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Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi.

Mimosa hamata

Credit: Asad

Trees, shrubs or very rarely herbs. Leaves bipinnate, rarely unipinnate; stipules present, sometimes spinescent. Inflorescence generally a spike or umbel, rarely racemose or globose umbels; bracts small. Sepals usually 5, imbricate or valvate, generally fused together, toothed or lobed. Petals usually 5, valvate, free or fused, corolla lobed, hypo- or slightly perigynous. Stamens few to many, free or monadelphous or adnate to base of corolla tube; anthers versatile, often crowned by a deciduous gland. Pistil monocarpellary; ovary unilocular; ovules mostly numerous, style filiform; stigma terminal. Fruit dehiscent or indehiscent, sometimes schizocarpic; seeds mostly ovate to orbicular; aril rarely present.

A family of about 56 genera and nearly 2800 species, mainly distributed in tropics and subtropics of the world. 11 genera and 49 species are reported from West Pakistan. Of these only four genera and eighteen species are native and the rest are introduced.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L. 480. Our grateful thanks are due to the authorities of the following herbaria for herbarium and library facilities: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; British Museum (Natural History), London; Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh; Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna; Gordon College, Rawalpindi and Forest Research Institute, Peshawar. The advice of Mr. J. P. M. Brenan (Kew), Mr. R.D. Meikle (Kew), Mr. B.L. Burtt (Edinburgh), Dr. W. T. Stearn (BM), Dr. K. H. Rechinger (Vienna), Dr. Anwar Kazmi (Peshawar) and Mr. Asghar Quraishi (Peshawar) is thankfully acknowledged.

1 Stamens indefinite, more than 10   (2)
+ Stamens as many or twice as many as petals   (5)
2 (1) Stamens monadelphous   (3)
+ Stamens free   Acacia
3 (2) Pod not circinately coiled   (4)
+ Pod circinately coiled   Pithecellobium
4 (3) Valves of the fruit not separating form the sutures   Albizia
+ Valves of the fruit separating elastically form each other form the apex to the base and becoming recurved   Calliandra
5 (1) Anthers eglandular (pod flat, not pulpy within)   (6)
+ Anthers gland crested in early stage   (8)
6 (5) Fruit jointed, when ripe, joints separating from the persistent sutures   Mimosa
+ Fruit no jointed   (7)
7 (6) A shrub; shoot virgate, ribbed; stigma clavate   Desmanthus
+ A small tree; shoot terete; stigma capitate   Leucaena
8 (5) Flowers dissimilar in colour and sex; pod not septate   Dichrostachys
+ Flowers all similar in colour and sex   (9)
9 (8) Fruit not dehiscent   Prosopis
+ Fruit dehiscing by both sutures   (10)
10 (9) Flowers sessile   Indopiptadenia
+ Flowers pedicellate   Adenanthera

  • List of lower taxa


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