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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/14/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/14/2013)
PlaceOfPublication Gen. P1. 2:227. 1840. nom. conserv.
Synonym Calacinum Raf. Fl. Tellur. 2:3 3. 1 8 3 6. Karkinetron Raf. Fl. Tellur. 5:11. 1836. Sarcogonum G. Don. in Sweet, Hort. Brit. 3:577. 1839. Conobaea Bert. in Steud. Nom. Bot. 21:404. 1840.
Description Flowers polygamo-subdioecious (perfect in some spp. outside Panama), with short pedicels articulated at the base of the tepals, 1-5 (-many) in fascicles sub- tended by telescoped ochreolae. Tepals 5 (6, 4), subequal, greenish white, slightly accrescent and becoming more or less fused with the achene basally. Stamens 8 (-10), 1-3 mm. long, inserted on the base of the tepals, discrete or forming an inconspicuous annular disc, reduced or absent in pistillate flowers; anthers 4-locular, introrse, versatile. Ovary trigonous, reduced or absent in staminate flowers; styles 3, short, arcuate; stigmata capitate, lobate, or fimbrillate. Achenes mostly included, bluntly to acutely triquetrous, dark, lustrous, often puncticulate. Scramblers or low matted shrubs with usually glabrous, often sulcate stems. Leaves alternate, entire, apically acuminate to acute, basally hastate, cordate or acute, the blades usually exceeding the petioles; ochreae hyaline and conspicuous, deciduous. Inflorescences of axillary panicles, racemes or glomerules, occasionally leafy.
Distribution This genus of some twenty species occurs chiefly in tropical American and Australian areas, often in alpine regions.
Note In Central America are two indigens, M. tamnifolia and M. volcanica. Only M. tamnifolia has been collected in Panama. M. volcanica, a low mat-forming alpine shrub with the flowers solitary or fascicu- late in the axils of the small elliptic leaves, inhabits the high mountains of Guate- mala and western South America from Bolivia to Ecuador. M. platyclada, with the stem conspicuously flattened, is often cultivated in the Americas as a bizarre ornamental. It is a native of the Solomon Islands.
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