Pedaliaceae is a flowering plant family classified in the order Scrophulariales in the Cronquist system and Lamiales in the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system.

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Pedaliaceae - garden

Origin and Habitat: Sesamothamnus lugardii is found in several separated populations from the Transvaal Lowveld (Kruger National Park) through the northern Transvaal in Southern Africa to the south of Zimbabwe and the east of Botswana and southern Namibia.
Altitude range: 180 - 1500 metres above sea level.
Habitat: It grows singly or in scattered, small groups in hot dry areas on calcareous soil in open, sandy Acacia Bushveld or between rocks, in scrub communities, sometimes being the dominant woody plant. The elephants have been known to eat parts of the tree, and sometimes to uproot it.

Description: Sesamothamnus lugardii is a grotesque spiny shrub or small caudiciform tree which looks like a 2-3(-5) m high baobab. It has an exceptionally thick, swollen trunk which always subdivides near the ground in few main branches tapering rapidly towards their tips to form a sparse canopy. The flowers of this species are unique, beautiful trumpet-shaped, but unfortunately very few are produced. Each consists of a particularly long, thin, red-brown corolla tube which is elongated at the base into what is known as a 'spur', which extends beyond the flower's junction with the twig.
Stem (Caudex): Succulent-like, very swollen at the base, up to 1 m. in diameter. It branches very low down into a few thick, semi-erect branches that divide into thick branchlets that taper rapidly towards their tips. Bark golden-yellow fairly glossy, marked with black, peeling off in small flakes, to show shiny green under-bark. The bark becomes darker towards the ends of the branches. The branches have dark knobs and stiff thorns. The timber is soft, fibrous and worthless.
Thorns: Single, short, set spirally on the twigs 5-10(-15) mm long, straight or slightly curved growing on twigs and branches. Initially they are soft with leaf-like appendages, but later become hard and sharp.
Leaves: Deciduous, simple in tufts on knobs, in the angles made by the spines, or forming tight, sparse sleeves around short branchlets and twigs, oblong to obovate, 1–2.5 cm long, 4–6 mm broad, blue-grey-green, semi-coriaceous, with under-surfaces covered by many, tiny, star-shaped hairs that give a powdery appearance when young. Petiole very short . Margin smooth. Tip rounded-to-notched. Base tapering. Midrib and veins, distinct below, impressed above without hairs.
Flower: Striking, sweet-scented, single or up to 3 in short raceme-like inflorescences on short shoots which are sometimes elongated. Pedicels 4 mm long. Calyx 5-partite, 4 mm. Long. Flower-tube long, cylindrical, only slightly curved, thin, red-brown 8-10(-15) cm long, 4–6 mm in diameter, with a short spur at base of tube, 1–1.5 cm long, cream-coloured, sometimes suffused with purple. Corolla star-like, 50 - 60 mm in diameter, sparingly tomentose, opening into five, broad, petals which are subcircular, 1.6–2 cm. broad crinkled, white to pale cream-coloured. Stamens 4, subequal, inserted near the throat of the corolla tube filaments 4–5 mm long. Style slender, equaling the corolla tube. Stigma reaching the corolla mouth or exerted by up to 10 mm., broadly bilobed.
Blooming season: Summer.
Fruits (capsules): Flat, pale greyish brown, woody approx 40-60mm long, 38-50 mm broad, heart-shaped, rectangular or egg-shaped in outline, laterally compressed, often with a blunt, notched tip sometimes with a long, rigid, hair-like strand resembling that of the jacaranda. It is thickened in the middle and stands upright. It splits open widely, to release the seeds.
Seeds Brown, flat, transversely oblong, with round, papery wings, about 1.5 cm long and 2.5 cm broad (including the wings).

Notes: The name lugardii honours Major EJ Lugard, a naturalist who collected plants in Namaqualand during the late 1800s.

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Ernst Schmidt, Mervyn Lotter, Warren McCleland “Trees and Shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park” Jacana Media, 01/Jan/2002
2) Vincent Carruthers “The Wildlife of Southern Africa: A Field Guide to the Animals and Plants of the Region” Struik, 01/Mar/2005
3) Rina Grant, Val Thomas “Sappi Tree Spotting: Bushveld, Including Pilanesberg and Magaliesberg” Jacana Media, 01/Jan/2005
4) Piet Van Wyk “Southern African Trees: A Photographic Guide” Struik, 2001
5) Werner Rauh “The Wonderful World of Succulents: Cultivation and Description of Selected Succulent Plants Other Than Cacti” Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984
6) Jutta Von Breitenbach “Pocket List of Southern African Indigenous Trees: Including Selected Shrubs and Woody Climbers” Briza Publications, 01/Jan/2001
7) Clive Innes “Complete Handbook of Cacti and Succulents” Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 01/Dec/1981
8) Inez C. Verdoorn, L. E. W. Codd “Wild Flowers of the Transvaal” Trustees, Wild Flowers of The Transvaal Book Fund, 1962
9) Sesamothamnus lugardii in: Bothalia 3: 254 1937
10) Sesamothamnus lugardii in: Fl. Pl. Africa 41: t.1640 1971
11) Sesamothamnus lugardii in: List South. African Succ. Pl. : 135 1997
12) H. D. Ihlenfeldt “Flora Zambesica” Vol 8 Part 3, page 86 1988
13) Bruce in Kew Bull. 8: 417 1953
14) Codd, Trees & Shrubs Kruger Nat. Park: 168 1951
15) Pardy in Rhod. Agric. Journ. 53: 63 (1956
16) Codd in Fl. Pl. Afr. pl. 1640 1972
17) Palmer & Pitman, Trees of S. Afr.: 2015 1972
18) Coates & Palgrave, Trees of S. Afr.: 835 1977

Sesamothamnus lugardii Photo by: K.k. Agrawal
Sesamothamnus lugardii Photo by: Josef Cycad Perner
Sesamothamnus lugardii Photo by: K.k. Agrawal

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Cultivation and Propagation: Sesamothamnus lugardii is fairly easy to grow both indoors, as well as outdoors in warm climates in a garden with well-drained soil, especially a rock garden and can grow at about 10cm a year. In the winters it is deciduous, except in very tropical areas. It is drought but not frost-resistant.
Growth rate: It is a fairly slow growing plant, but in 10 years it can easily outgrow its indoor location, requiring a 'pruning'. Though branching is usually a response to naturally process one can stimulate branching by cutting off its top. It has amazing regenerative properties and is suited for bonsai culture.
Soil: It needs a draining cactus potting mix.
Repoting: Repot the plant every 3 years this is quite tricky given all the spines. The best way is to wrap several layers of newspaper around the trunk where it is to be handled.
Waterings: It needs regular water when the plant has leaves, contrary to popular belief, it likes a lot of water in the warm summers, as long as it's planted in a very well draining soil. Indoors it is best to err on the dry side, or it is prone to rot.
Exposures: It like full sun to light shade with warm temperatures.
Propagation: Seeds or cuttings. These trees are difficult to grow from seed, as planted seeds germinate poorly. Seed start sprouting in just 3-4 days ( but continue to germinate erratically for about 6 month). They are also propagated by removal of small offshoots that grow at the base of the old plant. Carefully break off the offshoots, they should be allowed to dry for 5 to 8 days before potting up.

Pedaliaceae: Characters, Distribution and Affinities

In this article we will discuss about:- 1. Characters of Pedaliaceae 2. Distribution of Pedaliaceae 3. Economic Importance 4. Affinities.

Characters of Pedaliaceae:

Herbs with opposite leaves, and mucilage containing glandular hairs flowers zygomorphic, hoypogynous calyx and corolla 5, fused, corolla bilabiate stemens 4, epipetalous, sometimes 2 carpels 2, syncarpous, 4-loculed or incompletely 4-loculed, axile placentation fruit a capsule, beaked or barbed.

A. Vegetative characters:

Annual or perennial herbs, rarely shrubs.

Erect, herbaceous, branched with mucilage containing glandular hairs.

Simple, entire or lobed, opposite or the uppermost sometimes alternate, exstipulate with mucilage glands.

B. Floral characters:

Usually solitary in axils or simple axillary dichasial, rarely recemose.

Zygomorphic, hypogynous, rarely epigynous (Trapelia), hermaphrodite, pedicellate, complete.

Sepals 5, rarely 4, gamosepalous, valvate.

Pelals 5 or 4, gamopetaous, tubular, 5-lobed or somewhat bilabiate, (upper 2, lower 3).

Stamens 4, epipetalues distinct, didynamous (only 2 fertile stamen in Trapelia), the fifth (posterior) represented by a small staminode, anthers – bithecous, introrse, dehiscing langitudinally.

Bicarpellary, syncarpous, superior (inferior in Trapelia) bi or tetralocular due to false septa, axile placentation, 1 or more ovules in each locule, ovule anatropous style one and slender strigma bilobed.

Loculicidal capsule or nut, often spiny or with wings, hooks or thorns, beaked or barbed.

Smooth with a thin fleshy endosperm and a small straight embryo.

Distribution of Pedaliaceae:

Sesamum family comprises of 16 genera and 60 species, mostly maritime or desert plants.

Economic Importance of Pedaliaceae:

The seeds of Sesamum indicum (H. til) yield oil. The seeds of white seeded variety are edible-and largely eaten in the form of sweetmeat. The oil is used for culinary purposes.

The leaves of Ceratotheca sesamoides and Pedailium mures are used as vegetables.

The oil of black seeded varieties of Sesamum indicum is used for burning and anointing the body and manufacture of soaps and perfumes.

The seeds of Sesamum indicum are used in piles, dysentery and urinary trobules. They are also applied to ulcers in the form of poultice.

The decoction oiPedalium fruit is used for urinary complaints, spamatorrhoea, and impotency. The infusion of leaves and stem are also useful for veneral diseases such as gonorrhoea, dysuria etc. The roots have antibilous properties.

Ceratotheca triloba is cultivated domestically as an ornamental plant to a limited extent.

Affinities of Pedaliaceae:

The Pedaliaceae is closely allied to Scrophulariaceae and Lamiaceae (Labiatae), but is distinguished by the usually beaked or barbed fruits, 4-localed or incompletely 4-loculed bicarpellary ovary and axile placentation.

Common plant of the family:

Sesame or Gingelly (H.Til) an oil-seed crop.

Important Type of Pedaliaceae:

1. Seasamum indicum (Fig. 84.1):

Annual herb, 1 to 2.5 ft feet high cultivated in rainy season.

Erect, herbaceous, branched, with mucilage containing glandular hair, angular.

Simple, entire, opposite, uppermost alternate, existipulate.

Pedicellate, hermophrodite, hypogynous, zygomorphic, complete, whitish, pinkish ebracteate, complete.

Sepals 5, gamosepalous, valvate, hairy.

Petals 5, gamopetalous, bilabiate, tubular, 5 lobed, upper 2 and lower 3.

Stamens 4, didynamous, epipetalous, posterior most staminode, anthers bithecous, sagitate, introrse.

Bicarpellary syncarpous superior, tetralocular due to false septum, axile placentation, style filiform, stigma bilobed.


4.9 Pedaliaceae

Pedaliaceae is a flowering plant family well-known as pedalium or sesame family. Within this family, Seukep et al. (2013) reported the antibacterial activity of the methanol extract from the beans of Sesamum indicum and the stem bark and leaves of Sesamum radiatum Schum et Thom. The investigators showed that S. indicum had significant inhibitory effects against E. aerogenes EA27 and K. pneumoniae K2 and K24 (MIC of 256 μg/mL) while S. radiatum also displayed MIC value of 256 μg/mL against P. stuartii ATCC 29914. Authors also showed that both plants were active against many other drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains of E. coli, E. aerogenes, E. cloacae, K. pneumoniae, and P. stuartii with MIC values ranging from 512 to 1024 μg/mL. Tane et al. (2005) also showed that essential oil of S. radiatum was active against Citrobacter sp., E. coli ATCC 25922, K. pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, P. aeruginosa, S. typhi, and S. aureus.

Bignoniaceae: Characters, Distribution and Affinities

In this article we will discuss about the:- 1. Characters of Bignoniaceae 2. Distribution of Bignoniaceae 3. Economic Importance 4. Affinities.

Characters of Bignoniaceae:

Plant predominently lianous, compound leaves, zygomorphic flowers, anthers connivent in pairs numberous ovule, silique-like woody capsule, large winged seed and non-endospermic.

A. Vegetative characters:

Mostly trees or shrubs often climbing or twining vine, rarely herbs.

Hard, woody and branched weak in climbers and twiners, rootlet or tendril climbers.

Usually pinnately compound, opposite, decussate, rarely simple or alternate, exstipulate, terminal leaflet modified into tendril, adhesive disc or hook.

B. Floral characters:

Usually dichasial cyme with bracts and bracteoles.

Bracteate, bracteolate, hermaphrodite, hypogynous, zygomophic, complete.

Sepals 5, gamopetalous, lobed or bilabiate, valvate.

Petals 5, obliquely campanulate or infundibuliform, imbricate, gamopetalous, lobes or teeth 5, sometimes bilabiate.

Stamens 4, didynamous, epipetalous, posterior staminode, sometimes 2 (Catalpa) anther two-lobed, lobes divaricate, disc present.

Carpels 2, syncarpous ovary superior, bilocular with axile placentation, each loculus many – ovuled sometime unilocular (Eccremocarpus) with two bifid parietal placentae style terminal and single stigma bifid.

Capsule – two valved septicidal or loculicidal or berry.

Non-endospermic, flattened, winged.

Distribution of Bignoniaceae:

Bignoniaceae or Bignonia family is primarily tropical or subtropical family comprising 120 genera and 800 species of trees or shrubs, often climbing or twining vines and rarely herbs.

Economic Importance of Bignoniaceae:

Catalpa bignonioides, Millingtonia, Spathodea companulata, Tabebuia pentaphylla, Oroxylum are prized for timber.

The leaves of Cybistax antisyphilitica are used as source of blue dye.

The garden ornamental plants are represented by Pyrostegia venusa (Syn. Bignonia uenusta), Spathodea campanulata, Tecoma stans.

Affinities of Bignoniaceae:

Bignoniaceae is allied to Acanthaceae, Pedaliaceae and Scrophulariaceae. Wettstein considered the family a little advanced over Scrophulariaceae. Bessey placed the family in Scrophulariales, the origin of which was traced from Polemoniales (Boraginales).

Hallier included it in the Tubiflorae and placed it near Pedaliaceae and Acanthaceae to which it is also very allied. Hutchinson (1959) put the family under his 59th order Bignoniales which also includes family Pedaliaceae according to him the origin of Bignoniales was from Loganiales.

Common plants of the family:

1. Crescentia cujete – Calabash-fruit large, ground-like.

2. Jacaranda acutifolius – Jack tree a road-side avenue tree with wonderful masses of purplish flowers.

3. Catalpa speciosa – tree grown for valuable wood.

4. Bignonia vensusta – Climber, ornamental plant.

5. Millingtonia hortensis – Indian cork – tree.

6. Tecoma stans – garden shrub.

7. Tabebuia – West Indian Box tree.

Division of the family and chief genera:

According to Schumann the Bignoniaceae is separated into four tribes:

Ovary completely bilocular, compressed, parallel to the septum or ovary may be cylindrical. Capsule septifragal. Seeds winged. Mostly climbing shrubs by means of leaf tendrils or sometimes trees. Genera: Glaziovia, Bignonia, Oroxylum, Millingtonia etc.

Ovary bilocular compressed, at right angles to the septum, or ovary may be cylindrical. Capsule loculicidal with winged seeds. Erect shrubs or trees, rarely climbers by tendrils. Genera: Tecoma, Catalpha, Spathodea, Heterophragma, Pajanelia etc.

Tribe III. Eccremocarpeae:

Ovary unilocular. Capsule dehiscing from base upwards. Seeds winged. Climbing shrubs by tendrils. Only genus Eccremocarpus (Peru, S. America).

Tribe IV. Crescentieae:

Ovary uni- or bilocular. Fruit berry or dry indehiscent. Seeds not winged. Erect trees or shrubs. Genera: Kigelia, Crescentia etc.

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