Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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13. Chaetocarpus Thwaites, nom. cons.

Trees or shrubs, dioecious, evergreen; indumentum simple. Leaves attenuate at base, entire or laxly sinuate along margins, acuminate to cuspidate at apex, coriaceous; petioles slightly pulvinate; stipules asymmetric, early caducous. Inflorescences axillary clusters of reduced thyrses; bracts 4, surrounding each flower; pedicels jointed at middle in male flowers, elongating in female flowers. Male flowers: sepals 4 (or 5), outer 2 sericeous, innermost one petal-like; petals absent; stamens 8 - 15, with an androphore from which filaments branch alternately, each with an anther, except the lower branches often with 2 or 3 anthers; anthers latrorsely dehiscing by slit; pistillode pilose, 3-lobed. Female flowers: sepals as in male; staminodes absent; ovary on short gynophore; ovule one in each locule, attached half-way on the column; styles 3, hirsute; stigmas divided up to the style. Fruits subglobose, densely echinate with glochidiate hairs, dehiscing septicidally into 3 (or 4) segments; wall thin, woody; seeds ovoid, flattened, 1 - 3 per fruit, black, glossy, covered in upper third by a thin aril.

Pantropical, showing disjunct distribution in West Indies, South America, West Africa, Madagascar and tropical Asia, ca 15 species; one in India.

Literature. VAN WELZEN, P. C. (1994). A taxonomic revision of S.E. Asian Chaetocarpus Thwaites (Euphorbiaceae). Rheedea 4: 93 - 101, f. 1, map.

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