SULTANUL ABEDIN AND ABDUL GHAFOOR
Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi.
Department of Botany, Govt. Superior Science College, Karachi.
Trees, shrubs or herbs, occasionally woody climbers, mostly stellate hairy. Leaves alternate, petiolate, simple or palmate compound, stipulate. Inflorescence axillary or rarely terminal, cymose, racemnose or paniculate, rarely flowers solitary. Flowers bisexual or unisexual or both, usually actinomorphic rarely zygomorphic, hypogynous. Sepals (3-)5(-7), free or united, valvate, mostly persistent. Petals 5 or absent, free, adnate to the staminal tube at the base, twisted, imbricate or valuate Stamens 5-many, in 2 whorls, outer antisepalous whorl absent or reduced to staminodes, free or monadelphous at the base, anthers dithecous. Carpels (1-)5(-12), syncarpous or sometimes partly to completely apocarpous, ovary superior, sessile or stipitate, locule equalling the number of carpels, each 2-multiovulate, ovules anatropous, placentation axile; style and stigma simple or as many as carpels and free. Fruit dry, dehiscent capsule, schizocarp or etaerio of follicles or rarey flleshy, indehiscent and berry-like. Seeds usually endospermic.
A family of about 68 genera and nearly 1000 species, mainly of tropical and subtropical regions, is represented in Pakistan by 10 genera and 20 species most of which are introduced and commonly grown as ornamentals or roadside plants.
Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L.480 programme. Thanks are also due to Mr. B.L. Burtt, Dr. D.M Bates Dr. S.M.H. Jafri for their helps. Help and cooperation of the Director; Conservatoire et Jardin Botanique, Geneva are hereby acknowledged for sending Stocks specimen of Melhania ovata.