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Family :


Division :



Armed or unarmed, mostly herbs or shrubs. Stems sometimes with underground tubers. Leaves simple, petiolate or sessile, usually alternate, entire, lobed or pinnatisect. Inflorescence axillary or extra-axillary and leaf-opposed racemes or cymes. Flowers bracteate or ebracteate, pedicellate or subsessile, bisexual, pentamerous. Sepals imbricate or valvate, tubular, campanulate or urceolate. Petals  rotate or tubular to funnel-shaped, cup-shaped or salver-shaped, imbricate or valvate. Stamens epipetalous, alternate with the corolla lobes. Ovary superior, bilocular, occasionally becoming tetralocular by false septa. Fruit a berry, sometimes enclosed within an inflated persistent calyx or a capsule.

Key to the Genus

Serial Key Reference
1a. Corolla lobes unequal or obscurely 2-lipped. Annual herbs, viscidly pubescent Petunia
1b. Corolla distinctly actinomorphic 2
2a. Corolla tubular or funnel shaped; corolla tube much longer than the lobes 3
2b. Corolla rotate or urceolate; corolla tube shorter than or equaling the lobes 5
3a. Corolla tube more than 3 cm broad at top; fruit a spiny capsule. Flowers erect Datura
3b. Corolla tube 1.0-1.5 cm broad at top; fruit a berry or smooth capsule 4
4a. Shrubs; stem glabrous; fruit a berry Cestrum Cestrum
4b. Annual herbs; often viscidly pubescent; fruit a smooth capsule Nicotiana
5a. Anthers longer than filaments, connivent in a cone around the style 6
5b. Anthers shorter than filaments, not connivent in a cone 8
6a. Anthers dehiscing by short apical slits that are functionally poricidal, tips empty Lycopersicon
6b. Anthers dehiscing by 2 apical pores, tips polliniferous, not empty 7
7a. Flowers cymose; calyx 5-toothed Solanum
7b. Flowers fascicled; calyx more or less truncate, 10 ribbed Lycianthes
8a. Calyx entire or subentire, not enlarged in fruit Capsicum
8b. Calyx toothed or lobed, enlarged in fruit, overtopping the berry. Physalis