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Pakistan | Family List | Illecebraceae | Pteranthus

Pteranthus dichotomus Forssk., Fl. Aegypt.-Arab. 36. 1775. Post, G.E., l.c. ; Tackholm & Drar, Stud. Fl. Egypt, 405. 1956 (under Caryophyllaceae); Maire, Fl. de 1’ Afr. du Nord 9:64. 1963; Sell & Walters in Tutin et al, Fl. Europ. 1:152.

Pteranthus dichotomus

Credit: Asad

  • Comphorosma pteranthus Linn.
  • Pteranthus echinatus Desf.

    10-15 cm tall, di or trichotomously branched, fleshy, somewhat papillose-hairy annual. Stem and branches jointed at nodes, with 3-9.5 mm long internodes, glabrous. Leaves somewhat fascicueate, sessile, basal obovate-spathulate, 943 mm long, 2-3 mm wide, cauline leaves linear-oblong, 8-18 mm long, fleshy, entire, obtuse, somewhat papillose-scabrous; stipules lanceolate, lacerate, 1.5-2.5 mm long, whitish membranous, persistent. Peduncle inflated, broadly obovate, swollen and hollow, 5-9 mm long, 4-6 mm wide (in W. Pakistan), minutely papillate-hairy, falling with the fruit. Flowers green, bracts minutely pubescent, 5-9 mm long, with spirally arranged, broadly membranous winged uncinate spines. Sepal slightly united at the base, 4-6 mm long, connivent, papillate-hairy, acu¬minate, 2 outer stiff, linear-oblong, dorsally keeled, with the acumen broadly winged, the 2 inner ovate-lanceolate, with membranous margins. Stamens with c. 2 mm long, filiform filaments; anthers ovoid-subglobose. Carpels 2, syncarpous; ovary ovoid-obovoid with filiform bifid style, stigmas 2, recurved. Fruit 1-seeded, somewhat compressed, indehiscent obovoid membranous utricle, c. 2.5 mm long and c. 1.5 mm wide, enclosed by persistent calyx and uncinate spiny processes of bracts. Seed obovoid-oblong, c. 2 mm long and c. 1 mm broad, compressed with membranous, smooth testa.

    Fl . Per.: March-May.

    Type: In desertis Kahirinis Orient. Forsskal (C).

    Distribution: Rare in our area. North Africa, Sicily, Cyprus eastwards to West Pakistan (Baluchistan).

    It is very closely related to North African, C. trigynus, which has 3 united carpels, trifid style and 3 stigmas.


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