Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Tragia Plum. ex L.


Herbs, usually twining climbers, perennial, monoecious, hispid with stinging hairs. Leaves alternate, simple or palmately 3-lobed or 3-partite, palmately 3 - 5-nerved at base, petiolate; stipules prominent, early caducous. Flowers: in terminal or leaf-opposed androgynous bracteate racemes, with many male flowers in upper portion and one or few female flowers in lower portion; petals and disc absent. Male flowers: calyx globose or obovoid, valvately 3 - 5-partite; stamens (1 -) 3, rarely more; filaments free or connate; anthers with contiguous parallel thecae. Female flowers: calyx of 6 imbricate, usually pinnatifid lobes, enlarged and spreading stellately in fruit; ovary 3-loculed; ovule one in each locule; styles united at base into a column, 3-fid, free and spreading above. Fruits capsular, depressed, consisting of 3 bivalved cocci; endocarp crustaceous; seeds 3, globose; testa crustaceous; endosperm fleshy; cotyledons broad, flat.

Mainly in America and Africa, a few in Asia, ca 168 species; 7 species in India.

Literature. CHAKRABARTY, T. & N. P. BALAKRISHNAN (2006). The genera Megistostigma Hook.f. and Tragia L. (Euphorbiaceae) in India. Rheedea 16(1): 15 – 28.



KEY TO THE SPECIES


1a. Leaves palmately 3-lobed 5. Tragia plukenettii
b. Leaves unlobed 2
2a. Leaves rounded, obtuse, acute to cuneate at base 3
b. Leaves cordate or narrowly so at base 4
3a. Leaves 6 – 12 times longer than broad, 4 – 20 cm long, 0.4 – 2.6 cm broad, irregularly and distantly serrulate to entire along margins, attenuate or attenuate-caudate at apex, penninerved or very weakly trinerved at base with the basal lateral nerves extending 10 – 30 % way up the lamina; secondary venation mostly brochidodromous; lateral nerves 7 – 15 per side above the basal; fruiting calyx lobes very small (0.3 – 2 mm long) 7. Tragia sanjappae
b. Leaves 1.5 – 5 times longer than broad, 3.5 – 16 x 1 – 6.5 cm, serrate to serrulate or dentate to denticulate along margins, caudate at apex, prominently trinerved at base with the basal lateral nerves extending 30 – 80 % way up the lamina; secondary venation predominantly semicraspedromous or often craspedromous; lateral nerves 3 – 7 per side; fruiting calyx lobes larger (1.5 – 3 mm long) 3. Tragia involucrata
4a. Mature branches, leaves and petioles usually glabrous to subglabrous; main body of fruiting sepals ovate to broadly ovate with lacerate-fimbriate margins, usually enclosing the fruits 4. Tragia montana
b. Mature branches, leaves and petioles usually hispid or hirsute; main body of fruiting sepals linear or narrowly oblong or spathulate with 4 – 8 linear or narrowly oblong lobes per side, spreading stellately in fruit 5
5a. Young shoots, upper branches and leaves densely golden yellow tomentose (mainly confined to the Nilgiri and Pulney hills) 1. Tragia bicolor
b. Young shoots, upper branches and leaves scattered fulvous hirsute 6
6a. Leaves 4 – 6 times longer than broad (5 – 14 x 1 – 5 cm), lanceolate to oblong- lanceolate, entire or with 2 – 3 teeth towards base or remotely serrate or serrulate at the basal half along margins, attenuate to attenuate-caudate at apex; lateral nerves brochidodromous 2. Tragia hispida
b. Leaves 2 – 3 times longer than broad, ovate, cordate-ovate, ovate-oblong, ovate-elliptic, oblong, oblong-elliptic or deltoid-oblong, evenly serrate to serrulate or dentate to denticulate along margins, caudate or acuminate at apex; lateral nerves craspedromous to semicraspedromous 6. Tragia praetervisa


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