Malvaceae members in RMNH campus

The study area Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH) is an establishment under the Ministry of Environment & forests, Government of India, located on a span of 5.25 acres of land on the northern bank of Karanji tank, , a man made medium sized waterbody. The geographical co –ordinates are 12°18’ 12” N & 76°40’25.52”E. The altitude is about 750 m MSL. The annual rain fall limits to 700 mm. The area falls in the Deccan peninsula with freshwater swamps and tropical secondary scrub jingles bio geographically.

The regional Museum of Natural History is with a well maintained garden sprawling about 3.25 acres [approx], since its inception in the year 1992, before acquiring and construction of museum building this site was quite dry and barren land. During the past 20 years there is a greater degree of alteration in the land profile and emergence of flora & fauna took place in this vicinity. Being an environmental education centre, this institute adapted a policy to plant native variety of plants, which includes trees, shrubs, creepers, herbs grasses and systematic nursing. This venture attracted a wide array of insects followed by birds and other predators, creating a piece of natural environment pocket. A small patch of land is left for model forest, where plants fed with annual rainfall and the leaf litter compost of their own. In such environment, a number of wild plants [generally regarded as weed flora] are also presented their co existence. This present study is aimed at one such family of plants – MALVACEAE & its cohorts.

So far 22 plants have been identified, belonging to 4 tribes, 12 genera and 22 species have been enlisted.

Table: List of plants

Gossypium arborium L.

Local name: Karikaalu hatti

Habit : a perennial shrub, up to 3 meters tall with erected stem, branched , terete, green, glabrate[more or less] gland dotted throughout, branches with purple shade.

Leaves: deeply lobed, 5-7 lobes, petioles measures to 3-10 long, gland dotted, glabrous.

Flowers: Axillary flower. Solitary. Pedicels 1-1.5 Cm, Slightly angular below the flower. Flower purple in colour.

Seeds: Embedded in cotton. There may be 608 seeds per locule.

Flrs & Frts: February to April

Note: Cultivated in gardens & home yards for its cotton.

Gossypium barbadense L.

Local name: Hatti gida, Hanji, Nooluhatti, Jadehatti.

Habit : a moderate shrub, up to 2- 4 meters high, Stem erect, branched terete, green, sparsely stellate –pubescent.

Leaves: alternate, simple, peltate, 3-5 lobed, lobes are ovate, acuminate and entire. Stipules are present, acuminate, linear –lanceolate and membranous, up to 1-2 cm long.

Flowers: Flowers display yellow with a ting of fading purple colour. Either Axillary positioned or in sympodial inflorescences. Bracteoles – 3, foliar, broadly ovate, cordate and fimbricate.

Calyx: Cup shaped, entire, persistent. The stamina column is stout, purplish and antheriferous above the base. Style branched, stigma is capitates.

Fruits: fruit is a capsule, seeds are black, ellipsoid, cottony hairy

Frts & Flrs: April to January.

Note: A much cultivated species of cotton.

Thespesia populnea L.

Local name: Hoovarasi, Poovarasi, Buguri mara.

Habit: trees, up to 8-15 meters, Twigs with brown to silvery peltate scales.

Leaves: Alternate, long petiole, ovate, orbicular, 5-13 x 4-10 cm, nerved at the base, nectarines absent.

Flowers: Axillary, solitary yellow, throat purplish, lobes oblong, caduceus bracteoles. Calyx cup shaped, minutely 5 toothed, capsule globose, often depressed to 2.5 cm across, and yellow sap is present, Ovary discoid, 3 celled, few ovals in each cell, style club shaped, and stigma branched. Staminal column is stout, small antheriferous from base.

Fruit: a dehiscent capsule, subglobose, covered with peltate scales, yellow latex is present. Seeds are ovoid, 2-4 per cell, channeled along the back, puberulose.

Note: Planted as avenue tree for shade & foliage, bark and sap used in native medicine.

Abelmoschus esculentus L. Monech.

Local name: Bende kayi, Ladies finger.

Habit: an erect, branched, hairy shrub, up to 1.5 meter.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, 3-5 lobed [some times 6 lobes also]. The lobes are triangular, cordate, long, coarsely toothed. The Upper & lower surface is with scattered, short rigid, simple hairs. Leaf measures about 3-25 x5-23 cm.

Flower: Axillary, solitary, bracteoles 8-10, hairy & lanceolate. Corolla yellow with a purple centre, up to 7x 3.8 cm. Staminal column is antheriferous from base, Ovary pyramidal, 5-celled, numerous ovules in each cell. , styles -5, slender, stigma is capitate.

Fruit : a capsule, oblong up to 15 + cm long, dehiscent, seeds globose, hairy, grey in colour.

Note: cultivated for its edible fruits, sometimes occur as an escape .

Fioria vitifolia L.

Local name: Manitutti gida.

Habit : Under shrubs , grow up to 1 meter long, normally tomentosa and slightly viscid, stellate hairs few.

Leaves: the upper leaves are 305 lobed, orbicular, ovate, 3.5 cm across. Lower leaves are with 3-5, broadly triangular lobes.

Flowers: Axillary and drooping. Corolla fused at base, yellow with purplish pink throat, obovate and up to 3 x1.9 cm. Staminal tube is stout & short.

Fruit: a globose capsule measuring 1.5 cm across, beake3d with reticulately veined wings, Seeds are tuberculate.

Frts &Flrs: July to December.

Note: Commonly found in hedges & waste places.

Kydia calycina Roxb.

Local name: Nayibende mara, Bellakana mara.

Habit: trees, to 12 meters high, branchlets woody and stellate.

Leaves: Entire/ovate-orbicular with angular lobes, seven nerved from cordate base. Often they are denticulate & globrous beneath, width of leaf is up to 15 x 15 cm.

Flowers: In panicles, white in colour, polygamous, sepals are persistent.

Fruit: fruits appear with a globose capsule not exceeding calyx [usually when leaves are shed].Seed is concentrically striated, glabrous, brownish and reniform, in each locule, measuring 3 x2 mm.

Note: Leaves & bark, a good source of fodder. The wood is soft, used in fencing, thatch work.

Hibiscus lobatus [Murr].

Local name: Kaadu daasavala

Habit: Erect, annual herbaceous plant, up to 60 -80 cm.

Leaves: Variable leaves, ovate –orbicular, serrate, often palmately 3-lobed, lower leaves broadly ovate.

Flowers: Axillary/in terminal lax racemes, white with pale purple centre. Calyx is deeply 5-lobed.

Fruits: A capsule, oblong-beaked , sometimes sparsely pubescent, measuring to 1.2 x0.5 cm, seeds minutely tuberculate.

Hibiscus schizopetalus [Mast] Hook.f.

Local name: Toogu daasavala, Japanese lantern.

Habit: An erect, branched shrub up to 3 meters, some time may exceed this.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate, acuminate, glabrous, much resemblance with Hibiscus rosa-sinensis leaves & evergreen.

Flowers: Red, showy, drooping, petals are frilly and finely divided and in many respects comparable with Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flowers.

Flrs: Most part of the year.

Note: Cultivated in garden as an ornamental plant.

Hibiscus rosa –sinensis L.

Local name: Daasavala, Japakusuma.

Habit: An erect, branched shrub, up to 1-3 meters high.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate, acuminate, serrate, glabrous, dark green, measuring about 10 x5.5 cm, often with small nectar on the mid rib.

Flowers: Axillary, solitary and usually erect, epicalyx 6-7 linear ,green, connate at base, calyx is companulate, corolla is with 5 petals, 5-20 cm in diameter, Staminal column up to 8 cm long, Staminal filaments 5-10 mm long lobed at apex. Ovary is conical, obtuse, 5 celled with many ovules in each cell. Style is slender, divided at apex, lobes -5, stigma is capitates and hairy.

Fruit: Very rare, an oblong, sparsely pubescent, matured seeds are reniform, glabrous, brownish black &about 5 mm long.

Hibiscus cannabinus L.

Common name: Pundi, Pundipalle gida.

Habit: Erect annual herbs with minute, curved prickles, often glabrous, up to 1-2 meters.

Leaves: Deeply 3-5 lobed, lower surface with scattered bristles on nerves, lobes are linear-oblong to base of calyx.

Flowers: Yellow coloured flowers with five petals, inside base of the flower is purple. The Staminal tube is up to 2 cm.

Ovary: Ovary is about 7x5 mm, ovoid, densely clothed with silvery, white hairs &5 – celled, stigma 5 branched.

Fruits: Dehiscent capsule, densely covered with stiff hairs. Seeds reniform with rounded angles, brownish black in colour, concentrically striated with minute stellate scales and measured about 4 mm long.

Note: Cultivated for its tender leaves, young fruits & fiber in home yards.

Flrs & Frts: August –November.

Hibiscus ovalifolius [Forks.]

Common name: Sanna Daasavala, Loppale gida.

Habit: An erect, straggling herb, up to 60 Cm high.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate, sometimes 3-lobed, serrate, acute, hirsute and up to 4.4 x3 cm.

Stipules: Linear & narrow.

Flowers: Axillary, solitary and white/dull rosy in colour.

Bracteoles: Five, fused at base with calyx, linear hirsute.

Calyx: Five, free almost, to base, lobes linear, acute green, hirsute.

Corolla: White in colour, reflexed backwards, up to 1 cm long, staminal tube is white & antheriferous at apex.

Ovary: Globose, ovules three in each cell, style branched.

Fruit: Fruit is dehiscent, globose capsule, seeds hairy –silky.

Flrs & Frts: January to May & July to November.

Flrs & Frts: April to January

Note: a much cultivated species of cotton.

Malvaviscus penduliflorous [DC] [Malvaviscus arboreus]

Common name: Toogu Daasavala

Habit: An erect, branched shrub, up to 4 m tall. The younger parts of the stem are pubescent. The stem is terete, glabrous & green.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, broadly ovate, coarsely toothed, three lobed. The upper surface is rough, leaf blade measures to 10-15 x5-8 cm.

Flowers: Axillary, solitary, scarlet, 5-6 cm long, do not open fully.

Note: Extensively grown as an ornamental plant, various forms are cultivated for flowers at different shade, including variegated leaves.

Urena lobata L.

Common name: Kaadu tutti gida.

Habit: An erect branched, tomentosa herbs or shrubs, up to 60 cm.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, lobed, lobes toothed, acute, deeply sinuate with gland at the base of midrib, on the lower surface, measuring up to 4x1 cm.

Flowers: Axillary, solitary, epicalyx 5, adnate to calyx at base.

Calyx: 5, fused into a tube at base, lobes linear, acute. Corolla 5, pink in colour, up to 1 cm long. Staminal tube is narrow& antheriferous below apex, anthers shortly stalked.

Style: 10 branched, stigma capitates.

Ovary: 5 celled, ovules solitary in each cell.

Fruit: A schizocarp, glochidiate, hairy, indehiscent.

Seeds: reniform, angular, glabrescent.

Flrs & Frts: July to December, more over in February.

Pavonia burchelli

Common name: Baalarakkasi gida.

Habit: Under shrubs to 50 cm, prostrate stem, terete, green, simply pubescent, and easily mistaken for an Abutilon, when not in flower.

Leaves: Broadly ovate/ sub orbicular, often 3 –angled, base cordate, acute to acuminate at apex. 5-7 nerved from base, irregularly crenate- dentate margins. Leaf measures about 3-5 x2-4.5 cm. The upper & lower surface of leaf is pubescent; petiole is about 2-3 cm long, stipules present.

Flowers: Axillary, solitary, corolla lemon –yellow, sometimes with a reddish centre. Staminal column is about 3 m long, shorter than petals, antheriferous throughout.

Fruit: A slightly compressed schizocarp.

Abutilon hirtum [Lamk.] Sweet.

Common name: Tutti gida.

Habit: An erect, woody sub shrub, up to 1.5 meter high, branchlets viscid.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, broadly ovate, serrate, acute, light green above, glaucous below.

Flowers: Axillary, solitary, golden yellow with sulphreous in odor. Petals -5, inside base purplish, obovate. Pedicel 2.5 -3.5 cm.

Calyx: Companulate, 4 mm. sepals 5, ovate, 8x5 mm, apex acuminate, and minutely pubescent. Seeds reniform, 2mm 3- per cell, densely stiff, stellate pubescent.

Flrs & Frts: July to January.

Abutilon indicum L. Sweet

Common name: Tutti gida, Shrimudre gida.

Habit : An erect, branched shrub, up to 3 m high, branchlets cinereous by minutely short stellate- pubescent & simple hairs.

Leaves: alternate, cordate, simple, broadly ovate, acute, velvety [rarely sub-trilobite] up to12 x 7 cm, relatively thin. Stipules filiform, 2.5 cm, petiole up to 2-8 cm.

Flowers: Axillary, solitary, golden yellow.

Calyx: Tube 4 mm, lobes 5, fused at base, lanceolate & hairy, corolla 5, clawed, and limb orbicular.

Fruit: a schizocarp, awned, black & pubescent, reniform seeds, 2 mm, three per cell, warty & black.

Malvastrum coromondalianum L. Garck

Common name: Sanna bindige gida.

Habit: a small, erect or prostrate woody herb. Stem and branches covered with stiff appressed hairs.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, serrate, acute, dark green, scattered hairy. Five nerved from rounded to truncate base. Shape varies from ovate to ovate lanceolate. Stipules linear –lanceolate, acuminate & hairy.

Flowers: Axillary, solitary, yellow. Calyx: companulate, 4 mm, long, 5- lobed, lobes are triangular, acute, and hirsute.

Corolla: 5, yellow fused at base, obovate to 6mm, staminal column is about 3 mm & filaments are about 1.5 mm.

Fruit: A schizocarp, 3 x6 mm, not exceeding calyx, mericarps reniform & awns with paired apical hooks. One seed per mericarp, compressed, glabrous.

Flrs & Frts: July to September.

Sida rhambifolia L.

Common name: Bolangadale gida.

Habit: Erect, under shrubs, up to 75 cm, branchlets stellate, tomentosa. The branches are spreading to the ground. Stem is dark purple.

Leaves: Vary in shape, alternate, simple, rhomboid, minutely hirsute, dentate, up to 4 x2.5 cm. Basally 3 – nerved, glaucous below.

Flowers: Axillary. Solitary & yellow in colour.

Calyx: Lobes 5, cup shaped, triangular, 6 mm long. Corolla is slightly longer than the calyx.

Fruit: A schizocarp, awned, shorter than the calyx , 7-10 single seeded mericarps with ovoid seeds measuring 1.5 mm.

Flrs & Frts: October to January.

Sida spinosa L.

Common name: Kaadumentya.

Habit: a diffused, suffruticose herb, grows up to 40 -100 cm.

Leaves: Alternate, elliptic to ovate, obtuse to truncate at base, dentate, sparsely pubescent to tomentosa beneath. Stipules narrow, linear with a pair of spines at their base [leaving spine like scars].

Flowers: In most axils, solitary.

Calyx: Companulate. 4 mm, long, 5-lobed, lobes are triangular, acute, and hirsute.

Corolla: 5, yellow, fused at base, obovate to 6 mm. Staminal column 3 mm, filaments up to 1.5 mm long.

Fruit: a schizocarp, separating into single seeded mericarps, awned.

Flrs & Frts: Throughout the year.

Sida cordifolia L.

Common name: Bala, Hettutti, Balamoola.

Habit: Erect, much branched, velvety sub shrub, often gregarious, up to 30 cm high.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate, cordate, crenate-dentate, velvety, tomentosa, stellately hairy & measuring to 1.5 -5 x1.2 – 3 cm.

Flowers: Axillary, solitary, pedicels longer than the petiole, yellow coloured flower.

Calyx: Cup shaped lobes, triangular, acute, and densely pubescent outside [velvety], corolla yellow.

Fruits: A schizocarp, separating into mericarp, awned, tuberculate on walls, Awns longer than the calyx.

Flrs & Frts: Throughout the year.

Sida cordata [Burm.f.] Borss

Common name: Bekkinatale gida

Habit: Trailing herbs, with long, hairy slender branches.

Leaves: Broadly ovate/orbicular, sometimes , shallowly triangular. Base cordate, acute to acuminate at apex. 5-7 basal nerves present, leaf margin is serrate-crenate, above & beneath pubescent. Petioles 0.5-4 cm long, stipules present, 1-2 mm long. Leaf blades measures about 1.7x 1.5 cm.

Flowers: Axillary, solitary, filiform, pedicels measuring up to 2.5 cm.

Calyx: Widely companulate, corolla 9-10 mm in diameter, orange yellow in colour.

Fruits: A schizocarp, 2.5 mm long, mericarps trigonous with rounded angles. Smooth on sides & back.

Flrs & Frts: October to January.

Sida mysorensis W. & A.

Common name: Antututtigida

Habit: Erect annual herbs, under shrubs with sticky [viscid] hairs.

Leaves: Broadly ovate, sometimes orbicular, Base cordate, acute to acuminate at apex. 5-7 nerved at base, 3-4 pairs lateral nerves. Petioles about 3-4 cm long. Stipules present, measuring 5-7 mm long, linear /filiform.

Flowers: Axillary/ fascicled, yellow, calyx companulate, about 7mm x4 mm, lobes 5, triangular, acute at apex, densely velvety. Corolla about 10mm in diameter, orange- yellow/yellow, obovate, emarginated/retuse at apex.

Fruits: a schizocarp, about 3 mm long, glabrous, mericarps 5, 3 x2.5 mm. seeds 2 mm, reniform, glabrous throughout.

Flrs & Frts: October to February

Note : Common in fences & waste places.


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Author: Sri SJ Srinivasa