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Family Asclepiadaceae is represented by 250 genera and ca 3000 species mainly distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is represented by 43 genera and ca 243 species in India, of which, 31 genera, 82 species, 2 subspecies and 7 varieties are known from the State of Maharashtra. The family is well known for endemism, most elaborate complicated flower of all the dicots and contrivances for pollination. Most of the members of the family are restricted in distribution and many of them fall under some IUCN categories of rare plants. Many of the species are not available for taxonomic studies due to rarity of plant materials. Similarly fleshy nature of flowers makes it difficult to study floral structure in dried herbarium specimens. During last decade, deliberate attempts were made to collect asclepiads of Maharashtra and study their characters in fresh and prickled liquid preserved materials. During 10 years intensive survey of asclepiads of Maharashtra, about 63 species of the total 82 species reported for the State have been collected, documented, photographed, studied and reported in the present paper. The genus Ceropegia alone accounts for 24 species and 2 varieties for the state. Photographs of asclepiad flowers are found to be of paramount value in easy identifications than their descriptions. The paper gives an account of Asclepiads of Maharashtra, their distribution and present field status.
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