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Malvaceae

SULTANUL ABEDIN


Department of Botany, University of Karachi.

Annual or perennial herbs to shrubs or small trees, mucilaginous, pubescent. Leaves petiolate, stipulate, alternate or spirally arranged, simple, entire, lobed or parted. Flowers axillary, solitary, or in fascicles, racemes or panicles, sessile or pedicellate, bracteate or ebracteate, actinomorphic, usually bisexual, pentamerous. Calyx, free or connate, valvate, usually persistent; sepals (3-) 5 (-6). Corolla free, adnate at the base to the staminal tube and falling off with it, twisted; petals 5. Stamens usually numerous, monadelphous, staminal tube truncate to toothed at apex or divided into numerous filaments; anthers dorsifixed, monothecous, longitudinally dehiscent; pollen grains large, echinate. Carpels (2-) 5-many, usually in a single whorl, sometimes in 2 or more whorls; ovary (2-) 5-many loculed, each locule 1-many ovuled, placentation axile; style usually branched into as many as the number of carpels or sometimes twice the number of carpels or simple. Fruit a dry capsule or schizocarp, rarely baccate, usually dehiscent. Seeds with a little endosperm, reniform or obovoid, glabrous to densely hairy; embryo usually curved, sometimes straight; cotyledons folded or crumpled.

A family of 88 genera and c. 2,300 species distributed in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions. In Pakistan it is represented by 19 genera with 94 specific and infraspecific taxa.

Acknowledgements: I am highly thankful to the authorities of the following herbaria for herbarium and library facilities: Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, Royal Botanic Garden , Kew; British Museum (Natural History), London; Linnean Society, London; Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh; Royal Botanical Museum and Herbarium, Copenhagen, Botanisches Museum, Berlin- Dahiem; Nationa d'Histoire Naturelle Laboratoire de phanerogamie, Paris; Conservatiore et Jardin Botaniques, Geneva; Karachi University Herbarium, Karachi; National Herbarium (Stewart Collection) Islamabad; Pakistan forest Institute Peshawar; Agricultural University Herbarium, Faisalabad (Lyallpur); Punjab University Herbarium, Lahore and P.C.S.I.R. Laboratories Herbarium, Peshawar and Karachi. I am also thankful to Dr. B.L. Bernardi, Geneva and Mr. J. Joseph, Karachi Seminary, Karachi for providing the latin diagnoses of the new taxa. My thanks are also due to Messrs Mr. S. Nazimuddin and Kamal Akhter Malik for checking the manuscript and for seeing it through the press. The financial assistance, received from the United States Department of Agriculture under P.L. 480, is greatly acknowledged.


1 Carpels in 2 or more whorls   Malope
+ Carpels in 1 whorl   (2)
       
2 (1) Style branches and stigmas as many as carpels or style undivided   (3)
+ Style branches and stigmas twice the number of carpels, always 10   (16)
       
3 (2) Fruit a capsule or berry; carpels not separating   (4)
+ Fruit schizocarpic; carpels (mericarps) usually separating   (10)
       
4 (3) Style divided into 5 divergent branches. Seeds usually reniform   (5)
+ Style 1, undivided, clavate or divided into very short branches. Seeds usually angular or obovoid   (9)
       
5 (4) Flowers bisexual   (6)
+ Flowers unisexual or both unisexual and bisexual flowers present on the same plant   Kydia
       
6 (5) Epicalyx segments 3, large, cordate   Senra
+ Epicalyx segments 5-many, linear to ovate, or absent   (7)
       
7 (6) Calyx 5 toothed or lobed, regular, persistent, not spathaceous   (8)
+ Calyx 2-3 lobed, irregular, caducous, spathaceous   Abelmoschus
       
8 (7) Capsule winged   Fioria
+ Capsule not winged   Hibiscus
       
9 (4) Epicalyx segments 3, large, cordate, leafy, persistent. Calyx with oil glands   Gossypium
+ Epicalyx segments 3-8, linear-lanceolate, caducous or persistent. Calyx without oil glands   Thespesia
       
10 (3) Style branches filiform to narrowly clavate, acute, with decurrent stigmas   (11)
+ Style branches with capitate or discoid stigmas   (14)
       
11 (10) Epicalyx segments free   Malva
+ Epicalyx segments at least connate at the base   (12)
       
12 (11) Epicalyx segments usually 3. Central axis of fruit longer than mericarps. Seeds smooth or transversely ribbed   Lavatera
+ Epicalyx segments 6-9. Central axis of fruit equal to or shorter than mericarps. Seeds radially ribbed   (13)
       
13 (12) Flowers 5-20 (-30) mm across, petals 0.8-1.6 cm long. Staminal tube cylindric, anthers purple or brownish-purple. Mericarp 1 loculed   Althaea
+ Flowers 30-50 mm across, petals 3-6 cm long. Staminal tube 5-angled, anthers yellowish. Mericarp sub-bilocular   Alcea
       
14 (10) Epicalyx segments present   Malvastrum
+ Epicalyx segments absent (in ours)   (15)
       
15 (14) Mericarp usually 2 or more seeded, follicular   Abutilon
+ Mericarp 1-seeded, not follicular   Sida
       
16 (2) Flowers in heads, subtended by bracts. Epicalyx absent   Malachra
+ Flowers usually axillary, solitary. Epicalyx present   (17)
       
17 (16) Shrubs. Petals auriculate. Schizocarp smooth and fleshy like a berry   Malvaviscus
+ Herbs or undershrubs. Petals never auriculate. Mericarps muricate, never fleshy   (18)
       
18 (17) Leaves always glandular on the midrib beneath. Mericarps armed with glochidiate spines   Urena
+ Leaves eglandular. Mericarps reticulately veined to armed but never with glochidiate spines   Pavonia

  • List of lower taxa


     

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