Striga Lour.
Fl.Cochinch 17, 22. (1790)

Name Status: Current
Browse to the list of specimens for Striga Lour.

Scientific Description
H.R. Coleman, Thursday 8 September 2016

Family Scrophulariaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs. ‘Normal’ plants, or plants of very peculiar form (parasitic). Leaves well developed. Partially parasitic. On roots of the host. Annual; plants with a basal concentration of leaves, or with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves; to 0.6 m high. Helophytic, or mesophytic, or xerophytic. Leaves minute to medium-sized; alternate, or opposite, or whorled; when alternate spiral, or four-ranked; ‘herbaceous’, or leathery; sessile; non-sheathing; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire; linear to ovate, or triangular (when scale-like); pinnately veined. Mature leaf blades adaxially scabrous, or pubescent; abaxially scabrous, or pubescent. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire, or dentate. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hydathodes present (occasionally), or absent. Hairs present, or absent; glandular hairs absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Entomophilous. Pollination mechanism conspicuously specialized (with a loose-pollen mechanism), or unspecialized.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose, or racemose. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary; spike-like. Flowers pedicellate; bracteate; bracteolate; small; very irregular; zygomorphic; 5 merous; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 9; 2 -whorled; anisomerous. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; lobed. Calyx lobes about the same length as the tube. Calyx prominently 5–15 veined; erect; imbricate, or valvate; tubular; unequal but not bilabiate, or bilabiate, or regular; persistent; accrescent; with the median member posterior. Calyx lobes triangular. Corolla present; 4 (the posterior pair united); 1 -whorled; gamopetalous; lobed; imbricate, or valvate; tubular (to salverform); bilabiate; hairy abaxially; hairy adaxially (towards the apex); white, or pink, or purple; not spurred. Androecium 4. Androecial members adnate (to the corolla); markedly unequal; free of one another; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 4; remaining included; didynamous; reduced in number relative to the adjacent perianth; oppositisepalous. Anthers separate from one another; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; unilocular; tetrasporangiate. Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 2 celled. Gynoecium non-petaloid; syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 2 locular. Gynoecium median; stylate. Styles 1; attenuate from the ovary, or from a depression at the top of the ovary; apical. Stigmas 1; 1 - lobed; capitate. Placentation axile, or apical. Ovules 50 per locule (to ‘many’); pendulous to ascending; non-arillate; anatropous, or campylotropous, or hemianatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules loculicidal (the septum remaining attached to the 2 valves). Fruit 50 seeded (to ‘many’). Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Seeds minute; wingless. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight to curved.

Special features. Corolla tube exceeding the calyx; curved. The upper lip of the corolla incorporating 2 members, the lower 3; (posterior, adaxial) lip of the corolla entire (and recurved). Lower (abaxial) lip of the corolla 3 lobed (and porrect or somewhat downcurved).

Geography, cytology, number of species. Native of Australia. Not endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia and Northern Territory. Northern Botanical Province and Eremaean Botanical Province.

Etymology. From the Latin for "a row of grain cut down, stiff hair"; the plant is clothed with stiff hairs.

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Koch, B. L.; Wilson, A. J. G.; Western Australian Herbarium (1992). Flora of the Kimberley region. Western Australian Herbarium. Como, W.A.
  • Barker, W. R. (1990). New taxa, names and combinations in Lindernia, Peplidium, Stemodia and Striga (Scrophulariaceae) mainly of the Kimberley Region, Western Australia.