Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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M.P.Nayar & M.C. Biswas

Trees, rarely shrubs (not in India); stems and branchlets aculeate, glabrous or lepidote or with stellate or simple hairs. Leaves alternate, simple or digitately com-pound; stipules fugacious. Inflorescences racemose, cymose, fasciculate or flowers solitary, very rarely cauliflorus. Flowers often large and showy, bisexual, actinomorpbic, rarely somewhat zygomorphic, usually pentamerous, bracteolate, sometimes subtended by epicalyx, receptacle glandular or eglandular. Calyx coriaceous, campanulate, valvate, lobate or truncate, caducous, persistent, accrescent. Petals 5, rarely absent, contorted, usually adnate to the base of staminal tube. Staments 5 many, monadelphous to pentadelphous, rarely free; anthers 1 - 2 to many locular, free or coherent, hippocrepiform, linear to more or less globular, dehiscing longitudinally, rarely circumscissile or apically poricidal; pollen grains triporate, colpate or colporate, the sexine reticulate or tegillate and spinulate, rarely granulate or smooth. Ovary superior, rarely half inferior, 2 - 6 or 10-loculed with 2-many ovules in each loeule, rarely 1 in each, placentation axile; style simple; stigma capitate or lobed. Fruit generally capsular, pericarp smooth or spinose, loculicidally dehiscent into 3 - 5 valves, sometimes longlanate within, pulpy and indehiscent, 1 many-seeded. Seeds glabrous, arillate or alate, often oleaginous; endosperm absent or scanty; embryo usually curved; cotyledons epigeal, flat or plicate, foliaceous or carnose.

Pantropical, predominantly in tropical America, ca 26 genera and 225 species; 3 genera and 5 species in India.

Literature. BAKHUIZEN, R.c. VAN DEN BRINK (1924). Revisio Bombacacearum. Bull. Jard. Bot. Btz. ser. 3,6: 161 - 240, t. 26 -28. EDLIN, H.L. (1935). A critical revision of certain taxonomic groups of the Malvales. New phytol. 14: 1 - 20, 122 - 143. DAVIS, T.A. (1967). Stamen number and pollen size in levo-and dextro-rotatory flowers of Bombacacea. Rev. paleobot. Palynol. 3: 133 -139. SHARMA, B.D.(1970). Contribution to the pollen morphology and plant taxonomy of the family Bombacaceae. Proc. Ind. Nat. Sci. Acad. (B) 36: 175 - 191.


1a. Leaves simple, densely lepidote below; flowers small, ramiflorous, with an epicalyx; corolla absent; staminal tube 5-lobed; capsules globose or subglobose, spinose; seeds arillate 3. Cullenia
b. Leaves digitately compound; indumentum if present, of stellate or tufted hairs; flowers small or large, never ramiflorous, without epicalyx; corolla present; stamens mon-or pentadelphous; capsules oblong or oviod, smooth; seeds exarillate 2
2a. Stems armed; flowers large, peduncles thick, 1 - 2 cm long; stamens numerous, anthers hippocrepiform; capsules 11 - 14 cm long 1. Bombax
b. Stems smooth; flowers small, peduncles up to 5 cm long; staminal tube divided into 5 filaments, each With 2 - 3 anfractose anthers; capsules 11 - 13 cm long 2. Ceiba

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