Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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T. Chakrabarty & N. P. Balakrishnan

Evergreen shrubs or small trees, dioecious, rarely polygamo-dioecious, inermous, glabrous, without milky latex, sometimes containing very poisonous alkaloids. Leaves crowded towards the apices of branchlets, spirally arranged or pseudo-verticillate or subopposite, simple, usually entire and revolute along margins, exstipulate, penninerved. Inflorescences axillary, rarely subterminal, racemiform, few-flowered, sometimes the upper flowers umbelliform; bracts at the base of inflorescences, in 1- several whorls, imbricate, caducous. Flowers: small, unisexual, actinomorphic, pedicels angular or flat, rarely pendent. Male flowers: sepals absent or 3 - 8, free or shortly connate at base, imbricate, persistent or caducous; petals and disc absent; stamens (5 -) 6 - 12 (- 14), free, whorled and radiating from apex of receptacle; filaments free or connate at base; anthers 2-locular, lunate, introrse or extrorse, opening by lateral longitudinal slits; the connective prominent below thecae, sometimes apiculate or produced at apex; pistillode absent. Female flowers: sepals as in male; petals and disc absent; staminodes absent or rarely small, 5 - 10 on ovary; ovary superior, imperfectly 2-locular; styles 1 or 2 (- 4), shorter than ovary, recurved; stigmas 2 (- 4), divaricate, enlarged, recurved or circinnate, mostly persistent; ovules 2 or rarely 1 per locule, axile or parietal, anatropous, pendulous with dorsal raphe, bitegmic, crassinucellate. Fruits drupaceous, obovoid, oblong-ellipsoid or subglobose, 1-locular; seeds 1 (or 2), with thin testa; endosperm copious, bluish, fleshy and oily; embryo straight, cylindrical, minute; cotyledons not broadened.

Himalayas, South-western hills of India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Indo-china, China, Japan and Malesia, monotypic family with ca 10 species; 2 species in India.

Literature. HUANG, T. C. (1965 & 1966). A revision of the genus Daphniphyllum in Asia. Taiwania 11: 57 - 98 & 12: 137 - 234.

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