SAIDA QAISER AND M. QAISER
Department of Botany, University of Karachi
Trees or shrubs, sometimes scandent, occasionally spiny. Leaves alternate rarely opposite or whorled, simple, entire, exstipulate. Inflorescence racemose or panicled. Flowers mostly bisexual rarely polygamous, actinomorphic or zygomorphic, bracteate; Calyx 4–5, rarely 8-fid or lobed, with valvate aestivation, hypanthium adnate to ovary. Petals 4–5 (–oc) or absent, fused, imbricate or valvate, inserted on the calyx. Stamens 4-5, 8 or 10, rarely more, incurved in the bud, inserted on the calyx, in two series, upper series opposite the petals, sometimes reduced or absent; the lower opposite the sepals. Anthers versatile, bithecous, opening longitudinally, connectives often apiculate. Disc epigynous. Carpel 1, ovary unilocular, inferior, angled, angles equal to and alternating with the calyx lobes; ovules 2–6, anatropous, pendulous from the apex of the ovary on large often united funicles; style simple, filiform with pointed or capitate or undefined stigma. Fruit usually leathery, drupe like, 2–5 angled or winged, 1-seeded, without endosperm; cotyledons contorted or spirally rolled, oily.
A family of about 18 genera and 500 species, distributed chiefly in all the tropical countries and South Africa; represented by 4 genera and 8 or 9 species in Pakistan.
Acknowledgements: we are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L. 480. Thanks are also due to Mr., I.C. Hedge and Miss J. Lamond of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, for their helpful suggestions.