Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Ginalloa Korth.

Semiparasitic shrubs, less than 1 m high, monoecious, glabrous; stems di- or trichotomously branched, with terete slender internodes, bearing a sheath-like thickening (cataphylls) above each node. Leaves normally developed, entire, opposite, unifacial, curvinerved, often with 1 - 5 elongated veins, usually visible on both surfaces; rudimentary leaves forming a boat-shaped collar encircling the stems. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, in spikes of decussate pairs of cymes (triads); flowers unisexual, sessile, the central flower of the triad usually being female and the laterals male; bracts small, in pairs, bracts of each pair of opposite cymes united to form a cupular rim; bracteoles of the lateral flowers subtending each cymule, small, free, entire to densely fimbriate. Male flowers: globose or slightly flattened, 0.5 - 1 mm long; perianth lobes 3, free, triangular, valvate; stamens 3, free from perianth segments; filaments short; anthers basifixed, disc-shaped, opening by longitudinal slits. Female flowers: cylindrical or narrowly ellipsoid; ca 2 mm long; perianth 3-merous; lobes 3, united, persistent, triangular to suborbicular; ovary inferior; style short and stigma mamilliform. Fruits narrow, ovoid to ellipsoid, smooth or tuberculate, crowned by persistent perianth lobes, bright red in colour with viscous pericarp.

India to Sri Lanka, eastwards and south-eastwards through Malesia to New Guinea and Solomon Islands, ca 8 species; 2 species in India (Andaman Islands).

Notes. The basic inflorescence unit is a small dichasium (a cymule which is a triad), usually with both male and female flowers. The spicately arranged cymule is a consistent feature of Ginalloa, although in some species the flowers are solitary.


1a. Leaves stiffly coriaceous, 1 – 4 cm broad; flowers sunk in the fleshy rachis of the spikes and by a thin dilation of the rachis 1. Ginalloa andamanica
b. Leaves thinly coriaceous, 0.5 – 1 cm broad; flowers enclosed in a cupular bract 2. Ginalloa helferi

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