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LYTHRACEAE LOOSESTRIFE FAMILY

Shirley A. Graham

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, tree. Stem: 4-angled or cylindric. Leaf: simple, entire, generally opposite, 4-ranked (alternate, whorled). Inflorescence: flowers terminal or in axils of upper leaves or leaf-like bracts, 1 or in ± dense cymes or along short shoots, sessile or not, subtended by [0]2 bractlets. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; hypanthium bell-shaped to cylindric, membranous or leathery, persistent in fruit; sepals appearing as hypanthium lobes, 4–9, epicalyx lobes alternate sepals or 0; petals, stamens inserted on inner hypanthium; petals 4–6 or 0, alternate sepals, crinkled, deciduous; stamens generally = or 2 × sepals, included or exserted; ovary generally superior, chambers 2–6[many], style generally slender, stigma head-like. Fruit: dry capsule or leathery berry, dehiscent into 2–4 valves or irregularly. Seed: 3–many.
± 28 genera, 600 species: temperate, tropics, generally in wet habitats. Some ornamental or cultivated for medicine, dyes. [Graham et al. 2005 Int J Plant Sci 166:995–1017] "Epicalyx lobes" (lobes on calyx) formerly called "appendages"; "hypanthium" in Lythraceae (and Onagraceae) including receptacle, sometimes called "flower cup" or "flower tube". Punicaceae (Punica) included here. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Lythraceae

PUNICA POMEGRANATE
Shrub, small tree, glabrous. Stem: branches generally many, from near base, often a thorn at tip. Leaf: simple, ± opposite, entire, deciduous. Inflorescence: flowers 1, terminal, 0–4 subterminal, clustered. Flower: bisexual, radial, hypanthium bell-shaped to cylindric, leathery; sepals 5–9, epicalyx lobes 0; petals 5–9, crumpled; stamens many, inserted at many levels in hypanthium; ovary inferior [partly superior], chambers generally 5 or more, irregular [or regular]. Fruit: berry, ± spheric, leathery, crowned by calyx, splitting irregularly. Seed: many, outer seed coat fleshy, juicy, inner hard.
2 species: Mediterranean, northeastern Africa to Himalayas. (Latin: from early name malus Punicus, "apple of Carthage") [Lersten & Horner 2005 Amer J Bot 92:1935–1941]

Previous taxon: Lythrum tribracteatum
Next taxon: Punica granatum

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Apr 19 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Punica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=9932, accessed on Apr 19 2014

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