M. QAISER & SAOOD OMER
Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi-32
Herbs, shrubs or rarely trees. Leaves simple, alternate, stipulate. Stipules small or leaf like. Flowers solitary, axillary, mostly zygomorphic, rarely actinomorphic, bisexual; often bracteolate. Sepals 5, persistent, free or united at base. Petals 5, free, unequal; 4 equal in size, lateral slightly bigger, usually forming a spur at the base. Stamens 5, free or connate, hypogynous, alternating with the petals, often covering the ovary; filaments short. Ovary (2-) 3 (-5)-carpellate, unilocular, placentas 3 (number mostly corresponding to carpels), parietal. Ovules anatropous; style simple, mostly sigmoid or thickened above. Stigma various, usually truncate, lobed, beaked or simple. Fruit a 3-valved capsule, dehiscing loculicidally, rarely indehiscent, baccate or nut like. Seeds numerous, mostly sessile or sometimes borne on short funicle, smooth or rough.
A family with 20 genera and c. 800 species, cosmopolitan in distribution. Represented in Pakistan by one genus and 17 species.
Acknowledgements: We are grateful to Dr. H. Hara (Department of Botany, University of Tokyo) and Mr. I.C. Hedge (Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh), for kindly going through the manuscript and offering suggestions for its improvement. The financial assistance received from the United States Department of Agriculture under P.L. 480 with the coordination of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, is thankfully acknowledged.