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Pakistan | Family List

Gentianaceae

SAOOD OMER


Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi-75270

Swertia paniculata
Illustration

Credit: M. Rafiq

Annual-perennial herbs to shrubs of varying habit, mat forming - erect subshrubs. Leaves simple, basal or cauline or both, basal often forming a rosette, cauline opposite rarely alternate. Inflorescence various: racemes, cymes, verticillate clusters or solitary. Flowers variously coloured: blue, purple, violet, pink, white, yellow, 4-8 (-10) merous, bisexual, regular actino-zygomorphic. Calyx also variable with 4-8 (-10) united, or free or semiunited sepals, or calyx divided from one side. Corolla 4-8 (-10) merous, provided with or without appendages or subsidiary lobes, fimbriate or fimbriae absent, nectaries either epipetalous or at base of ovary or absent. Ovary superior, unilocular, with parietal placentation. Fruit a 2 valved dehiscent capsule. Seeds few to many.

A family of more than 90 genera and ± 1000 species, distributed in both the hemispheres: In Pakistan, the family is represented by 15 genera and c. 77 species.

Acknowlegements: We are grateful to the Directors/Curators of the following herbaria for herbarium and library facilities: B, BLATT, BM, CAL, E, G, K, LE, LINN, LIV, NA, NY, O, P, PPFI-B, RAW, RNG, PESH, W, and WU. Thanks are also due to Dr. M.I. Hakki, Dr. H.W. Lack, Dr. R.K. Brummitt, Mr. R. Vickory, Mrs. R. Khan, Dr. C.E. Jarvis, Prof. I.C.Hedge, Dr. D. Long, Dr. R.R. Mill, Dr. Y.J. Nasir, Dr. S.L. Jury and Prof. Dr. K.H. Rechinger for discussing various problems from time to time and for their advice and suggestions. The financial assistance provided by the United States Department of Agriculture under PL. 480 with the coordination of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Islamabad is gratefully acknowledged.


1 Flowers spurred   2 Halenia
+ Flowers not spurred   (2)
       
2 (1) Flowers irregular, i.e. three stamens short and sterile, fourth long and fertile   4 Hoppea
+ Flowers regular, all stamens equal and fertile   (3)
       
3 (2) Anthers strongly twisted after anthesis   3 Centaurium
+ Anthers not as above   (4)
       
4 (3) Flowers in verticellate cl usters. Filaments with scales at base   Enicostemma
+ Flowers arranged otherwise. Filaments without scales at base (except. Jaeschkea)   (5)
       
5 (4) Corolla tube shorter than lobes or tube absent   (6)
+ Corolla tube longer than lobes or tube ± equal to lobes   (7)
       
6 (5) Corolla tube without nectaries or nectary l ike depression at the base. Stigma decurrent   14 Lomatogonium
+ Corolla tube with nectaries or nectary l ike depression at the base. Stigma not decurrent   15 Swertia
       
7 (5) Nectaries present at the base of the corolla tube. Corolla non-plicate   (10)
+ Nectaries present at the base of ovary. Corolla plicate   (8)
       
8 (7) Anthers basifixed. Basal leaves more than one nerved. Mostly annuals or biennials   5 Ciminalis
+ Anthers dorsifixed or versatile. Basal leaves usually one nerved. Mostly biennials-perennials, sometimes annuals   (9)
       
9 (8) Corolla fimbriate inside the corolla tube   7 Qaisera
+ Corolla naked inside the corolla tube   6 Gentianodes
       
10 (7) Style absent. Corolla lobes fmbriate, fimbriae linear to filiform   11 Comastoma
+ Style present. Corolla lobes naked   (11)
       
11 (10) Calyx lobes distinctly unequal   (12)
+ Calyx lobes equal-subequal   (13)
       
12 (11) Calyx lobes distichously unequal   9 Gentianopsis
+ Calyx lobes unequal, but never distichous   10 Aloitis
       
13 (13) Calyx always longer than corolla   Kurramiana
+ Calyx not as above   (14)
       
14 (13) Stamens versatile   8 Aliopsis
+ Stamens basifixed   12 Jaeschkea

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