Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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B.D. Naithani

Small trees or erect or creeping shrubs or herbs with woody base; stems and branches with swollen nodes, occasionally beset with rows of spines. Leaves alternate, distichous, 1 - 3-foliolate or 1 - 4-pinnate, often with caducous pearl glands beneath; petioles variously dilated into long and narrow or short and broad, sheathing, persistent or caducous stipules. Flowers greenish, white or red to orange-yellow, bisexual, usually many in leaf-opposed, condensed or laxly branched, bracteate, cymose inflorescence. Sepals 4 - 5, connate into a cupular calyx with triangular lobes, glandular at apex. Petals 4 - 5, partially connate below at a line and adnate to stamina1 tube forming a rim on which stamens are inserted, choripetalous towards base, valvate above in bud and reflexed at maturity. Staminodial tube free above and below line of attachment, 4 - 5, lobed at apex, lower portion forming a collar, usually free, sometimes extending as far as ovary. Stamens, 4 - 5; filaments extending over to staminodial tube through sinus; anthers tetrasporangiate, syngenesious, rarely free; pollen tricolporate, suboblate to subprolate. Carpels 4(-5), connate into a superior ovary incompletely divided into 4 - 6(-8) apparent locules; ovules solitary in each locule, basal; style short; stigma slightly thickened. Berry depressed, Subglobose. Seeds wedge shaped; endosperm ruminate.

Mostly in tropical and subtropical regions of S.B. Asia, Malesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, Australia and tropical Africa, monogeneric; ca 34 species, 11 species in India.

Literature. CLARKE, C.B. (1881) A revision of the Indian species of Leea. J. Bot. 19: 100 - 106; 135 - 142 & 163 - 167. RIDSDALE, C.E. (1974) A revision of the family Leeaceae. Blumea 22: 57 - 100. RIDSDALE, C.E. (1976). Leeaceae. Fl. Malesiana. 1.7: 759 - 782.

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