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Herbarium, Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi

Meconopsis latifolia

Credit: Shaukat

Annual, biennial or perennial herbs, very rarely shrubs or small trees, usually with milky or coloured latex. Leaves usually alternate, rarely opposite or whorled, exstipulate, mostly dissected, pinnately or palmately lobed. Infloresence basically cymose, mostly solitary, rarely subumbellate or paniculate. Flowers usually showy and large, bisexual, regular, hypogynous. Calyx of 2-3 free sepals, rarely completely united, imbricate, caducous. Petals 4-6 (rarely 8-12, or absent), in 1-2(-3) whorls, free, imbricate, sometimes crumpled in bud. Nectaries absent. Stamens indefinite in several whorls (only 4 stamens in subfam. Hypecoideae) free; anthers dithecous, dehiscing lengthwise; filaments filiform to winged and often coloured. Carpels 2-more, fused; ovary unilocular, rarely bilocular, usually with 2-several, incomplete locules; ovules numerous on parietal placenta (rarely solitary and basal, as in Bocconia ), anatropous or campylotropous; style 1 or absent; stigmas as many as the carpels, opposite or alternate with placenta. Fruit mostly a capsule, dehiscing by pores or valves, rarely indehiscent; seeds many, small, with a crested or smooth raphe or arillate; embryo minute; endosperm oily and mealy.

A family of 26 genera and nearly 200 species, distributed mostly in temperate and subtropical regions of northern hemisphere, including western north America and eastern Asia. Only 7 genera and 22 species have been reported from West 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 Messrs. B. L. Burtt and J. Cullen of Edinburgh, for their helpful suggestions.

1 Stamens 4; inner petals ± tripartite (2. subfam. Hypecoideae)   Hypecoum
+ Stamens numerous; inner petals not tripartite.(1. subfam. Papaveroideae)   (2)
2 (1) Fruit linear, at least 10 times as long as broad   (3)
+ Fruit oblong or semiglobose, less than 10 times as long as broad   (5)
3 (2) Latex watery. Calyx forming a hood (which is detached and pushed all over the bud as the petals expand). Receptacle prominently hollowed   Eschscholtzia
+ Latex yellow. Calyx not forming a hood. Receptacle not prominently hollowed   (4)
4 (3) Stigmas 2 conical. Fruit with 2 horns at apex, 2 valved   Glaucium
+ Stigmas 3-4, capitate. Fruit without horns, 3-4 valved   Roemeria
5 (2) Style absent. Stigmas discoid. Capsule opening by pores just beneath the persistent stigmas   Papaver
+ Style present or inconspicuous. Stigma not discoid. Capsule opening by usually short valves   (6)
6 (5) Style distinct, conspicuously broad and large. Stigma forming a globular mass over the ovary   Meconopsis
+ Style inconspicuous (rarely very short). Stigma not forming a globular mass over the ovary   Argemone

Lower Taxa

Related Synonym(s):


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