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ZYGOPHYLLACEAE CALTROP FAMILY

Duncan M. Porter

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, often armed; caudex present or not. Stem: branched; nodes often angled, swollen. Leaf: 1-compound, opposite, petioled; stipules persistent or not; leaflets entire. Inflorescence: flowers 1–2 in axils. Flower: bisexual; sepals 5, free, persistent or not; petals 5, free, generally spreading, twisted (corolla propeller-like) or not; stamens 10, appendaged on inside base or not; ovary superior, chambers (and lobes) 5–10, each with 1–several ovules, placentas axile. Fruit: capsule or splitting into 5–10 nutlets (= mericarps).
27 genera, ± 250 species: widespread especially in warm, dry regions; some cultivated (Guaiacum, lignum vitae; Tribulus, caltrop). [Sheahan & Chase 2000 Syst Bot 25:371–384] —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Zygophyllaceae

TRIBULUS PUNCTURE VINE, CALTROP
Annual. Stem: prostrate, spreading radially, generally < 1 m. Leaf: even-1-pinnate; stipules ± leaf-like. Inflorescence: flowers 1 in axils. Flower: sepals deciduous; petals yellow, deciduous. Fruit: 5-lobed, splitting into 5 nutlets, each with many tubercles, 2–4 stout spines; style deciduous; pedicel reflexed. Seed: 3–5 per chamber.
± 12 species: especially dry Africa. (Latin: weapon used to impede cavalry, from armed fruit)

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Next taxon: Tribulus terrestris

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Dec 20 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Tribulus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=9718, accessed on Dec 20 2014

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