Nicandra Adans.
Fam.Pl. 2:219 (1763)

Name Status: Current
Browse to the list of specimens for Nicandra Adans.

Scientific Description
J. Gathe and Leslie Watson, Thursday 8 September 2016

Family Solanaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs; resinous, or not resinous. Plants unarmed. Annual, or biennial; plants with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves. Stem internodes solid. Helophytic to xerophytic. Leaves alternate; spiral; ‘herbaceous’; petiolate; non-sheathing; gland-dotted, or not gland-dotted; aromatic, or without marked odour; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades dissected, or entire; when simple, ovate (narrowly to broadly); when simple/dissected, pinnatifid; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire (or sinuate), or dentate. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hairs present (sparsely), or absent; glandular hairs absent. Extra-floral nectaries absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Entomophilous.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary; axillary; pedicellate (recurved and sparsely hairy); ebracteate; ebracteolate; small to medium-sized; fragrant, or odourless; regular; 5 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present; intrastaminal. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; blunt-lobed; regular; persistent; accrescent (bladdery/inflated, cf. Physalis). Calyx lobes ovate (and sagittate at the base or broadly cordate; margins of lobes appressed forming longitudinal wings; fruiting lobes longer than the calyx tube). Corolla present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamopetalous. Corolla lobes markedly shorter than the tube. Corolla imbricate and plicate, or contorted and plicate; broadly campanulate; regular; white (towards base), or blue (pale, to mauve). Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 5. Androecial members adnate; all equal; free of one another; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5. Staminal insertion near the base of the corolla tube. Stamens all inserted at the same level; all more or less similar in shape; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous (near the base of the corolla tube). Filaments appendiculate, or not appendiculate; hairy (basally). Anthers separate from one another; dorsifixed; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; bilocular; tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed in aggregates, or shed as single grains. Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 3–5 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious to eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary plurilocular; unevenly 3–5 locular (by secondary divisions). Locules secondarily divided by ‘false septa’. Gynoecium oblique; stylate. Styles 1; attenuate from the ovary; apical. Stigmas 1; 2 - lobed (L); capitate. Placentation axile. Ovules 20–50 per locule (numerous); non-arillate; anatropous, or hemianatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a berry; 20–100 seeded (numerous). Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily, or not oily. Seeds compressed. Cotyledons 2. Embryo curved (through more than a semicircle).

Etymology. After Nicander of Colophon, Greek poet and physician who wrote on poisons and venoms, 2nd century BC.

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, Judy; Marchant, Neville; Lewington, Margaret; Graham, Lorraine (2002). Flora of the south west, Bunbury, Augusta, Denmark. Volume 2, dicotyledons. Australian Biological Resources Study. Canberra.
  • Marchant, N. G.; Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Bennett, E. M.; Lander, N. S.; Macfarlane, T. D.; Western Australian Herbarium (1987). Flora of the Perth region. Part one. Western Australian Herbarium. Perth.
  • Australia. Bureau of Flora and Fauna (1982). Flora of Australia. Volume 29, Solanaceae. Australian Govt. Pub. Service. Canberra.
  • Grieve, Brian J.; Blackall, William E. (1982). How to know Western Australian wildflowers : a key to the flora of the extratropical regions of Western Australia. Part IV. University of W.A. Press. Perth.