Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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V. Chithra and A.N. Henry

Trees or shrubs, secreting resin or oil. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite or spiral, usually more or less crowded at the ends of branchlets, imparipinnate, rarely unifoliolate. Inflorescence racemose or paniculate, axillary or terminal, often crowded at the ends of branchlets. Flowers small, unisexual or bisexual, actinomorphic, 3 - 6-merous, greenish to creamy. Bracts and bracteoles usually deltoid to subulate. Sepals variously connate, imbricate or valvate. Petals free or variously connate, imbricate or valvate. Disk annular or cupular, free or adnate to calyx, intrastaminal, crenate, rarely pilose. Stamens usually twice as many as petals, obdiplostemonous when two whorls are present, only slightly reduced in female flowers; filaments free or more or less united, inserted below or on the disk, sometimes pubescent; anthers bilocular, dorsifixed, introrse, dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary superior, 2 - 5 locular, ovules 2 per locule on axile placenta, usually pendulous; style simple; stigma capitate or slightly lobed; gynoecium reduced to a pistillode, or absent in male flowers. Fruits drupaceous, indehiscent, with 2 - 5 pyrenes, or dehiscent and pseudocapsular; seeds solitary, pendulous, non endospermous, contortuplicate; cotyledons fleshy, containing oil; testa membranous.

Throughout the tropics; ca 16 genera and 550 species, 7 genera and 19 species in India.

Literature. ENGLER, A.(1883). Burseraceae In: A.& C.DC., Monogr. Phan. 4: 1 - 169. ENGLER, A. (1931). Burseraceae In: ENGLER, A. & K. PRANTL, Nat. Pflanzenfam. ed. 2, 19a: 405-456. LEENHOUTS, P.W. (in collaboration with KALKMAN, C. & H J. LAM 1956). Burseraceae. In: STEENIS, Fl. Males. I, 5: 209 - 296.


1a. Fruits capsular 1. Boswellia
b. Fruits drupaceous 2
2a. Flowers 3-merous 3
b. Flowers 4-6 merous 4
3a. Stipuls present; fruits ellipsoid; pyrene thick-walled, bony 3. Canarium
b. Stipule absent; fruits ovoid, slightly oblique; pyrene thin-walled, papyraceous to crustaceous 5. Dacryodes
4a. Leaf rachis winged 2. Bursera
b. Leaf rachis not winged 5
5a. Disk annular 7. Protium
b. Disk cup-shaped 6
6a. Disk adnate to calyx 6. Garuga
b. Disk free 4. Commiphora

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