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Family :

LYTHRACEAE

Division :

Angiosperm

Description


Herbs, shrubs or trees. Leaves opposite, often decussate or whorled, secondary veins typically joined in a series of intramarginal arches. Inflorescence axillary or terminal racemes, cymes or panicles. Flowers bisexual, floral tube perigynous, hemi-epigynous or epigynous, persistent in fruits, often 6 to 12-ribbed. Sepals 4-6, united below into tube. Petals 4-6, or rarely absent, inserted at the rim of floral tube. Stamens usually as many as or twice the calyx lobes. Ovary superior, half-inferior or inferior, 2 to 6-locular, ovules many in each locule. Fruit a capsule, dehiscent. Seeds usually numerous.

Key to the Genus

Serial Key Reference
1a. Trees or shrubs; calyx thick 2
1b. Herbs; calyx membranous 5
2a. Flowers zygomorphic. Solitary, emerging from leaf axil between 2 eaves Cuphea
2b. Flowers actinomorphic. Racemes or panicles 3
3a. Flowers an terminal or axillary panicles; leaves not gland dotted 4
3b. Flowers in branched or simple short racemes; leaves black gland dotted beneath. Calyx tube curved, scarlet Woodfordia
4a. Flowers 4-merous; stamens 8; capsule 4-celled; seeds not winged Lawsonia
4b. Flowers 6-merous; stamens numerous; capsule 3-6-celled; seeds winged Lagerstroemia
5a. Flowers zygomorphic Cuphea
5b. Flowers actinomorphic 6
6a. Flowers in axillary cymes 7
6b. Flowers solitary in leaf axils or in racemes Rotala
7a. Stamens inserted at the base of calyx tube. Calyx lobes incurved at anthesis Nesaea
7b. Stamens inserted at the rim or middle of calyx tube. Calyx lobes erect at anthesis Ammannia