Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Tree or shrubs, erect or climbing; stems sometimes producing rootlets thorny and buttressed at base. Leaves simple, alternate, spiral, opposite 01 decussate, margins crenate or entire, stipules cauducous. Inflorescence axillary and or tenninal, sometimes extra-axillary, cymose, thyrsoid, paniculate, racemose, fasciculate or solitary, usually bracteate. Flowers small, regular, bisexual or unisexual and then plants dioecious. Sepals 4-5, imbricate or valvate, free or united at base, usually persistent. Petals 4-5, contorted, imbricate, rarely valvate. free, rarely absent. Stamens 4 or 5, in a single whorl alternating with the petals (except in Nicobariodendron with 2 stamens); filaments inserted on the disc, on its margin or below it; anthers introrse; pollen grains tricolporate or triporate. Ovary 2-5-loculed, partly or entirely immersed in the disc; style distinct, short; stigma simple or lobed; ovules mostly 2 in each locule. Disc fleshy or membranous, cupular or patelliform, entire. Fruits capsular, or drupaceous. Seeds arillate or exarillate, sometimes winged; endosperm present (except in Kokoona).

Tropical and temperate regions of both the hemispheres, 87 genera and ca 780 species; 12 genera and 82 species in India.

Literature. BULLOCK, A.A. (1958). Nomina conservanda proposita. Taxon 7: 164. DING HOU (1962). Celastraceae I. In Fl Males. Ser. 1,6: 277-291. DING HOU (1964). Celastraceac II. In Fl. Males. Ser. 1,6: 389-421 . SIDDIQI, M.A. (1977):Celastraceae. In Fl. W. Pak. 109: 1- 15. LOESENER, L.E .T. (1942). In Engl. & Prantl, Pflanzenfam. ed. 2, 20 b. 100-200.


1a. Stamens 2 10. Nicobariodendron
b. Stamens 4 or 5 2
2a. Pistil not hollow in the apical part 3
b. Pistil hollow in the apical part 12. Siphonodon
3a. Leaves spirally arranged or alternate 4
b. Leaves decussate or opposite 6
4a. Venation cross-bar like; petiole thickened at the apex beneath; styles 2 1. Bhesa
b. Venation reticulate; petiole not thickened at the apex beneath; style 1 5
5a. Scandent shrubs, unanned; seeds completely enveloped by arils; ovary free from the disc 3. Celastrus
b. Erect shrubs or small trees, anned; seeds partly enveloped by arits; ovary embeded in the disc 8. Maytenus
6a. Petals united at base; disk inconspicuous; fruits splitting on one side, 1-seeded 9. Microtropis
b. Petals free; disk conspicuous; fruits splitting loculicidally, 3 to many-seeded 7
7a. Ovary 3-5 -loculed; ovules 1-18 in each locule 8
b. Ovary 2-loculed or one locule by abortion; ovules 2 in each locule 11
8a. Ovary 4-5 loculed; fruit 4-5 cornered or lobed; seeds with arils, not winged 9
b. Ovary 3-loculed; fruit 3-angled, lobed or winged; seeds without arils, winged 10
9a. Ovules 2 in each locule; during fruit deshicence the axis splitting completely together with valves 4. Euonymus
b. Ovule one in each locule; during fruit dehiscene the axis not splitting, free from the valves 5. Glyptopetalum
10a. Petals contorted, without appendage; seeds attached at their base 6. Kokoona
b. Petals imbricate. with appendages; seeds attached laterally or centrally 7. Lophopetalum
11a. Disc flat; anthers subglobose, connective not distinct; fruits with terminal persistent style 2. Cassine
b. Disc cupular, anthers ovoid, connective conspicuous; fruits with lateral persistent style 11. Pleurostylia

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