Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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C.L. Malhotra

Herbs, annual, biennial or perennial. Leaves opposite or alternate, simple or compound; stipules usually 2. Peduncles usually solitary or axillary, 1-or more-flowered. Flowers often showy, bisexual, usually regular, rarely irregular, axillary, solitary or in pairs, racemose or in umbel-like clusters. Sepals 5, free. Petals as many as sepals. Stamens 10 or 5; alternate ones antherless in Erodium; filaments free or united at base; anthers 2-celled, versatile. Carpels free; ovary 5-lobed; styles 5, adnate to central axis or partially united; stigma terminal, linear or capitate; ovules 4-many in each locule. Fruits capsular, breaking up when ripe into 5 distinct, 1-seeded mericarps, often united to long-awned or opening by 5 valves; seeds few to many, attached to central axis of capsule.

Cosmopolitan, many are garden favourites; 5 genera and ca 750 species; 4 genera and 45 species in India including 11 cultivated species.

Literature. NASIR, Y.J. (1983). Geraniacoae. In: NASIR, E. & S.I. ALI, Fl. Pakistan 149: 1 - 43. YEO, P.F. (1986). Hardy Geraniums.


1a. Flowers zyaomorphic; posterior sepal produced into a slender nectariferous spur at base 4. Pelargonium
b. Flowers actinomorphic; posterior sepal not produced into a spur 2
2a. Perfect stamens 15, pentadelphous (5 sets of 3 stamens each) 3. Monsonia
b. Perfect stamens 5 - 10, not pentadelphous 3
3a. Leaves not longer than broad; stamens 10; stylar axis coiling upwards 2. Geranium
b. Leaves longer than broad; stamens 5; stylar axis spirally twisted below 1. Erodium

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