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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Annonaceae

Polyalthia Bl.


Description from Flora of China

Trees or shrubs. Inflorescences axillary, internodal, or leaf-opposed, sessile or shortly pedunculate, 1- to many flowered. Flowers usually bisexual. Sepals 3, usually small, valvate or rarely subimbricate in bud, free. Petals 6, in 2 whorls, free, valvate or rarely subimbricate in bud, subequal, flat and spreading; inner petals sometimes slightly larger or smaller than outer, concave and arched over stamens. Stamens usually many; anther locules cuneate; connectives apically orbicular or rhomboidal, concealing anther locules, apex flat-topped or slightly convex. Carpels rather few to many, free; ovules 1 or 2(or 3) per carpel, basal or sutural; styles absent, very short, or long; stigmas mostly dilated. Fruit apocarpous; monocarps few to many, short to long stipitate, mostly globose or ovoid, fleshy. Seeds 1 or 2(or 3) per monocarp, with a longitudinal circumferential groove.

Molecular data (Mols et al., Amer. J. Bot. 91: 590-600. 2004) have shown that Polyalthia as traditionally delineated is polyphyletic and will eventually have to be divided among several genera.

About 120 species: Old World tropics from Africa to the W Pacific, with the center of distribution in SE Asia; 17 species (six endemic, one introduced) in China.

(Authors: Li Bingtao (李秉滔 Li Ping-tao); Michael G. Gilbert)

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