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Published In: Characteres Generum Plantarum [second edition] 145–146, pl. 73. 1776. (Char. Gen. Pl. (ed. 2)) 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: A. RADCLIFFE-SMITH
General/Distribution: An lndo-Pacific genus of 25 species, some being widely cultivated, three of these in Pakistan.


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Monoecious or apparently dioecious shrubs or small trees with or without a simpe indumentum, often blackening on drying. Cataphylls present, as in Phyllanthus (q v.). Leaves alternate, shortly petiolate, stipulate, simple, entire, penninerved, arranged on shoots of limited growth (plagiotropic shoots). Flowers axillary, the ♂'s fasciculate or solitary in the proximal axils, the ♀'s solitary in the distal axils. Male flowers: pedicels often capillary; calyx obconic or turbinate; calyx-lobes 6, imbricate, the distal halves sharply inflexed with their apices almost touching the androecium; petals 0; disc 0; stamens 3, united to form a short column, anthers elongate, the cells linear, extrorse, adnate to the column, longitudinally dehiscent; pistillode 0. Female flowers: pedicels capillary or not; calyx-lobes 6, imbricate, not inflexed, usually larger than those of the ♂ flower, accrescent; disc 0; ovary 3-celled, with 2 ovules per cell; styles 3, free, short, erect, simple or bifid. Fruit tardily and often incompletely loculicidally dehiscent; exocarp sometimes somewhat fleshy; endocarp crustaceous. Seeds trigonous, ecarunculate.

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1 Leaves not usually exceeding 2.5 cm in length, closely-set; male fls. 2 mm in diam.; female calyx-lobes ovate-suborbicular, acutely acuminate; fruiting calyx not exceeding the fruit in diameter 1 Breynia vitis-idaea
+ Leaves commonly 3 cm or more in length, closely set or not; male fls. up to 4 mm in diam.; female calyx-lobes transversely ovate, not or scarcely acuminate; fruiting calyx sometimes equalling or exceeding the fruit in diameter (2)
2 (1) Leaves acute or obtuse, concolorous 2 Breynia cernua
+ Leaves obtuse, rounded or emarginate, variegated
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