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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 385. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. 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)
General/Distribution: A genus of about 100 species; distributed in deserts and steppes from Mediterranean to Central Asia, South Africa and Australia.


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Perennial, rarely annual, diffusely branched, xerophytic or halophytic undershrubs or prostrate herbs. Leaves opposite, usually 1-2-foliolate, rarely more than 2-foliolate or simple: stipules rarely thorny; leaflets cylindrical or flat, usually fleshy or leathery. Flowers solitary axillary, pedicellate, actinomorphic, hypogynous, 4-5-merous, white or yellow, sometimes with a purple or red basal spot; disc fleshy, angular, cup-shaped or concave. Sepals 4-5, persistent or deciduous, imbricate. Petals 4-5, free, with or without a claw, imbricate or contorted. Stamens 8-10, inserted at the base of the disc, filaments usually longer than petals, filiform, usually appendaged with a membranous scale within the base, rarely unappendaged, anthers oblong-ovate to rotundate. Carpels 4-5, united; ovary sessile, 4-5-angled, (2.3-) 4-5-loculed, each locule with 2 or more, superposed, pendulous ovules; style angular, stigma minute. Fruit 4-5-angled or winged, septicidal, loculicidal or indehiscent capsule, with 1 or more seeds in each locule. Seeds pendulous, endospermous; embryo straight with oblong cotyledons.

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1 Leaves pinnately bifoliolate (2)
+ Leaves simple (3)
2 (1) Leaflets flat, obovate-oblong, 15-26 mm long. Flowers c. 10 mm across. Capsule oblong-cylindric, 20-25 mm long Zygophyllum fabago
+ Leaflets oblong-cylindric to semi-cylindric, 5-10 mm long. Flowers c. 6. 6-8 mm across. Capsule narrowly oblong, 10-13 mm long
3 (1) Annual, less than 20 cm tall, pale-green herb. Leaves oblong-cylindric, sessile. Capsule small, turbinate, pentagonal, without wings Zygophyllum simplex
+ Perennial, 50-250 cm tall shrubs. Leaves flat, oblong-obovate-spathulate or subrotundate to almost rotundate. Capsule large, 4-5-winged (4)
4 (3) Flowers tetramerous. Stamens 8. Capsule 4-winged Zygophyllum eurypterum
+ Flowers pentameous. Stamens 10. Capsule 5-winged (5)
5 (4) Flowers creamy white; pedicel c. 10 mm long Sepals equal in size. Staminal scale oblong. Capsule 1.5-2 (-2.5) cm broad Zygophyllum atriplicoides
+ Flowers yellow; pedicel c. 4 mm long. Sepals unequal in size. Staminal scales ovate. Capsule 3-4.5 cm long, 3-4 cm broad Zygophyllum megacarpum
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