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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 5/7/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 5/7/2013)
Contributor ROBERT R. HAYNES
Description Herbs, often fleshy, root parasites, without chlorophyll, with 1 to many flowering stalks arising from a more or less thickened base, glabrous to pubescent with glandular or non-glandular trichomes. Leaves alternate, scale-like, the up- per becoming bracts. Inflorescences racemes or spikes or rarely solitary. Flowers bisexual, irregular, long-pedicelled to nearly sessile, usually bracteolate, solitary in a leaf or bract axil; calyx tubular, persistent, gamosepalous, nearly regular to strongly irregular, truncate or with 1-5 teeth or lobes; corolla gamopetalous, 2-lipped, the upper lip usually 2-lobed to entire, the lower lip usually 3-lobed; stamens 4, epipetalous, alternate with the corolla lobes, didymous, the posterior stamen lacking or reduced to a staminode; anthers 2-loculed, longitudinally de- hiscent; gynoecium 2-4-carpellate, the ovary superior, usually 1-loculed, with 2-4 parietal placentae, the ovules many, the style single, the stigma entire or 2-4-lobed. Fruit a 2-4-valved 1-loculed capsule; seeds many, small; embryo un- differentiated, the endosperm soft-fleshy and oily.
Distribution A family of about 15 genera and 140 species, widespread in both hemi- spheres; 1 genus, Conopholis, occurs in Panama. The plants have no known eco- nomic importance.
Note Traditionally the gynoecium of many Orobanchaceae, including the Pana- manian species, has been interpreted as having two median carpels, each carpel bearing two placentae, these being displaced from the margin toward the median line of the carpel. According to this interpretation, each of the resulting four parietal placentae is the product of only one carpel. Tiagi (Vestn. Moskovsk. Univ., Ser. 6, Biol. 6: 29-52. 1962) interpreted the gynoecium of these Oro- banchaceae as having four carpels, two median and two lateral, each carpel bearing two marginal placentae. According to him the placentae of adjacent carpels are fused, and thus the ovary contains four parietal placentae, each pla- centa being the product of two carpels.
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