Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Hydrocera triflora (L.) Wight & Arn., Prodr. 140. 1834 emend. Venkatesw. & Dutt in J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 58 (2): 544 - 546. 1961; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 483. 1875. Impatiens triflora L., Sp. Pl. 938. 1753. Tytonia triflora (L.) C.E. Wood in J. Arn. Arb. 56(4):413. 1975.

Beng.: Domuti.

Herbs, perennial, semi-aquatic, up to 1 m high; stems erect, 5-angular; lower nodes bearing long fibrous roots; internodes hollow, fistular, floating. Leaves spirally arranged or alternate, linear or linear-lanceolate to linear-elliptic, cuneate at base, acute to long-acuminate at apex, serrate along margins, 11 - 28 x 0.6 - 3.7 cm, glabrous, deep-green above, pale beneath, base and midnerve sometimes tinged red; lateral nerves 10 - 17 pairs, oblique; sessile or with petiole up to 1 cm long, base with a pair of sessile glands. Inflorescence auxillary, short, 3 - 5 (-10)-flowered raceme or cyme. Flowers pink, tinged with carmine or purple, inside of throat yellowish or greenish-yellow with reddish-purple nerves; bracts lanceolate, acute to acuminate, 6 - 9 mm long. Sepals 5, petaloid, imbricate; lateral sepals 4, in 2 pairs; lower pair elliptic to elliptic-oblong, obtuse: upper pair elliptic-oblanceolate, obtuse; lower sepal navicular, spurred; spur 6 - 8 mm long, curved, slightly swollen at tip. Petals 5, free; lower and outer narrowly oblong, unevenly bilobed; upper lobe entire, lower lobe irregular, toothed, emarginate and apiculate. Stamens 5, filaments slightly shorter than gynoecium, broader and united towards connective; anthers connate. Ovary glabrous, 5-locular with 3 ovules in each locule on axile placenta. Stigma 5, sessile, persisting in fruit. Fruit fleshy pseudoberry, 8 - 10 x 7 - 8 mm, pentagonal in cross section, truncate at base, short-beaked, pale green becoming reddish or Purplish-red with a hard endocarp; dehiscing septicidally leaving the seeds attached to column; seed usually solitary in each cell, curved, corrugated; albumen absent; cotyledons thick, radicle short.

Fl. & Fr. June - Oct.

Distrib. India: Marshy places, ditches, stagnant pools, ponds and paddy fields, chiefly at low altitudes. Uttar Pradesh, W.Bengal, Assam, Andhra Pradesh,Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Sri Lanka, S. China (Hainan), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malay Peninsula, S.W. Celebes and Java.

Notes. This plant is often confused in herbaria with Impatiens balsamina L. However, the two are quite distinct. The latter has a distinct tomentose ovary and fruits. In certain parts of Andhra Pradesh the flowers are apparently eaten by water birds.


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