Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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R.K. Basak

Trees or shrubs, usually with bitter substances; twigs pithy, hairy or glandular. Leaves alternate to spiral, usually pinnate, rarely simple; stipules absent or caducous. Inflorescence axillary or rarely terminal, usually compound racemes or corymbose panicles, pubescent. Flowers 3 - 5-merous, usually small, regular, unisexual or bisexual, many or few. Calyx 3 - 5-lobed, partly connate or free. Petals 3 - 5, free, variously coloured. Disk annular or elongate, simple or lobed. Stamens as many as or twice the number of petals, rarely numerous, free; filaments slender, often with a scale at base; anthers oblong, dehiscing longitudinally. Carpels 1 - 5, free or connate, 2 - 5-lobed; Ovules solitary in each locule; styles 1 - 5, distinct or connate; stigmas connate or free. Fruits drupes, samaras or schizocarps; seeds solitary with membranous or leathery testa.

Tropical and subtropical regions of both the hemispheres, particularly in tropical America (Mexico to Argentina, tropical west Africa and southeast Asia), 30 genera and ca 200 species; 5 genera and 11 species in India.

Literature. NOOTEBOOM, H.P.(1962). Simaroubaceae In: STEENIS, Fl. Males. ser. 1. 6: 193 - 226; BASAK,R.K. (1980). Fasc. Fl. India 4: 1 - 24

Notes. Genus Balanites Del. is treated under Zygophyllaceae.


1a. Leaves simple 5. Samadera
b. Leaves compound 2
2a. Branches unarmed; flowers bisexual 3. Harrisonia
b. Branches armed; flowers unisexual, or both uni- and bisexual 3
3a. Stipules present but caducous; sepals and petals persistent in fruit 4. Picrasma
b. Stipules absent; sepals and petals not persistent 4
4a. Stamens twice as many as petals; fruits winged 1. Ailanthus
b. Stamens as many as petals; fruits not winged 2. Brucea

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