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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 5/9/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 5/9/2013)
Genus Halophila du Petit Thouars
PlaceOfPublication Gen. Nov. Madag. 2: 2. 1806.
Description Monoecious or dioecious marine herbs, tannin cells absent; rhizome mono- podial, creeping, rooting at the nodes with 1 or a few unramified roots closely set with fine root-hairs; 2 scales at each node, 1 embracing the rhizome, the other embracing an erect, lateral, often undeveloped shoot bearing the leaves (rarely with another 2 scales on the erect shoot below the leaves). Leaves paired, in pseudo-whorls or distichously arranged, sessile or petiolate, linear, lanceolate, oblong-elliptic, or ovate, entire or serrulate, rarely with scattered trichomes, a new shoot appearing between the leaves bearing scales, 1 or more pairs of leaves, and an inflorescence. Inflorescences with the spathe sessile, of 2 overlapping free membranous bracts, elliptic or obovate to suborbicular, acute or rounded to emarginate or indented, keeled, the keel sometimes serrulate, the margin entire, rarely ciliate or serrulate. Flowers unisexual, solitary, rarely 1 staminate and 1 carpellate flower in 1 spathe; staminate flowers pedicellate, the tepals 3, imbricate, the stamens 3, alternating with the tepals, the anthers sessile, 2- or 4-thecate, dehiscing lengthwise and extrorsely; carpellate flowers sessile or subsessile; ovary ellipsoid or ovoid, 1-loculed, with a long hypanthium crowned by the 3 reduced tepals apically, placentas parietal, protruding slightly into the ovary, the styles linear, 3-5. Fruits ovoid or globose, rostrate, 1-loculed, the pericarp membranous, seeds few to numerous, globose or subglobose; embryo of a well-developed large hypocotyl and a cotyledon of similar size, the plumule in the center of the depres- sion at the chalazal end of the hypocotyl, sheathed by the expanded base of the cotyledon, the cotyledon spirally coiled upon itself, the primary root absent.
Habit herbs
Distribution Widely distributed in all tropical seas, extending also into subtropical and even into warm-temperate waters. Of the eight species, two are known to occur in Panama.
Key a. Erect lateral shoots 1-10 mm long, with 2 basal scales, and bearing 1 pair of leaves; leaves with scattered stiff trichomes; plants monoecious .............. 1. H. decipiens aa. Erect lateral shoots 6-40 mm long, with 2 basal scales and 2 further scales ca. halfway up, and at the top a pseudo-whorl of 4-6 distinctly petiolate leaves; leaves glabrous; plants dioecious ............. 2. H. baillonis
 
 
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