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Botany Department, Gordon College, Rawalpindi.

Corbichonia decumbens

Credit: M.Y. Saleem

Annual or perennial herbs or small shrubs. Leaves fleshy or scale-like, opposite or alternate, exstipulate or with membranous stipules. Flowers usually bisexual, regular. Calyx tubular, 4-8 lobed. Petals more commonly absent or numerous and linear. Stamens 5 to many, the outer ones petaloid staminodes; filaments free or basally connate, anthers bilocular, dehiscing lengthwise. Pistil monocarpellary or 2-5 and syncarpous; ovary inferior or semi-inferior, 1-5 locular or many loculed; placentation axile, parietal or basal, with usually many ovules per locule. Fruit a berry, a loculicidal capsule or of 1-seeded dehiscent or indehiscent parts. Seeds endospermic.

A family of 128 genera and c. 1170 species, many of which are cultivated. S. and tropical Africa, S. America, W. Indies, Mediterranean and tropical Asia. Represented here by 8 species.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L. 480. Thanks are also due to Mr. B.L. Burtt, Mr. I.C. Hedge and Miss J. Lamond of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, for going through the manuscript and for their helpful suggestions.

1 Capsule dehiscence operculate   (2)
+ Capsule fissile dorsally or fruit of separate cocci or of 1-seeded indehiscent parts   (4)
2 (1) Capsule 1-2 locular   (3)
+ Capsule 3-5 locular   Sesuvium
3 (2) Styles 2, free. Pyxidium 4-seeded, dehiscing by a bivalved lid longitudinally   Zaleya
+ Styles usually 1. Pyxidium 2-many seeded, dehiscing by a circumscissile lid   Trianthema
4 (1) Capsule fissile dorsally   (5)
+ Capsule of separate cocci or fruit of 1-seeded indehiscent parts   (7)
5 (4) Herbs with glabrous to pubescent parts. Flowers small, lacking petals. Capsule not hygroscopic   (6)
+ Herbs with a dewy or crystalline appearance. Flowers large, possesing petals. Capsule hygroscopic   Mesembryanthemum
6 (5) Glabrous herbs. Capsule more or less papery   Corbichonia
+ Papillose to tomentose herbs or under-shrubs. Capsule sub-woody   Aizoon
7 (4) Leaves with abundant raphides. Fruit of 5 one Seeded indehiscent parts   Gisekia
+ Leaves glabrous or papillose to glandular. Cocci 2 in number   Limeum

Lower Taxa

Related Synonym(s):


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