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Published In: Genera Plantarum 271. 1789. (4 Aug 1789) (Gen. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
Contributor Text: SULTANUL ABEDIN
Contributor Institution: Department of Botany, University of Karachi.
General/Distribution: A family of 88 genera and c. 2,300 species distributed in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions. In Pakistan it is represented by 19 genera with 94 specific and infraspecific taxa.
Comment/Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements: I am highly thankful to the authorities of the following herbaria for herbarium and library facilities: Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, Royal Botanic Garden , Kew; British Museum (Natural History), London; Linnean Society, London; Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh; Royal Botanical Museum and Herbarium, Copenhagen, Botanisches Museum, Berlin- Dahiem; Nationa d'Histoire Naturelle Laboratoire de phanerogamie, Paris; Conservatiore et Jardin Botaniques, Geneva; Karachi University Herbarium, Karachi; National Herbarium (Stewart Collection) Islamabad; Pakistan forest Institute Peshawar; Agricultural University Herbarium, Faisalabad (Lyallpur); Punjab University Herbarium, Lahore and P.C.S.I.R. Laboratories Herbarium, Peshawar and Karachi. I am also thankful to Dr. B.L. Bernardi, Geneva and Mr. J. Joseph, Karachi Seminary, Karachi for providing the latin diagnoses of the new taxa. My thanks are also due to Messrs Mr. S. Nazimuddin and Kamal Akhter Malik for checking the manuscript and for seeing it through the press. The financial assistance, received from the United States Department of Agriculture under P.L. 480, is greatly acknowledged.


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Annual or perennial herbs to shrubs or small trees, mucilaginous, pubescent. Leaves petiolate, stipulate, alternate or spirally arranged, simple, entire, lobed or parted. Flowers axillary, solitary, or in fascicles, racemes or panicles, sessile or pedicellate, bracteate or ebracteate, actinomorphic, usually bisexual, pentamerous. Calyx, free or connate, valvate, usually persistent; sepals (3-) 5 (-6). Corolla free, adnate at the base to the staminal tube and falling off with it, twisted; petals 5. Stamens usually numerous, monadelphous, staminal tube truncate to toothed at apex or divided into numerous filaments; anthers dorsifixed, monothecous, longitudinally dehiscent; pollen grains large, echinate. Carpels (2-) 5-many, usually in a single whorl, sometimes in 2 or more whorls; ovary (2-) 5-many loculed, each locule 1-many ovuled, placentation axile; style usually branched into as many as the number of carpels or sometimes twice the number of carpels or simple. Fruit a dry capsule or schizocarp, rarely baccate, usually dehiscent. Seeds with a little endosperm, reniform or obovoid, glabrous to densely hairy; embryo usually curved, sometimes straight; cotyledons folded or crumpled.

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1 Carpels in 1 whorl (2)
+ Carpels in 2 or more whorls Malope
2 (1) Style branches and stigmas as many as carpels or style undivided (3)
+ Style branches and stigmas twice the number of carpels, always 10 (16)
3 (2) Fruit a capsule or berry; carpels not separating (4)
+ Fruit schizocarpic; carpels (mericarps) usually separating (10)
4 (3) Style divided into 5 divergent branches. Seeds usually reniform (5)
+ Style 1, undivided, clavate or divided into very short branches. Seeds usually angular or obovoid (9)
5 (4) Flowers bisexual (6)
+ Flowers unisexual or both unisexual and bisexual flowers present on the same plant Kydia
6 (5) Epicalyx segments 5-many, linear to ovate, or absent (7)
+ Epicalyx segments 3, large, cordate Senra
7 (6) Calyx 5 toothed or lobed, regular, persistent, not spathaceous (8)
+ Calyx 2-3 lobed, irregular, caducous, spathaceous Abelmoschus
8 (7) Capsule winged Fioria
+ Capsule not winged Hibiscus
9 (4) Epicalyx segments 3-8, linear-lanceolate, caducous or persistent. Calyx without oil glands Thespesia
+ Epicalyx segments 3, large, cordate, leafy, persistent. Calyx with oil glands Gossypium
10 (3) Style branches filiform to narrowly clavate, acute, with decurrent stigmas (11)
+ Style branches with capitate or discoid stigmas (14)
11 (10) Epicalyx segments at least connate at the base (12)
+ Epicalyx segments free Malva
12 (11) Epicalyx segments 6-9. Central axis of fruit equal to or shorter than mericarps. Seeds radially ribbed (13)
+ Epicalyx segments usually 3. Central axis of fruit longer than mericarps. Seeds smooth or transversely ribbed Lavatera
13 (12) Flowers 30-50 mm across, petals 3-6 cm long. Staminal tube 5-angled, anthers yellowish. Mericarp sub-bilocular Alcea
+ Flowers 5-20 (-30) mm across, petals 0.8-1.6 cm long. Staminal tube cylindric, anthers purple or brownish-purple. Mericarp 1 loculed Althaea
14 (10) Epicalyx segments absent (in ours) (15)
+ Epicalyx segments present Malvastrum
15 (14) Mericarp usually 2 or more seeded, follicular Abutilon
+ Mericarp 1-seeded, not follicular Sida
16 (2) Flowers usually axillary, solitary. Epicalyx present (17)
+ Flowers in heads, subtended by bracts. Epicalyx absent Malachra
17 (16) Herbs or undershrubs. Petals never auriculate. Mericarps muricate, never fleshy (18)
+ Shrubs. Petals auriculate. Schizocarp smooth and fleshy like a berry Malvaviscus
18 (17) Leaves eglandular. Mericarps reticulately veined to armed but never with glochidiate spines Pavonia
+ Leaves always glandular on the midrib beneath. Mericarps armed with glochidiate spines Urena
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