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Bridelia Willd., nom. & orth. cons.

Shrubs or trees, sometimes scandent or climbing, monoecious, usually pubescent with simple hairs, sometimes glabrous. Leaves simple, alternate, symmetric, often smaller towards apices of twigs, mostly entire or sometimes shallowly crenate along margins, often glossy above and glaucous beneath, penninerved; lateral nerves usually close, straight and parallel, terminating at margins into the marginal veins or joining the super-adjacents forming loops, occasionally both types mixed; tertiary nerves mostly percurrent and unbranched or forked,sometimes scalariform; nervules reticulate; petioles up to 15 mm long; stipules usually deciduous. Inflorescences axillary, glomerulate, arising along main leafy branches, sometimes on lateral small-leaved or leafless branchlets, or in terminal leafless panicles. Male flowers: sessile or shortly pedicellate; sepals 5, shortly connate at base, valvate, triangular to ovate; petals 5, alternate to sepals, small, free, thin; disc thick-disciform; stamens 5; filaments connate below into a column, free and spreading above; anthers ovoid to ellipsoid-oblong, basifixed or dorsifixed, introrse, longitudinally dehiscent; pistillode at the apex of the column, small. Female flowers: sessile or shortly pedicellate; calyx and petals as in male; disc annular, with additional thin tubular inner disc, enclosing the ovary, latter splitting into scales during fruiting; ovary 1 or 2- locular, biovulate; ovules anatropous; styles 2, free or shortly connate at base, bifid above. Fruits drupaceous, globose or ellipsoid, 1 or 2-locular, unlobed or shallowly bilobed; mesocarp fleshy; endocarp hard; seeds 1 or 2 per fruit, often with a longitudinal groove; testa smooth; embryo straight to curved; cotyledons foliaceous; endosperm fleshy or membranous.

Old World, mainly Asian, ca 50 species; 10 species in India.

Literature. DRESSLER, S, (1996). The genus Bridelia (Euphorbiaceae) in Malesia and Indochina. Blumea 41(2): 263 - 331. CHAKRABARTY, T., M. GANGOPADHYAY & N. P. BALAKRISHNAN (2002). A revision of the genus Bridelia Willd. (Euphorbiaceae) for the Indian subcontinent. J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 26: 311 - 330.


1 a. Flowers 6 - 12 mm in diam. 8. Bridelia stipularis
b. Flowers up to 5.5 mm in diam. 2
2 a. Lateral nerves of leaves terminating directly at the margins 3
b. Lateral nerves of leaves not terminating directly at the margins 8
3 a. Fruits with 3 - 4 mm long pedicels; inflorescences mostly borne on terminal and leafless branches (up to 35 cm long) 6. Bridelia retusa
b. Fruits sessile to subsessile; inflorescences borne on main leafy branches 4
4 a. Fruits 1-locular 5
b. Fruits 2-locular 6
5 a. Branchlets glabrous; leaves glabrous, glaucous beneath; bracts characteristically brown to orange brown when dry and almost hyaline 10. Bridelia verrucosa
b. Branchlets tomentellous; leaves pilose on nerves beneath, not glaucous; bracts not as above 1. Bridelia assamica
6 a. Leaves cuneate-obovate to rhombate; lateral nerves predominantly bifurcating mid way, most of them joining the superadjacents forming loops or a few (ca 20%) terminating directly at margins 3. Bridelia montana
b. Leaves mostly oblong to elliptic or narrowly so, sometimes tending to be obovate; lateral nerves predominantly unbranched and always terminating directly at margins 7
7 a. Leaves glabrous, mostly rounded, obtuse or subacute at apex; nerves conspicuously raised on the upper surface 5. Bridelia ovata
b. Leaves often tomentellous beneath (var. tomentosa), acute, attenuate or shortly acuminate at apex; nerves inconspicuous or much less prominent on the upper surface 9. Bridelia tomentosa
8 a. Fruits pedicellate 9
b. Fruits sessile 10
9 a. Plants pubescent; tertiary nerves of leaves inconspicuous to prominent on the upper surface, conspicuous beneath; ovary 1-loculed; fruits 1-locular 2. Bridelia glauca
b. Plants glabrous; tertiary nerves of leaves prominent to very prominent on the upper surface, inconspicuous to faint beneath; ovary 2-locular; fruits 2-locular or by abortion 1-locular 7. Bridelia sikkimensis
10a. Ovary and fruits 2-locular 3. Bridelia montana
b. Ovary and fruits 1-locular 4. Bridelia nicobarica

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