Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Dalechampia Plum. ex L.

Shrubs or undershrubs, often twining, monoecious. Leaves alternate, 3 - 5-lobed or 3 - 5- foliolate, usually palmately 3 - 7-nerved at base. Inflorescences axillary, sessile or peduncled racemes or heads, unisexual or bisexual and often mixed with sterile deformed flowers; involucre consisting of 2, often large, coloured, entire or 3-fid bract, with a whorl of small outer ones at their base; upper and inner floral bracts male, 3 or more-flowered, lower and outer bracts female; petals and disc absent. Male flowers: pedicels articulate; calyx 4 – 7-lobed; sepals valvate; petals absent; stamens (9 -) 20 – 40 (- 90), on a convex receptacle; filaments free or connate; anthers erect, often didymous with contiguous parallel thecae, basifixed, extrorse; pollen grains tricolpate; pistillode absent. Female flowers: sepals 5 - 12, imbricate, usually pinnately fimbriate or lacerate, gland-tipped, enlarged and accrescent in fruit; ovary pubescent, 3 or 4-loculed; ovule 1 in each locule; styles connate into a fleshy slender or stout column, with an obtuse dilated, lobed or cupular stigma. Fruits capsular, lobed, enclosed in calyx; endocarp hard; seeds globose or ellipsoid, ecarunculate; endosperm fleshy; cotyledons broad and flat.

Tropical America, Africa and Asia, majority in America, few in Africa and two in Asia, ca 110 species; 4 species in India.

Literature. CHAVAN, A. R. & S. J. BEDI (1962). Dalechampia scandens L. var. cordofana (Hochst.) Muell.-Arg. – a new record for India. Curr. Sci. 31: 115. RAGHAVAN, R. S. & B. G. KULKARNI (1980). A new species of Dalechampia (Euphorbiaceae) from peninsular India. Kew Bull. 35: 323 – 325, f. 1.


1a. Leaves compound, 3-foliolate with 3 sessile leaflets 1. Dalechampia indica
b. Leaves simple, unlobed or 3- or rarely 5-lobed, cleft to the middle or almost up to base 2
2a. Leaves some unlobed, others palmately 3-lobed 4. Dalechampia tamnifolia
b. Leaves all palmately 3-lobed 3
3a. Lobes of leaves linear-lanceolate, 13 – 17 x 2 – 2.3 cm; sepals of female flowers neither pinnatifid-fimbriate nor with bulbous-based long hairs but with stipitate glands 3. Dalechampia stenoloba
b. Lobes of leaves not linear-lanceolate, broader; sepals of female flowers pinnatifid fimbriate with numerous bulbous-based long hairs 2. Dalechampia scandens

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