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Involucellum nullum. Stigmata terminalia, capitellata. Ovulum in loculis solitarium, resupinato-pendulum! Fructus 515-coccus, calyce subinclusus; carpellis erectis, nudis, apice sæpe bivalvibus, ab axi tarde secedentibus. Semen subtrigonum. Embyro conduplicatus; radicula supera!
SIDA, Linn. Gen. 837, excl. spec. Kunth in H.B.K.
Nov. Gen. & Sp. 5, p. 256, excl. spec. Adr. Juss. in St. Hil. Fl. Bras. 1.
p. 173. Gray, Pl. Fendl. 1. c. p. 22.
MALVINDA, Medik. Malv. 23.
SIDÆ Sp., DC., Prodr. 1. p. 459, Torr. & Gray, Fl. N. Am. 1. p. 231.
CALYX naked (destitute of an involucel), or very rarely subtended by one or three bractlets, usually angled in the bud, five-cleft, the segments valvate in æstivation. PETALS 5, usually oblique, convolute in æstivation, hypogynous, deciduous. STAMENS numerous, monadelphous in a simple hypogynous column, the dilated base of which is united with the claws of the petals: FILAMENTS all arising from the summit of the column: ANTHERS reniform, one-celled, opening by a semicircular line, two-valved. OVARIES 5 to 15, united in a around a central receptacle: STYLES as many as the ovaries, united below: STIGMAS terminal, capitate. OVULE solitary in each carpel, borne on the inner angle near the summit of the cell, nearly anatropous, resupinate-pendulous, the raphe therefore dorsal or external, and the micropyle ascending next the axis.
FRUIT of 5 to 15 erect and straight or incurved one-seeded (beaked or beakless) carpels, which are more or less included in the persistent calyx, indehiscent, or usually two valved at the apex, and tardily separate at maturity from the central axis. SEED suspended, often somewhat trigonous, or with a sinus at the hilum which is directed to the summit of the cell. ALBUMEN little, mucilaginous or fleshy. EMBRYO abruptly bent (the curvature inferior) so that the flexuose-biplicate foliaceous COTYLEDONS are incumbent on the RADICLE, which lies next the inner angle of the carpel and points to its apex!.
HERBS, or sometimes shrubby plants, with usually undivided alternate leaves, narrow stipules, and axillary solitary or clustered flowers. Peduncules articulated. Petals yellow, white, or rarely purple.
ETYMOLOGY. An unexplained name, used the Theophrastus and the early botanists.
GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION. Chiefly tropical or subtropical plants, the greater number American. Several species are indigenous in the Southern United States, especially in Texas; one or two of them occur as weeds in the Northern States, but were probably introduced from the South.
NOTE. In the Plantæ Fendlerianæ I have indicated three sections of the genus, but I have not at present the means of ascertaining whether they will embrace all the genuine species known.
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