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Pakistan | Family List | Sphenocleaceae | Sphenoclea

Sphenoclea zeylanica Gaertn., Fruct. 1:113, t. 24, f.5. 1788. C.B. Clarke in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind., 3:438.1881; Kashyap, Lahore Dist. Fl. 158.1936; Airy Shaw in Fl. Males., ser. 1., 4:27, fig. 1,1948; Hepper in Fl. W. Trop. Afr., (revised ed.) 2:307.1963; Airy Shaw in Fl. Trop. E. Afr. 1.1968.

Vern.: “Aiker”.

Erect or suberect, glabrous, semi-aquatic annual herb up to 150 cm tall with numerous thread-like roots, branched, somewhat succulent with more or less hollow stem. Leaves lanceolate-elliptic, usually acute, up to 12 cm long, 3.5 cm broad, entire, glabrous, subsessile to petiolate; petiole up to 2.5 cm long. Spikes acute, up to 5(-7.5) cm long and c. 1 cm in diameter on equally long or longer peduncles; bracts and bracteoles short, more or less spathulate, often upcurved. Flowers minute, densely crowded, white or greenish-yellow, only a few opening at a time Calyx 5-lobed; lobes ovate rounded, minute, glabrous. Corolla connate at the base, about 2.5(-4) mm long, usually white; segments ovate-triangular, obtuse or acute. Stamens 5; anthers subsessile, suborbicular. Ovary obovoid, 2.5 mm long, apex truncate. Capsule 4-5 mm in diam., calyx segments falling with the lid, leaving the basal portion attached and persistent on the rachis. Seeds numerous, c. 0.5 mm long, lightly rough with plicate-costate testa, yellowish-brown.

Fl. Per. July-Sept.

Type: Ceylon, not precisely designated (LINN).

Distribution: Trop. Africa, Asia and America.


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