Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Shrubs or trees, dioecious, deciduous, rarely evergreen; indumentum absent; flowers appearing with young flush of leaves. Leaves simple, distichous, symmetric, entire, penninerved; petioles short; stipules entire or denticulate. Inflorescences axillary, fasciculate or a few fascicles on up to 1 cm long lateral branches; flowers bracteate, pedicelled; female flowers occasionally solitary. Male flowers: on long capillary pedicels; sepals 4, biseriate, the outer 2 smaller, entire or denticulate; petals absent; disc annular, adnate to the base of calyx; stamens 4; filaments free; anthers extrorse in bud, muticous, longitudinally dehiscent; pollen grains subglobose, 3- colporate, semitectate; pistillode absent. Female flowers: long-pedicelled; calyx and disc as in male; ovary 2 - 6-locular; ovules 2 in each locule, hemitropous; styles 2 - 6, free or connate at base into a column, bifid above. Fruits capsular, globose, irregularly dehiscent, the green exocarp usually separating from the thin endocarp; seeds 2 in each locule; outer sarcotesta fleshy, metallic blue; inner sclerotesta thick, woody, smooth or rugose, invaginated at chalazal end; endosperm copious; embryo straight or slightly curved; cotyledons thin and flat, longer than the radicle.

Tropical America, Africa, Asia and Australia, ca 14 species; one in India.

Literature. WEBSTER, G. L. (1979). A revision of Margaritaria (Euphorbiaceae). J. Arnold Arbor. 60: 403 - 444.

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