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Family :


Division :



Herbs, shrubs, trees or climbers, very rarely epiphytic. Leaves simple, usually opposite and decussate. Inflorescence cymose, umbellate, corymbose, in paniculate clusters, fascicled or born on a spike, rarely solitary, bracteoles caducous. Hypanthium funnel-shaped, campanulate, cyathiform or urceolate, hairy or glabrous. Calyx 3-5 lobed, triangular. Petals equal to the number of sepals, with a short claw, often showy. Stamens usually twice as many as petals, arranged in two whorls, isomorphic or dimorphic, filaments often geniculate, inflexed in buds. Ovary usually inferior, 3-5 celled. Fruit a dry or fleshy capsule, berry or drupe, loculicidally dehiscent or indehiscent.

Key to the Genus

Serial Key Reference
1a. Ovary inferior 2
1b. Ovary superior or subinferior 4
2a. Leaves palmately or pinnately veined; fruits ribbed, many-seeded 3
2b. Leaves sinuately veined; fruits not ribbed, usually 1-seeded Memecylon
3a. Inflorescence paniculate cymes; leaves palmately veined; ovary 3-5 loculed; fruits 8-ribbed Oxyspora
3b. Inflorescence scorpioid cymes or subumbellate; leaves pinnately veined; ovary 3-loculed; fruits 6-ribbed Sonerila
4a. Ovary superior; stamens usually unequal; fruits dehiscing irregularly Melastoma
4b. Ovary sub-inferior; stamens equal; fruits dehiscing by apical pores Osbeckia