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Stewart Herbarium, Gordon College, Rawalpindi.

Rotala densiflora

Credit: M.Y. Saleem

Trees, shrubs or hygrophilous herbs. Leaves opposite, rarely alternate, exstipulate, subsessile or sessile, simple, entire. Flowers actinomorphic or rarely zygymorphic, hermaphrodite, perigynous, 4-6-merous, bracteate, often bracteolate. Hypanthium usually ± campanulate or tubular, persistent. Epicalyx often present. Sepals triangular or ovate, valvate, persistent. Petals inserted at the top of the hypanthium, usually corrugate, sometimes minute, fugaceous or absent. Stamens inserted on the hypanthium, as many as, twice as many as sepals or numerous. Ovary 1-4-locular; placentation axile or free central; ovules numerous; style usually filiform; stigma often capitate. Fruit a capsule. Seeds numerous.

An important anatomical feature is the occurrence of intraxylary phloem.

A family of 25 genera and about 550 species widely distributed, mostly tropical and temperate. Represented in Pakistan by 7 genera and c. 13 species.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L.480. Thanks are also due to Messrs B.L. Burtt, I. Hedge, and Miss J. Lamond of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, for their helpful suggestions.

1 Shrubs or trees, not hygrophilous   (2)
+ Herbs, hygrophilous   (5)
2 (1) Leaves black-dotted. Inflorescence an axillary cyme. Flowers subzygomorphic. Hypanthium longer than broad. stigma bilobed   Woodfordia
+ Leaves not black-dotted. Inflorescence a terminal panicle or solitary and axillary. Flowers actinomorphic. Hypanthium broader than long. stigma simple or capitate   (3)
3 (2) Bracteoles absent. Hypanthium peltate in fruit. Flowers 4-merous. Stamens 8. Stigma simple   Lawsonia
+ Bracteoles present. Hypanthium cupular in fruit. Flowers 6-merous. Stamens (10-) 12 or numerous. Stigma capitate   (4)
4 (3) Inflorescence a terminal panicle. Petals unguiculate. Stamens numerous. Capsule exceeding the hypanthium, dehiscence valvular. Seeds winged   Lagerstroemia
+ Inflorescence axillary. Petals cuneate. Stamens (10-)12. Capsule included in the hypanthium, dehiscence irregular. Seeds not winged   Heimia
5 (1) Upper leaves alternate. Inflorescence a terminal spike or spicate. Flowers 6-merous. Stamens 12, unequal in length   Lythrum
+ Upper leaves opposite. Inflorescence axillary, cymose, spicate or solitary. Flowers 4-5-merous. Stamens 4-5, equal in length   (6)
6 (5) Inflorescence cymose. Bracts scale-like. Bracteoles shorter than flower. Capsule irregularly circumscissile   Ammannia
+ Inflorescence spicate or solitary. Bracts leaf-like. Bracteoles equalling the flower. Capsule valvular   Rotala

Lower Taxa

Related Synonym(s):


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