Tuesday, 6 May 2008


Capparis grandis

Cadaba fruiticosa

Capparis decidua(aphylla)

Crataeva nurvala

Maerua oblongifolia

In India 7 genera and 53 species occuring in western and south India and few in tropical Himalayas.
Vegetative characters:
The family includes herbs shrubs and climbers.They contain watery sap.
The leaves are alternate and simple(Capparis) or more commonly palmately compound(3-9 foliolate).The stipules are usually present which may be foliaceous(Cleome) or spinose(Capparis).
Inflorescence and flowers : The flowers are solitary and in fascicles of 3 or4 but more commonly the are racemose.
The flowers are bracteate,complete, usually bisexual actinomorphic or some what zygomorphic by unequal development of members as in Capparis, tetramerous and hypogynous.
The calyx is usually of four sepals which are free or basally connate with valvate or imbricate aestivation.The four sepals are arranged in two series. The posterior sepal forms a hood like structure in Capparis.
The corolla is of four free petals but occasionally the are two(Cadaba) or altogether absent(Roydsia).The petals are diagonal,often clawed and valvate or imbricate.They are inserted on the edge of a disc in Maerua.
The androecium is of four to numerous free stamens.An androphore is present in some species of Cleome.
The gynoecium is usually bicarpellary and syncarpous; the ovary is sessile or elevated on a short or long gynophore, unilocular with two or four parietal placentae. The style is usually short with a bilobed or a capitate stigma.
The fruit is a capsule dehiscing by two valves(Cleome) or a berry(Capparis) or drupaceous. The seeds are angled or reniform, nonendospermic and with an incurved embryo.
Pollination and dispersal : The pollination is by insects which visit flowers for nectar secreted by the disc.The fruits are dispersed by water current(Crataeva) or by cattle by adhesion due to viscid exudation.
Examples :
Cleome gynandra
Crataeva nurvala
C. religiosa

Maerua oblongifolia
Cadaba fruiticosa

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