Wednesday, 2 April 2008


In India chiefly in temperate and alpine Himalayas ahd drier parts of southern,western and northern India.
Members : Generally annual or perennial herbs.Some are trees and shrubs (Ehretia and Cordia)
Flowers of these herbs are a favourite with butterflies,bees and other insects.Milkweed butterflies are seen on these plants,which yield essential alkaloids (necessary for butterfly reproduction) to them Leaves :
simple, mostly entire, and alternate; stipules are lacking. In most species pubescent and hairy.
Inflorescence and flowers : Usually characteristic dorsiventral terminal axillary or leaf opposed cincinus inflorescences which consists of one or more coiled scorpoid or helicoid cymes that become uncoiled as the flowers open.Rarely flowers are solitary.
Flowers :
bisexual and actinomorphic, hypogynous pentamerous.
Calyx :
Five distinct or connate sepals. Calyx generally persistent.
Corolla : Five fused petals.Shape variable -rotate,salverform,funnelform or tubular. Often small appendages in throat.
Androecium :
5 distinct stamens adnate to the corolla tube or perigynous zone and alternate with the corolla lobes.
Gynoecium : consists of a single compound pistil of 2 carpels, a single, often gynobasic style, and a superior, often deeply 4-lobed ovary with 4 locules, each containing a single basal-axile ovule. An annular nectary disk is sometimes present.
Fruits and seeds :
4 1-seeded nutlets or a 1-4-seeded nut or drupe.
Flowers are adapted for insect pollination
Pericarp of the fruit is covered with barbed or hooked bristles -animal dispersal.
Examples :
Species of several genara grown as ornamentals: Heliotropium(Heliotrops),Cynoglossum(Hounds tongue),Myosotis(Forget-me-nots),Borago(Borage),Pulmonara(Lungwort)
Ehretia Levis : wood useful. अजान वृक्ष
Ehretia aspera : common in Western ghats.
Heliotropium indicum (Indian turnsole) and
Trichodesma indicum (Indian borage) are most familiar herbs.
Cordia sebestena
: Common ornamental garden tree.
Cordia dichotoma
: Bhokar (भोकर)

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