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Centella Linn.


Description from Flora of China

Herbs perennial. Stem slender and creeping, diffuse, nodes rooting. Leaves petiolate, forming rosettes along the creeping stem; petioles sheathing at base; blade simple, entire or shallowly dentate, palmately veined. Inflorescence simple; umbels loose to subcapitate, few-flowered; peduncles axillary, usually very short; bracts 2, membranous; pedicels slender to obsolete. Calyx teeth obsolete. Petals valvate, orbicular with a narrow inflexed apex. Stylopodium obsolete; styles short, equaling filaments. Fruit reniform or globose, base cordate to truncate, strongly laterally compressed; commissure narrow, constricted; primary and secondary ribs prominent, 7–9 per mericarp, filiform, reticulate nerves evident in between; oil-bearing layer beneath the epidermis present, occasionally containing small oil tubes (cf. vittae); endocarp woody. Seed narrowly oblong in cross section, face plane. Carpophore present, entire.

Twenty species: predominately in S Africa and tropical and subtropical regions; one species in China.

(Authors: She Menglan (佘孟兰 Sheh Meng-lan); Mark F. Watson)


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