Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Higher Taxonomy
Family: LythraceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: +- 28 genera, 600 species: temperate, tropics, generally in wet habitats. Some ornamental or cultivated for medicine, dyes. Note: "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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Shirley A. Graham
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: 2 species: Mediterranean, northeastern Africa to Himalayas. Etymology: (Latin: from early name malus Punicus, "apple of Carthage")
Jepson eFlora Author: Shirley A. Graham
Reference: [Lersten & Horner 2005 Amer J Bot 92:1935--1941]
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Citation for this treatment: Shirley A. Graham 2012, Punica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 06, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 06, 2019.