All Floras      Advanced Search
FOC Vol. 5 Page 433 Login | eFloras Home | Help
FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 5 | Nyctaginaceae

5. Boerhavia Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 3. 1753.

黄细心属 huang xi xin shu

Herbs annual or perennial, erect, ascending, or procumbent. Stems sometimes glandular. Leaves opposite, often unequal, petiolate, margin entire or sinuate. Inflorescences usually terminal, sometimes apparently axillary, of small umbels, often irregular, rarely 1-flowered, grouped into cymose panicles. Flowers bisexual, small; bracteoles minute, often deciduous. Perianth constricted beyond the ovary, limb campanulate, apex 5-lobed, truncate, or plicate, caducous, Stamens 1-5, included or shortly exserted; filaments connate at base. Ovary oblique, stipitate. Stigma peltate or capitate. Fruit obovoid, turbinate, clavate, or terete, small, 5-ribbed or deeply 5-angled, often rough, with sessile, sticky glands. Seed: embryo curved, cotyledons thin, broad, enclosing the thin endosperm.

Between 20 and 40 species: widespread in tropical and subtropical regions; four species in China.

All species occur in disturbed, often sandy, habitats. Boerhavia coccinea, B. diffusa, and B. repens have been much confused. This is partly because of problems with typification: the type collection of B. repens, in particular, is very far from adequate, partly because the boundaries between these rather plastic weeds are not as clearly defined as one would like them to be. It is worth noting that as early as 1849, Choisy noted five different usages of B. diffusa. Published records from China need to be treated with caution. A record of the Indian species B. crispa Heyne ex J. D. Hooker from Taiwan seems to be based on a misidentification.

1 Stems prostrate to weakly ascending, most parts hairy; flowers in axillary umbels or cymes, or in ill-defined terminal panicles with lower branches subtended by well-developed leaves.   (2)
+ Stems trailing, ascending to erect, upper parts glabrous; flowers in well-defined leafless terminal panicle.   (3)
2 (1) Stems prostrate on ground or nearly so; inflorescences mostly axillary, umbels or cymes; most parts eglandular-puberulent.   1 B. repens
+ Stems sprawling to ascending; inflorescences mostly terminal, upper leaves reduced to form ill-defined ascending panicles; most parts glandular-pubescent.   2 B. coccinea
3 (1) Leaf margin with unicellular hairs; perianth limb white, red, or pink; anthocarp glabrous, tip sharply angular.   3 B. erecta
+ Leaf margin with stout, multicellular hairs, at least when young; perianth limb bright purple or purple-red; anthocarp glandular-hairy, tip ± rounded.   4 B. diffusa

Lower Taxa


Related Objects  
  • PDF File
  • PDF

    Flora of Chile  
  • PDF
  • PDF
  • Name Problem
  • PDF

    Flora of China @
    Browse by
    Advanced Search

    Flora of China Home




     |  eFlora Home |  People Search  |  Help  |  ActKey  |  Hu Cards  |  Glossary  |