Qutbuddin Marwat & Muhammad Amin Siddiqui
National Herbarium, National Agricultural Research Centre, PARC, Islamabad, Pakistan
Prostrate, annual, woolly, desert herb. Leaves alternate, petiolate, usually with minute stipules or exstipulate. Flowers often small, sometimes large and showy, solitary or in pairs. Calyx 5-fid, lobes alternating with 5-spiny bracteoles. Petals 5, small. Stamens 10. Carples 3-10, slightly united at the base and adnate to the throat of the calyx tube (hypanthium) tapering into slightly exserted, persistant styles; stigma minute, capitate; ovary inferior, 5-10 loculed, with one ovule in each locule. Fruit dry, woody, flattened, orbicular, spiny or winged, few seeded. Seeds horizontal, non endospermic. Seeds are retained in the hard woody, discoid fruit, perforated by the plumule upwards and by the radicle downwards and persists as a collar around the hypocotyl in case of Neurada.
A small family of 3 genera and about 10 species, mostly of African desert (Saharo-Sindian region). Represented by only I genus in Pakistan.
The genera now comprising Neuradaceae, were previously placed in a separate tribe of Rosaceae by de Candolle (Prodr. 2: 548.1825), Bentham & Hooker, f. (Gen. Pl. 1: 605.1865) and Hooker f. (Fl. Brit. Ind. 2: 308.1878) or in a subfamily by Endlicher (Gen. Pl. 1249.1840). However, it was recognized as an independent family by J.G. Agardh (Th. Syst. Pl. 288. 1858) which was followed by Airy-Shaw, (Diet. Fl. Pl. Ferns, 1973), Takhtajan, (Fl. Pl.: Origin and Disp.223. 1969) and Cronquist, Evol. Class. Fl. Pl.368. 1980). The family Neuradaceae differs from Rosaceae (s. str.) by its connate carpels within the calyx tube, and very unique type of pollen grains which have 3-armed aperture at both the poles and each arm is provided with a circular ores. Hence it is justified to treat Neuradaceae as an independent family.