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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/28/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/28/2013)
Description Herbs, shrubs, or trees, sometimes scandent, the stems frequently swollen at the nodes, particularly in the herbaceous genera, and sometimes armed with axillary spines. Leaves alternate, opposite, whorled, or approximate, simple, estipulate, entire. Flowers monochlamydeous, perfect or unisexual, in various cymose inflorescences, occasionally solitary, the bracteoles often enlarged and involucrate, herbaceous or petalaceous and enclosing one or more flowers. Perianth monochlamydeous, herbaceous or petalaceous, tubular to infundibuliform, cam- panulate, urceolate, or salverform, involute-plicate in aestivation, the base of the tube persistent in fruit, the limb persistent or deciduous. Stamens 1 to many, hypogynous, the filaments unequal, usually united at the base, the anthers included or exserted, dorsifixed near the base. Ovary 1-celled, containing a solitary basal ovule; style elongate, short, or lacking. Fruit a fleshy, coriaceous, or woody anthocarp, occasionally bearing viscid stipitate glands.
Habit Herbs, shrubs, or trees
Distribution Nyctaginaceae are an essentially tropical and subtropical family, particularly in the New World.
Note The Four-o'clock Family is represented in Panama by five indigenous genera, but more familiar to the general public are the introduced genera Bougainvillea and Mirabilis. Bougainvillea, almost ubiquitously planted as an ornamental woody vine because of its handsome clusters of three showy magenta, red, pink, white, or yellow bracts subtending the inconspicuous flowers, is a South American genus which does not appear to naturalize readily in Panama. The plants variously are referred to B. glabra Choisy and B. spectabilis Willd. It usually is known by its Latin name, or by the vernacular veranera and flor de verano because of its habit of blooming in the dry season. Mirabilis jalapa L., the common four-o'clock of the English, is a herb with showy red, white, yellow, or variegated flowers set in individual green calyx-like involucres. It is cultivated in gardens and escapes as a vigorous weed in waste ground and roadsides. It is known locally as maravilla and buenas tardes because of its vespertine blooms. The taxonomy of the Nyctaginaceae, particularly of the woody dioecious genera, is very confused. It seems entirely possible that interspecific hybridization may be one factor responsible for obscuring the lines of the species. The species bibliographies which follow are frankly provisional; to some, additional synonyms will have to be added from the South American literature and some such names possibly will have to take precedence over the Central American which are adopted here. The detailed study essential to a competent treatment unfortunately is beyond the scope of this flora.
Key A. Herbs; flowers bisexual . ................... 1. BOERHAVIA AA. Trees, shrubs, and woody lianas; flowers unisexual, dioecious. B. Staminate flowers with deeply included stamens; pistillate flowers with the ovary sessile and free from the staminodes; bracteoles borne immediately beneath the perianths; plants unarmed. C. Stamens 25-30; staminate perianths broadly campanulate; anthocarps woody, not glandular, the perianth limb persistent. 2. CEPHALOTOMANDRA CC. Stamens 5-10, usually 8; staminate perianths tubular to urceolate; anthocarps fleshy, the perianth limb withering and at length abscissing.............................................................. 3. NEEA BB. Staminate flowers campanulate, with widely exserted stamens; pistillate flowers with the ovary stipitate. C. Plants unarmed; anthocarps fleshy, not glandular, the perianth limb persistent; bracteoles borne immediately beneath the peri- anths; pistillate flowers with the staminodes about as long as the ovary and bearing conspicuous sterile anthers .---------------- 4. GUAPIRA CC. Plants usually armed with stout axillary spines; anthocarps coriaceous, armed with conspicuous stipitate glands; bracteoles not borne immediately beneath the perianths; pistillate flowers with the staminodes reduced to a low, occasionally minutely glandular-dentate disc .............................. . .... 5. PISONIA
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