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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 8 | Diapensiaceae

4. Diapensia Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 141. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 69. 1754.

Pincushion plant [Greek dia-, composed, and pente, five, alluding to sepal, petal, and stamen numbers]

Guy L. Nesom

Subshrubs, forming tussocks, cushions, domes, or mats, caulescent, taprooted. Stems mostly prostrate to decumbent, branched; branches procumbent or decumbent to erect. Leaves cauline, mostly opposite or compactly whorled, densely imbricate or crowded, 3-15 mm; petiole present or absent; blade oblong-lanceolate to narrowly spatulate, obovate, or spatulate-elliptic, slightly falcate, margins entire, apex acute or obtuse, surfaces glabrous, appearing 1-veined, sometimes with 1-2, indistinct, lateral veins. Inflorescences solitary flowers, pedicellate to subsessile, immediately subtended by 2-3 bracts. Pedicels ebracteate, elongating after anthesis. Flowers: sepals distinct or connate proximally; petals connate in proximal 1/2, corolla cupulate to campanulate, 7-10 mm, lobes white to cream or pinkish tinged to rose, margins entire; anthers 2-locular, without basal spurs, longitudinally dehiscent; filaments adnate to corolla tube; staminodes absent or vestigial. x = 6.

Species 5 (2 in the flora): North America, n Europe, Asia.

The three temperate species of Diapensia are endemic to the Sino-Himalayan Mountains. They differ as a group from the two boreal species by their production of vestigial staminodes (see F. Ludlow 1976).

SELECTED REFERENCE Evans, W. E. 1927. A revision of the genus Diapensia with special reference to the Sino-Himalayan species. Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 15: 209-236.

1 Plants forming tussocks; branches not adventitiously rooted; leaf blades oblong-oblanceolate to narrowly spatulate, 7-15 × 1.3-2.3 mm, margins with narrow hyaline flange proximally.   1 Diapensia lapponica
+ Plants usually forming mats or low mounds or cushions; branches adventitiously rooted; leaf blades obovate to spatulate-elliptic, 3-8(-12) × 1.5-2.2(-3) mm, margins sometimes with narrow hyaline flange.   2 Diapensia obovata

Lower Taxa


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