Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Shrubs or undershrubs, sometimes nearly herbaceous, deciduous or evergreen, monoecious or dioecious. Leaves distichous, shortly petiolate, stipulate. Inflorescences axillary clusters representing reduced cymules, unisexual or bisexual, when bisexual the first or central flower being female and the others male. Male flowers: several in each cymule; pedicels slender; calyx-lobes 5 (or 6), with a single midvein; petals absent; disc annular or patelliform, partially adnate to the calyx; stamens 5, united at base into a column; anthers extrorse, laterally dehiscent; pollen grains tricolporate, finely reticulate, colpus transversalis elliptic and costate; pistillode projecting from the top of the staminal column. Female flowers: solitary or rarely 2-together; pedicels long; calyx-lobes 5; disc annular; ovary glabrous, 3-locular; ovules 2 in each locule, anatropous; styles 3, each bifid; stigma clavate. Fruits capsular, thin-walled, conspicuously reticulate-veined; seeds 1 (when one ovule in each locule get aborted) or 2 per locule, ecarunculate, strongly curved and reniform in outline, deeply or shallowly foveolate-pitted; embryo embedded in copious endosperm; cotyledons flat, thin, broader than radicle.

Disjunct in New World (Mexico to Columbia and Brazil) and Old World (South India, Sri Lanka and NE. India), ca 28 species; 4 species in India.

Literature. WEBSTER, G. L. (1965). A revision of the genus Meineckia (Euphorbiaceae). Acta Bot. Neerl. 14: 323 - 365.


1 a. Leaves acute, subacute, rounded or apiculate at apex at apex, 2 - 6 cm long; fruiting pedicels 1 – 2.5 cm long 4. Meineckia parvifolia
b. Leaves acuminate at apex, mostly 5 - 10 cm long or more; fruiting pedicels 2 – 9 cm long 2
2 a. Petioles 2.5 - 6.5 cm long; fruiting pedicels ca 2 cm long 3. Meineckia macropus
b. Petioles up to 1.3 cm long; fruiting pedicels 5 cm or more long 3
3 a. Leaves narrowed at base; veinlets prominent beneath; stipules 1.2 – 1.7 mm wide; female calyx lobes 2.5 mm or more long 1. Meineckia calycina
b. Leaves mostly unequal at base; veinlets not prominent beneath; stipules 0.7 – 1 mm wide; female calyx lobes up to 2 mm long 2. Meineckia longipes

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