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

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/29/2013)
Family STERCULIACEAE
Contributor ANDRE ROBYNS
Description Herbs, shrubs or trees, sometimes lianas, mucilaginous, generally with stellate hairs, sometimes with simple hairs or lepidote, infrequently aculeate. Leaves alter- nate, rarely subopposite, simple and entire to lobate or digitately compound, generally stipulate, the stipules usually deciduous. Inflorescences axillary or some- times terminal, cymose, paniculate, umbelliform, racemose or often more complex, or flowers solitary, sometimes cauliflorous. Floweers generally bracteolate, the brac- teoles forming sometimes a calycle, rather small, hermaphrodite or unisexual, actinomorphous or rarely zygomorphous; calyx valvate, gamo- or polysepalous, the sepals (2-3-)4-5(-6-8), sometimes petaloid, generally persistent or even accrescent; petals usually 5, rarely absent, contorted or valvate, usually free, sometimes adnate to the base of the staminal tube, often unguiculate at the bease and appendaged at the apex, sometimes marcescent; stamens inserted on the receptacle or on a gono- phore, 5 to numerous, usually more or less long-mon adelphous, often with staminodes alternating with the stamens or with fascicles of stamens; anthers usually 2-thecate, rarely 3-thecate, the thecae generally parallel, the dehiscence longitudinal or occasionally apically porose; pollen generally 3-colporate, some- times colpate, porate or oligoforate, the sexine usually reticulate, sometimes spinu- lose; gynoecium with 2-5(-15-30) syncarpous or coherent or even sometimes apocarpous carpels, or reduced to a single carpel; ovary superior, sessile on the receptacle or on the gonophore, or sometimes slightly stipitate, 1- to 5(-15-30)- celled, with 2-many ovules in each cell and generally with axile placentation; ovules anatropous; styles as many as carpels, distinct or variously connate; stigma entire or divided. Fruit capsular or baccate and loculicidally dehiscent or not, or separating into follicles, cocci or samaroid indehiscent mericarps; seeds 1-many, sometimes alate or arillate; albumen abundant or scanty; embryo straight or curved; cotyledons flat or folded, foliaceous.
Habit Herbs, shrubs or trees
Distribution About 65 genera, chiefly distributed in the tropics of both hemispheres; eight genera are represented in Panama, while three other genera occur in Central America.
Note Two of the most important tropical crops are supplied by Theobroma Cacao L. (cacao, chocolate) native to tropical America but now grown extensively in all the tropics and by different species of the genus Cola Schott & Endl. (Cola Nut Trees) native to tropical Africa.
Key a. Petals none; gonophore well developed . 1. STERCULIA aa. Petals 5. b. Staminodes none; gonophore wanting. c. Ovary 1-celled; capsules 2-valved ---------------------------------------------------- 2. WALTHERIA cc. Ovary 5-celled; capsules separating into 5 cocci, each coccus opening along the inner angle or splitting completely into 2 valves ............ 3. MELOCHIA bb. Staminodes 5. d. Gonophore well developed; fruit spirally twisted .......................... 4. HELICTERES dd. Gonophore wanting. e. Fruit smooth, rugose or 5- to 10-costate. f. Leaves simple - 5. THEOBROMA ff. Leaves compound-digitate .......................................... 6. HERRANIA ee. Fruit spinose or muricate. g. Aculeate scandent shrubs or lianas; capsules densely spinose, separating into 5 cocci, each coccus dehiscent along the ventral suture and along the dorsal upper half. -..... 7. BYTTNERIA gg. Small to tall trees without aculei; capsules tuberculate, indehiscent (the tubercles separating irregularly at ma- turity to a greater or less degree) 8. GUAZUNMA
 
 
 
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