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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 14 | Solanaceae

19. Nicandra Adanson, Fam. Pl. 2: 219, 582. 1763. name conserved.

Apple of Peru, shoo-fly plant [For Nicander of Colophon, second century B.C.E., Greek physician and poet known for his works on toxicology and natural history]

Maggie Whitson

Herbs, annual, glabrous or sparsely pubescent, hairs simple, mostly eglandular, taproot slender, somewhat fibrous. Stems branched. Leaves alternate; blade simple or margins slightly lobed. Inflorescences axillary, solitary flowers. Flowers 5-merous; calyx accrescent, campanulate, incised 2/3 its length, lobes 5, bases sagittate to cordate; corolla light purple to nearly white, radial, broadly campanulate, shallowly incised; stamens inserted at base of corolla tube, equal; anthers basifixed, oblong, dehiscing by longitudinal slits; ovary 3–5-carpellate; style filiform; stigma capitate-lobed. Fruits berries, globose, dry. Seeds discoidal to reniform. x = 10.

Species 3 (1 in the flora): introduced; South America, introduced also in Mexico, Central America, Africa, Pacific Islands.

Nicandra has been considered a close relative of Physalis. The resemblance is superficial; current molecular data neither place this genus with Physalis and its relatives nor indicate a particularly close relationship to any other genus. Although Nicandra comes out near Exodeconus Rafinesque and Solandra Swartz (R. G. Olmstead et al. 2008), it is morphologically distinct; A. T. Hunziker (2001) left it in its own tribe (the Nicandreae Lowe).

Lower Taxon


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