposed, simple or branched. Leaves 3-7 (-9)-foliolate, pedate, petiolate, hairy to glabrous; leaflets usually petiolulate, terminal usually the largest. Inflorescences axillary, or psudoterminal, corymbose-cymose, pedunculate. Flowers globose or oblong, bisexual. Calyx cupular, truncate or shallowly 4-lobed. Petals 4, free, hooded at apex. Stamens 4; filaments short; anthers oblong. Disc cupular, sinuate or lobed, adnate to ovary. Style subulate; stigma small. Berries globose or oblong, 2-4-seeded. Seeds obovate or oblong in outline; adaxial surface usually with 1 or 2 cavities; abaxial surface usually convex with a linear chalazal knot; endosperm crescent, rectangular or T-shaped in cross-section.

Mainly in tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia and Australia with the maximum number of species reported from Malesia; ca 55 species, 9 in India.

Notes. Planchon (in DC., Monogr. Phan. 5: 471. 1887) treated Cayratia under Cissus L. as a section. Suessenguth (in Engl. & Prant}, Nat. Pflanzenfam. ed. 2. 20d: 277. 1953) followed Gagnepain [in Notul. Syst. (Paris) 1: 343. 1911] in considering Cissus and Cayratia as distinct genera.


1a. Berries globose or subglobose when dry; seeds plano-convex with a single pit on the adaxial side; endosperm crescent shaped or rectangular in cross section 2
b. Berries pyriform when dry; seeds convex - carinate with two pits - one on each side of the ridge - on the adaxial side or the pits absent or inconspicuoul; endosperm T -shaped in cross section 8
2a. Leaves 3 foliolate 3
b. Leaves more than 3-foliolate 7
3a. Seeds 6-7 x 5 mm, adaxial side with a circular pit 4
b. Seeds 9-10 x 5-7 mm, adaxial side with a rectangular pit 6
4a. Plants glabrous 6. Cayratia roxburghii
b. Plants pubescent 5
5a. Leaflets elliptic; inflorescences umbellate-cymose 2. Cayratia geniculata
b. Leaflets elliptic-lanceolate; inflorescences dichasial cymes 5. Cayratia pedata
6a. Plants soft villous; leaflets serrate-dentate, acuminate, cuspidate; seeds with a linear chalazal knot on the abaxial side 4. Cayratia mollissima
b. Plants glabrous; leaflets distantly-serrate, acuminate; seeds with a spathulate chalazal knot on the abaxial side 9. Cayratia wrayi
7a. Leaflets ovate-subrotund; terminal leaflets 5-6.5 x 3.5 cm; lateral leaflets 2.5-4 x 1.5-3 cm 1. Cayratia anemonifolia
b. Leaflets elliptic-Ianceolate; terminal leaflets 10-17 x 4-8 cm; lateral leaflets 7-15 x 3.5-7 cm 5. Cayratia pedata
8a. Leaves 3-foliolate 8. Cayratia trifolia
b. Leaves 5-foliolate 9
9a. Seeds with two pits on the adaxial side; flower buds ovoid, pubescent 3. Cayratia japonica
b. Seeds without pits; flower buds oblong, glabrous 7. Cayratia tenuifolia

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