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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 17 | Lamiaceae

6. Ajuga Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 561. 1753.

筋骨草属 jin gu cao shu

Ajuga lupulina

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Plants annual, biennial or perennial, herbaceous, rarely shrubs. Leaves simple; leaf blade papery, margin dentate to incised, rarely subentire. Verticillasters 2- to many flowered, in false spikes; floral leaves similar to stem leaves or gradually reduced to bracts, rarely dissimilar, larger than stem leaves. Flowers subsessile. Calyx ovoid to globose, campanulate to funnelform, 10-veined, sometimes with inconspicuous accessory veins; teeth 5, slightly irregular. Corolla purple to blue, rarely yellow or white, 2-lipped, often persistent in fruit; tube straight to slightly curved, base slightly bent/swollen; throat slightly dilated, villous annulate, rarely glabrous inside; upper lip straight, entire to 2-lobed; lower lip elongate, 3-lobed, with middle lobe obcordate to nearly flabellate and lateral lobes oblong. Stamens 4, didynamous, exserted from upper lip, involute in bud, anterior 2 longer; filaments straight to slightly curved; anther cells 2, apically confluent. Style subequally 2-cleft, lobes subulate. Nutlets obovoid, triquetrous, netted on back, lateral-ventral side with an areole 1/2-2/3 its length, with an elaiosome.

About 40-50 species: Asia, Europe, especially in the Near East; 18 species in China.

1 Verticillasters 2(-4, rarely more)-flowered, widely spaced; floral leaves similar to stem leaves; fertile branches (only) erect to ascending.   (2)
+ Verticillasters 6- or more flowered, close together; floral leaves unlike stem leaves (except in A. linearifolia); plants erect, rarely trailing   (5)
2 (1) Base of corolla tube not villous annulate inside; leaf base cordate to subtruncate   1 Ajuga lobata
+ Base of corolla tube villous annulate inside; leaf base cuneate to subtruncate, decurrent.   (3)
3 (2) Leaves spatulate, 2-3 × 4-6 mm   2 Ajuga pygmaea
+ Leaves ovate to oblong, more than 10 mm wide.   (4)
4 (3) Leaves 3-5.3 × 2.5-3.8 cm, ovate to ovate-oblong, basally cuneate to subtruncate, slightly decurrent   3 Ajuga sciaphila
+ Leaves 2-3.4 × 1.2-2.3 cm, oblong to ovate-oblong, basally cuneate to decurrent   4 Ajuga nubigena
5 (1) Floral leaves longer than flowers, whitish yellow, white, or purple   5 Ajuga lupulina
+ Floral leaves equal to or slightly shorter than flowers, rarely longer, green or purplish   (6)
6 (5) Corolla tube (1.5–)2–3 cm, upper lip 2-lobed   6 Ajuga ovalifolia
+ Corolla tube less than 1.6 cm, rarely to 2 cm, upper lip shallowly 2-lobed   (7)
7 (6) Floral and stem leaves similar, of 1 color; stem leaves linear to linear-lanceolate   18 Ajuga linearifolia
+ Floral and stem leaves dissimilar; stem leaves of other shapes   (8)
8 (7) Corolla tube erect to slightly curved, not saccate or bent above annulus of hairs   (9)
+ Corolla tube slightly swollen, shallowly saccate to bent above annulus of hairs   (14)
9 (8) Calyx ciliate along veins and teeth margin, villous to puberulent apically, glabrous basally, or subglabrous throughout   (10)
+ Calyx strigose, villous, or lanate-villous throughout, especially on teeth   (12)
10 (9) Stems 25–40 cm tall, purplish red or greenish purple, glabrous, gray villous only on younger parts; leaves ovate-oblong to narrowly oblong, 4–7.5?×?3.2–4 cm, irregularly double dentate   7 Ajuga ciliata
+ Stems less than 20 cm tall, sometimes to 30 cm, not brightly colored, densely gray pubescent to gray villous; leaves ovate to lanceolate-oblong, less than 3.2 cm wide, margin repand   (11)
11 (10) Inflorescences 1–3 cm; floral leaves usually shorter than flowers; calyx white villous on teeth   9 Ajuga campylanthoides
+ Inflorescences ca. 6 cm; floral leaves much longer than flowers; calyx ciliate along veins and apical teeth margin   11 Ajuga forrestii
12 (9) Calyx strigose; corolla tube slightly curved; stamens nearly included; plants subprostrate, basally stoloniferous   10 Ajuga campylantha
+ Calyx villous or lanate-villous; corolla tube straight; stamens slightly exserted; plants erect or stoloniferous   (13)
13 (12) Stems erect, unbranched, 6–21 cm tall, densely gray lanate or silky   8 Ajuga multiflora
+ Plants with stolons and erect fertile stems ca. 10 cm tall, gray villous or lanate-villous   12 Ajuga bracteosa
14 (8) Calyx teeth lanceolate to lanceolate-triangular; plants spreading ascending or with stolons   13 Ajuga pantantha
+ Calyx teeth narrowly triangular to broadly ovate; plants erect, sometimes trailing-ascending   (15)
15 (14) Corolla 6–8(–9) mm; calyx teeth ovate to ovate-triangular; stamens exserted ca. 1/2 their length   (16)
+ Corolla more than 8 mm; calyx teeth narrowly or short triangular; stamens exserted 1/4–1/3 their length   (17)
16 (15) Corolla white, upper lip shorter than lateral lobes of lower lip; calyx teeth ovate-triangular   16 Ajuga dictyocarpa
+ Corolla blue, blue-purple, or purple, upper lip nearly as long as lateral lobes of lower lip; calyx teeth ovate to broadly ovate   17 Ajuga macrosperma
17 (15) Leaves spatulate to suboblong; plants prostrate, with basal leaves at anthesis   14 Ajuga decumbens
+ Leaves broadly oblong to obovate-elliptic; plants erect or rarely prostrate, branched at base, without basal leaves at anthesis   15 Ajuga nipponensis

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