The general characteristics of malvaceae.
Malvaceae is a dicotyledonous family comprising about 82 genera and 1500 species, distributed almost throughout the world and particularly, abundant in tropics. In India, there are 22 genera and about 110 species.
Bracteate, bracteolate, varying in number from 3 to many from a conspicuous calyx-like structure known as epicalyx, pedicellate. The flower is actinomorphic, bisexual and hypogynous pentamerous.
There is a whorl of epicalyx at base of the flower. Some times the epicalyx is absent. E.g. Abutilon, the number of epicalyx varies from 5 to 7 number of sepals in gamosepalaous, tubular or rotate valvate aestivation. Numbers of petals 5, polypetalous oftn large and showy, twisted. In the basal part, petals are adnate to the base of the terminal tube and thus give a false appearance of being gamopetalous.
Androecium – stamens are numerous, and lower part of the filaments is united to form a tube around the ovary and the style known as stamina tube. The stigma project out of the apical opening of the staminal tube. The anthers are free, dorsifixed, kidney-shaped, monothecous dehisces by longitudinal slit. In sida, there are only 5 stamens in antipetalous position.
Gynoecium-5 carpels, syncarpous, style long slender, stigma pentaloid or lessor globose, ovary 5 chambered, placentation axile, ovules usually many or single, ovary superior, endospermic embryo curved.
Urena lobata (Linn) is an erect annual or biennial herb grows up to 1 meter in height. Leaves simple alternate, ovate, deeply lobed, base chordate; flowers solitary, axillary and pale yellow, fruit trivalved, covered with sticky bristles.
Abelmoschus esculentus is the species is an annual or perennial, growing to 2m tall. It is related to such species as cotton, cocoa and hibiscus. The leaves are 10-20cm long and broad, palmately lobed with 5-7 lobes. The flowers are 4-8 cm in diameter, with five white to yellow petals often with red or purple spot at the base of each petal. The fruits is a capsule up to 18cm long containing numerous seeds.
Hibiscus sabdariffa is an annual or perennial herbs or woody-based sub shrub, growing to 2-2.5m (7-8ft) tall. The leaves are deeply three to five lobed, 8-15cm (3-6inch) long, arranged alternately on the stems.
The flowers are 8-10cm (3-4 inch) in diameter, white to pale yellow with a dark red spot at the base of each petal, and have a stout fleshy calyx at the base, 1-2cm (0.39-0.79 inch) wide, enlarging to 3-3.5cm (1.2-1.4 inch), fleshy and bright red as the fruit matures. It takes about six months to mature.
Cola acuminata and cola nitida is an ever green tree of about 20 meters in height, and has long, ovoid, leaves pointed at both the ends with a leathery texture. The trees have yellow flowers with purple spots, and star-shaped fruit. Inside the fruit, about a dozen round or square seeds can be found in a white seed shell.
The nut’s aroma is sweet and rose-like. The first taste is bitter, but sweetens upon chewing. The nut can be boiled to extract the cola. This tree reaches 25 meters in height and is propagated through seeds.