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Genus :


Family :



Prostrate or decumbent, succulent herbs, nodes or leaf axils with scales, bristles or hairs sometimes inconspicuous or absent. Leaves sessile, alternate or opposite, flat or terete. Flowers solitary or clustered, surrounded by a whorl of leaves. Sepals 2, connate at the base into tube, inconspicuous, persistent. Petals 4-6 or many, free or shortly united at the base. Stamens 5 or many, adnate to the base of petals. Ovary subinferior, styles 3-9 fid, ovules many. Fruit a circumscissile capsule, sessile, ± globose. Seeds minute, orbicular-reniform, usually glossy black, often tuberculate.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Stem and branches succulent; leaves alternate or sub-opposite; flowers in clusters, sepals 2 2
1b. Stem and branches filiform; leaves opposite; flowers solitary, sepals 4 P. quadrifida
2a. Nodes with hairy appendages; flowers subtended by 4-leaved involucre, yellow; stamens not more than 7-12 P. oleracea
2b. Nodes without hairy appendages; flowers subtended by 5-8 leaved involucre, pink, white or scarlet; stamens numerous P. grandiflora