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Flowers of the Milkwort family look superficially like those of the Pea family, but there are some significant differences. Milkwort flowers are irregular and bisexual. There are 5 sepals-but usually 3 green outer sepals and 2 petal-like inner sepals. There are 3 (sometimes 5) united petals, usually fused with the stamens, and the lower petal is often fringed. There are 8 (sometimes fewer) stamens, fused to the petals. The ovary is positioned superior. It consists of 2 (rarely 5) united carpels with the partition walls present, forming an equal number of chambers. It matures as a capsule, nut, or drupe (a fleshy fruit with a stony seed.)
Key Words: Irregular flowers with milky stems.
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