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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 4/8/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 4/8/2013)
Family PLUMBAGINACEAE
Contributor SUSAN VERHOEK-WILLIAMS
Description Herbs or subshrubs, perennial, rarely annual, sometimes scandent, the branches with chalk glands. Leaves alternate or rosulate, simple, entire, with mucilage or chalk glands, exstipulate. Inflorescences various, racemose, cymose, or paniculate. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous; calyx gamosepalous, with stalked mucilage glands or eglandular, the tube 5-10 ribbed, the lobes scarious and showy, or membranous, persistent; corolla sympetalous or petals nearly sep- arate, the lobes imbricate in bud; stamens 5, opposite the corolla lobes, hypo- gynous or epipetalous, the anthers 2-loculed, introrse, longitudinally dehiscent; ovary superior; 5-carpellate, unilocular, styles 5, often heterostylous, free or con- nate basally, the stigmas linear or capitate; ovule 1, pendulous from a basal funicle. Fruit an achene, utricle, or capsule, wholly or partly included in the calyx; seed with straight embryo and crystalline-granular endosperm.
Habit Herbs or subshrubs
Distribution A cosmopolitan but primarily Old World family of 10 genera and about 325 species, mostly of semi-arid situations, on saline and calcareous soils. Only Plumbago is reported from Panama.
Note The Plumbaginaceae are of slight economic importance. A few are cultivated as ornamentals, and some species of Plumbago are used medicinally as a source of plumbagin, a vesicant quinone employed as a counter-irritant and vermifuge in this hemisphere, for relief from toothache in France, and in India as a remedy for ailments from dyspepsia to leprosy and plague. Plumbagin affects the mu- couis membranes, produces blisters very readily, and can be poisonous when taken internally (cf. R. H. Thomson. 1957. Naturally Occurring Quinones. New York).
 
 
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