Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Aporosa Blume

Shrubs or trees, dioecious, glabrous or with simple hairs. Leaves alternate, entire or sometimes sinuate-denticulate and glandular-notched along margins, often sprinkled with minute coloured dots, penninerved; petioles frequently pulvinate-geniculate, usually with a pair of circular sessile glands at the apex on the upper surface; stipules caducous or sometimes enlarged and persistent. Male inflorescences axillary, arising singly or few-together, spicate, denseflowered, catkin-like; bracts broad, ciliate. Flowers: minute; sepals 3 or 4 (- 6), shortly connate at base, imbricate; petals absent; disc absent; stamens 2 or 3, free, exserted; anthers didymous, suborbicular, basifixed, longitudinally dehiscent; connectives narrow; pistillode minute or obsolete. Female inflorescences axillary, few-flowered, more or less fasciculate or spicate (mostly up to 3 cm long), in the latter case sometimes only one flower at the apex of the rachis developing into a fruit. Flowers: minute, sessile or occasionally pedicellate; sepals as in male, deciduous; petals absent; disc absent; ovary glabrous or pubescent, (1 -) 2 or 3 locular; locules biovulate; stylar column absent or up to 2 mm long; stigmas lacerate-papillose. Fruits capsular, unlobed, 2 or 3 locular, globose to ovoid or ellipsoid or fusiform, thin or thick-walled and fleshy, 2- or 3- valved, often tardily dehiscent; seeds 1 - 2 per fruit, ecarunculate, on a central core with fleshy jacket, ellipsoid or suborbicular in outline, often plano-convex; albumen fleshy; cotyledon broad, flat.

Indo-Malesia, extending to Solomon Islands, about 90 species; 7 species in India.

Literature. CHAKRABARTY, T & M. GANGOPADHYAY (1993). A revision of Aporusa Bl. (Euphorbiaceae) for Indian subcontinent. J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 17: 155 - 171. SCHOT, A. M. (1995). A synopsis of taxonomic changes in Aporosa Blume (Euphorbiaceae). Blumea 40: 449 - 460.

Notes. The original spelling of the generic name Aporosa (Blume 1825: 514) is adopted here, following Schot (Blumea 40: 449. 1995), replacing Aporusa (Blume 1826: 6).

The haploid chromosome number (n) in A. octandra is 26 (Mehra & Hans, Taxon 18: 310 - 315. 1969).

According to Punt (Wentia 7: 1 - 116. 1962) the pollen grains are tricolporate, prolate spheroidal, ca 17.5 μm in diameter at equatorial axis, tectate and psilate. The colpi transversalis are small with parallel edges. The grains are similar to those of Baccaurea Lour.


1 a. Ovary and fruits with numerous long linear-subulate soft processes 1. Aporosa bourdillonii
b. Ovary and fruits devoid of such processes 2
2 a. Ovary glabrous 3
b. Ovary pubescent 4
3 a. Capsules ovoid to oblong, smaller (10 – 15 x 7 – 8 mm); leaves narrow, oblongelliptic, acuminate at apex, mostly green above when dry 7. Aporosa wallichii
b. Capsules fusiform or ellipsoid, larger (15 – 20 x 8 – 10 mm); leaves broadly obovate to widely elliptic or suborbicular, not acuminate at apex, brown or coppery when dry 3. Aporosa fusiformis
4 a. Female flowers and fruits pedicellate (pedicels 3 – 7 mm long) 2. Aporosa cardiosperma
b. Female flowers with up to 1 mm long pedicels; fruits sessile 5
5 a. Leaves pubescent beneath 6. Aporosa octandra
b. Leaves glabrous beneath 6
6 a. Ovary and fruits 3-locular 7
b. Ovary and fruits (1 -) 2-locular 8
7 a. Leaves narrow, acuminate at apex, chartaceous; tertiary nerves prominent on the upper surface 4. Aporosa indo-acuminata
b. Leaves broad, rounded, obtuse, retuse or apiculate at apex, coriaceous; tertiary nerves inconspicuous on the upper surface 3. Aporosa fusiformis
8 a. Leaves becoming black beneath on drying; petioles 1 – 3 cm long 5. Aporosa nigricans
b. Leaves becoming yellowish, greyish or brown on both sides when drying; petioles usually 5 - 15 mm long, rarely up to 30 mm long (A. octandra) 9
9 a. Branchlets slender (up to 3 mm thick); leaves chartaceous; petioles slender (up to 1 mm thick); male inflorescences up to 1 cm long; fruits 8 – 10 (- 16) mm long 4. Aporosa indo-acuminata
b. Branchlets robust (up to 7 mm thick); leaves coriaceous; petioles stout (1 – 3 mm thick); male inflorescences 1 - 7 cm long; fruits 10 – 20 mm long 10a. Male inflorescences 1 – 3 cm long; hairs on ovary caducous; fruits glabrous, fusi form or ellipsoid 4. Aporosa fusiformis
b. Male inflorescences 2 – 7 cm long; hairs on ovary persistent; fruits brownish tomentellous to villous, sometimes subglabrous, ovoid, obovoid or subglobose 6. Aporosa octandra

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