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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/29/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/29/2013)
PlaceOfPublication Sp. P1. 774. 1753
Reference Gen. PI. ed. 5, 304, 1754.
Synonym Visenia Houtt., Nat. Hist. 2(8): 308. 1778. Altheria Du Petit-Thouars, Gen. Nov. Madag. 19. 1806 (1808?). Riedlea Ventenat, Mem. Math. Phys. Inst. Nat. Fr. 1: 2. 1807. Mougeotia H. B. K., Nov. Gen. Sp. PI. 5: 326. 1823. Aleurodendron Reinwardt, Syll. PI. Nov. (Ratisb.) 2: 12. 1828. Polychlaena G. Don, Gen. Syst. Gard. Bot. 1: 488. 1831. Physodium Presl, Rel. Haenk. 2: 150. 1835. Lochemia Arnott, Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., ser.2, 11: 172, 1839. Anamorpha Karst. & Triana, Linnaea 28: 443. 1856. Physocodon Turcz., Bull. Soc. Imp. Nat. Moscou 31(1): 212. 1858.
Description Herbs, undershrubs or shrubs, infrequently small trees, the pubescence of simple or stellate hairs, sometimes of gland-tipped hairs. Leaves alternate, simple, petiolate, stipulate, the stipules deciduous, the blade crenate or serrate, usually 5- nerved at the base. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, rarely oppositifolious, panic- uliform or of cymose clusters, the clusters sessile or pedunculate, forming some- times interrupted or continuous, leafy spikes. Flowers hermaphrodite, actinomor- phous, often heterostyled, sessile or pedicellate, generally bracteolate, the bracts persistent; calyx gamosepalous, 5(6)-lobate or -lobulate, persistent or sometimes accrescent; petals 5, unguiculate at the base, more or less long-adnate to the base of the staminal tube, contorted, marcescent; stamens 5, more or less long-monadel- phous, the anthers 2-thecate, the thecae parallel, extrorse, more or less medifixus, longitudinally dehiscent; staminodes none or infrequently obsolete; ovary sessile or sometimes shortly stipitate, 5-celled, the cells oppositipetalous, 2-ovulate; styles 5, free or connate at the base, the stigmas minutely tuberculate or plumose-papil- late. Capsules sessile or shortly stipitate, globose and 5-lobate or pyramidal and sometimes 5-winged, 5-celled, each cell 1-seeded, rarely 2-seeded, the dehiscence either loculicidal or septicidal, the capsule separating into 5 cocci, each coccus opening by the inner angle or splitting completely into 2 valves; seeds small, ascending, 3-angular, dorsally convex, rarely winged, albuminous; embryo straight; cotyledons flat.
Habit Herb shrub
Distribution A pantropical genus of about 65 species, especially well represented in tropical America; five species, of which one is introduced (M. corchorifolia), are reported at the present time from Panama.
Key a. Cocci opening along the inner angle. b. Inflorescences of solitary or mostly fascicled, shortly pedunculate, umbelli- form cymes; flowers shortly pedicellate, the pedicel 2.2-3 mm. long; calyx much-accrescent; petals white; ovary very shortly stipitate .... 1. M. LUPULINA bb. Inflorescences of dense, sessile or subsessile, more or less globose clusters; flowers sessile or subsessile; calyx persistent; petals pink; ovary sessile ...........................................................2. M. NODIFLORA aa. Cocci splitting completely into 2 valves. c. Inflorescences of axillary or terminal, sessile or shortly pedunculate cymes; flowers 2.5-5.5 mm. long; staminal tube glabrous; leaves long-petiolate, sparsely pubescent. d. Inflorescences and flowers sessile or subsessile; calyx outside and cap- sules hispidulous and with simple or stellate hairs; ovary sericeous; styles free. e. Young stems hispidulous all round; flowers 2.5-3.4 mm. long; calyx ca. 1.5-2 mm. long; capsule ca. 1.8-2.5 mm. long and 2.5-3 mm. in diam.; seed ca. 1.4-1.8 mm. long ... 3. M. MELISSIFOLIA ee. Young stems puberulous and with a row of hairs decurrent from the stipule-bases; flowers 4.5-5.5 mm. long; calyx ca. 3 mm. long; capsule ca. 3.5-4 mm. long and 4-5 mm. in diam.; seed 3-3.4 mm. long .4. M. CORCHORIFOLIA dd. Inflorescences shortly pedunculate; flowers shortly pedicellate, the pedicel 1.5-4 mm. long; calyx outside and capsules hispidulous and chiefly with gland-tipped hairs; ovary nearly glabrous; styles connate at the base .5. M. MANDUCATA cc. Inflorescences of axillary and terminal, dense, sessile or subsessile clusters forming interrupted or continuous, leafy spikes; flowers 7-8.5 mm. long; staminal tube generally sparsely hirtellous; leaves shortly petiolate, densely pubescent .6. M. VILLOSA
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