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Genus Catharanthus Family Apocynaceae

Description: Perennial herbs or subshrubs with milky latex.

Leaves opposite, clusters of axillary glands either side of base of petiole.

Flowers axillary or terminal, solitary or paired. Calyx small, deeply lobed, lobes narrow, acute, ciliate, without glands. Corolla tube cylindrical, constricted at the apex, sparsely hairy inside; lobes broad, contorted in bud. Stamens included in corolla tube; filaments very short, attached near the top of tube; anthers fertile to the base. Carpels free except for the style, alternating with 2 yellowish slender erect nectaries; style elongated, slender, the style head swollen, with a membranous annular flap enclosing its base.

Fruit usually a pair of terete follicles, pubescent; seeds numerous, lacking wings and hairs.


Flower
Photo S. Goodwin

Distribution and occurrence: World: 5 species, trops., especially Madagascar. Australia: 1 species (naturalized).

Text by G. J. Harden & J. B. Williams
Taxon concept:

One species in NSW: Catharanthus roseus

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