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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/19/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 9/19/2013)
Genus Biophytum DC.
PlaceOfPublication Prodr. 1: 140. 1824.
Note LECTOTYPE: B. sensitivum (L.) DC.
Synonym Oxalis L. sect. Biophytum Endl., Gen. 1172. 1840. Toddavaddia Kuntze, Rev. Gen. P1. 1: 96. 1891.
Description Herbs or subshrubs, erect or decumbent, the base sometimes ligneous; stems generally bearing a ring of rigid, retrorse pubescene at the apex. Leaves fascic- ulate at the stem apex, imparipinnate, the terminal leaflet reduced to a bristle- like mucro; leaflets subsessile, the pairs gradually modified in shape and size upwards, the lower pairs usually subtriangular or ovate, smaller, petiolule minute, broader than long, fleshy; petiole short, thick, articulating at the rachis, the bases persistent on the stem. Inflorescences of cymes, globose or cylindric; peduncu- late; bracts subulate, situated at the insertion of the peduncles; bracteoles spirally overlapping; pedicels shorter or longer than the bracteoles, articulate near the base, the flowers opening successively, often only 1 or 2 to several seen opened to different degrees. Flowers white to red; sepals almost free, imbricate; petals connate near the middle; stamens short-connate at the base, all fertile or some- times the shorter stamens reduced and sterile; ovary 5-lobed, the carpels 2-6- ovulate, the ovules in two rows alternating in length, the stigmas terminal, en- larged, bifid, subcapitate, papillose. Fruit a capsule covered by the calyx, the carpels 1-6-seeded, loculicidally dehiscent, the valves opening flat over the sepals in a star shape, remaining attached at the base; seeds 2-tegmic, the outer tegument opening and ejaculating the seed at maturity.
Habit Herbs or subshrubs
Distribution a pantropical genus of about 75 species. Five species occur in Panama, 3 of which are endemic.
Key a. Cymes glomeruliform or fusiform, 1-2 mm diameter; few-bracteolate. b. Pubescence hirsute, the hairs with thickened bases; bracteoles long setose ...... 1. B. dendroides bb. Pubescence very short, more or less appressed; bracteoles appressed ciliate ...... 5. B. soukupii aa. Cymes globose or cylidroid, ca. 5 mm diameter; bracteoles subtriangular, keeled. c. Peduncles ca. 10 cm long; calyx and capsule glabrous ...... 3. B. mucronatum cc. Peduncles to 2 cm long; calyx pubescent and glandular, the capsule pubescent at the apex. d. Leaflets oblong, the distal border obtuse, mucronate; petals white, the throat yellow ......4. B. panamense dd. Leaflets falcate, acute, mucronate; petals yellow, red-veined ...... 2. B. falcifolium
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