Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Tetrastigma (Miq.) Planchon

Large, woody or rarely herbaceous, dioecious vines; tendrils leaf-opposed, simple or branched. Leaves 3-7 -foliolate, digitate or pedate, petiolate, hairy to glabrous; leaflets petiolulate to subsessile. Inflorescence axillary; cymes, pedunculate. Flowers unisexual. Calyx cupular or saucer-shaped, truncate or obscurely 4-lobed. Petals 4, free, usually hooded and sometimes with a dorsal spur at apex. Stamens 4; filaments short; anthers oblong-oval. Disc usually distinct, 4-lobed. Style short, thick or simulating ovary; stigma broad, usually 4-lobed. Berries globose or ellipsoid, usually succulent, 1-4 -seeded. Seeds obovate to elliptic-oblong; adaxial surface with a linear filiform raphe; abaxial surface with a linear, spathulate or orbicular chalazal knot; endosperm T-shaped in cross section.

Chiefly distributed in South-east Asia and Indo-Malesia, one species in Australia; ca 95 species, 16 in India.

Notes. Tetrastigma shares the character of 4-merous flowers with Cissus, Cayratia and Cyphostemma, but in all these genera the flowers are bisexual and the stigma simple or slightly 2-fid.


1a. Leaves digitately 3-6 -foliolate 2
b. Leaves pedately 3-7-foliolate 8
2a. Petals of at least male flowers with a dorsal spur 3
b. Petals without dorsal spur 4
3a. Petals ca 2.5 mm long; ovary pubescent; berries ellipsoid. 1.5-2.5 cm across; seeds 11-14 x 9-10 mm; leaves 3-5 -foliolate 11. Tetrastigma obovatum
b. Petals ca 1 mm long; ovary glabrous; berries globose. 6-9 mm across; seeds ca 6 x 5 mm; leaves 3-foliolate 4. Tetrastigma bracteolatum
4a. Flowers rusty pubescent; berries oblong-ovoid; seeds oblong-ellipsoid, more than 10 mm long 5. Tetrastigma campylocarpum
b. Flowers not rusty pubescent; berries globose; seeds globose to oblong·ovoid, less than 10 mm long 5
5a. Berries ca 2 cm across; seeds ca 10 x 5 mm 13. Tetrastigma planieaule
b. Berries less than 1 cm across; seeds 6-7 x 5 mm 6
6a. Leaves 5-foliolate; leaflets subsessile with cuspidate-serrate margins; calyx ciliate at margin 12. Tetrastigma obtectum
b. Leaves 3-foliolate; leaflets petiolulate with obscurely serrate-dentate to subentire margins; calyx not ciliate at margin 7
7a. Leaflets elliptic-obovate; petiolules of terminal leaflets 1.5-2.5 cm long; ovary glabrous; berries 1-seeded. 7. Tetrastigma gamblei
b. Leaflets elliptic-lanceolate; petiolules of terminal leaflets ca 7 mm long; ovary pubescent; berries 2-4-seeded 3. Tetrastigma angustifolium
8a. Berries more than 2 cm across; seeds 11-12 x 5-7 mm 9
b. Berries less than 1 cm across; seeds 5-10 x 3.5-6 mm 10
9a. Branchlets muricate; venation between secondary veins of leaflets prominent 16. Tetrastigma sulcatum
b. Branchlets smooth; venation between secondary veins of leaflets obscure 8. Tetrastigma hookeri
10a. Berries turbinate-globose; seeds triangular-obcordate, adaxial surface with a prominent central longitudinal ridge 14. Tetrastigma rumicispermum
b. Berries globose or ovoid; seeds obovoid, oblong-ovoid to oblong-ellipsoid or pyriform, adaxial surface without a central ridge 11
11a. Branchlets muricate; leaflets revolute at margins 10. Tetrastigma nilagiricum
b. Branchlets smooth; leaflets not revolute at margins 12
12a. Style distinct; stigma 4-rayed 6. Tetrastigma dubium
b. Style indistinct or absent; stigma 4-lobed 13
13a. Robust climbers; branches thick; tendrils simple; terminal leaflets 11-20 x 3.5-10 cm; lateral leaflets 7-16 x 3-8 cm; seeds 6-10 x 4-6 mm 14
b. Weak climbers; branches slender; tendrils bifurcate or branched; terminal leaflets 3-10 (-12) x 1.5-3 (-4) cm; lateral leaflets 1.5-6 (-7) x 0.8-2(-3)cm; seeds ca 5 x 3-4 mm 15
14a. Leaves 5-7-foliolate; berries 2-4 -seeded; seeds 6-7 x 4-5 mm. 9. Tetrastigma leucostaphylum
b. Leaves 3 (-5)-foliolate; berries 1 (-2)-seeded; seeds ca 10 x 6 mm 2. Tetrastigma andamanicum
15a. Petals with a prominent dorsal spur; seeds with two parallel longitudinal ridges and a shallow groove on abaxial surface, corrugate on sides 1. Tetrastigma affine
b. Petals without dorsal spur; seeds without ridges on abaxial surface, not corrugate on sides 15. Tetrastigma serrulatum

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