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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 13 | Combretaceae

6. Combretum Loefling, Iter Hispan. 308. 1758.

风车子属 feng che zi shu

Cacoucia Aublet; Embryogonia Blume; Grislea Linnaeus; Poivrea Commerson ex Candolle.

Lianas woody, or shrubs when lacking climbing support, rarely non-climbing shrubs, trees, or subherbaceous. Leaves opposite, whorled, or rarely alternate; petiole sometimes persistent and thornlike; leaf blade variable in shape, generally elliptic or oblong-elliptic to broadly ovate, hairy or glabrous, often conspicuously scaly, often with domatia. Inflorescences terminal, axillary, or extra-axillary, simple or branched spikes, racemes, or panicles. Calyx tube usually shorter than 2 cm, proximally ellipsoid or fusiform, slightly contracted above ovary, distally narrowly funnelform to saucer-shaped; lobes 4 or 5, rarely more, deltoid to subulate, sometimes almost absent. Petals 4 or 5, white, yellow, orange, red, or purple, small and inconspicuous or showy and exceeding calyx lobes. Stamens usually 8 or 10, usually exserted from calyx tube. Style not adnate to inside of calyx tube (in Chinese species). Fruit often shortly stipitate, dry, rarely fleshy, longitudinally 4- or 5-winged, -ridged, or -angled, broadly winged in Chinese species with wings equal, papery, transversely striate; endocarp not sclerenchymatous.

About 250 species: mostly in tropical and S Africa, also in tropics of America and Asia, and Madagascar; eight species (one endemic) in China.

Cacoucia chinensis A. Jussieu ex Candolle (Prodr. 3: 22. 1828) was said to have originated in China. The application of this name is unclear. The fruit was described as 5-angled.

Combretum chinense Roxburgh ex G. Don (Trans. Linn. Soc. London 15: 432. 1827) was said by its author to have originated from China. It was treated by Exell (in Steenis, Fl. Males., ser. 1, 4: 540. 1954), who apparently did not see the type, as a name of uncertain application. Nanakorn (Thai Forest Bull. 16: 171-175. 1986) designated Roxburgh s.n. in Herb. Lambert (G) as the lectotype and, having examined that specimen, accepted the name C. chinense for a species distributed from India to Indochina and Indonesia (but not in China) and similar morphologically to C. yunnanense (C. griffithii var. yunnanense in the present treatment).

1 Flowers 5-merous; fruit 5-winged; calyx tube tomentose and/or villous, if scaly then hairs obscuring scales   (2)
+ Flowers 4-merous; fruit 4-winged; calyx tube pubescent to glabrous, often scaly   (3)
2 (1) Calyx tube distally funnelform, 7-8 mm; stamens 7-8 mm, obviously exceeding petals; fruit densely villosulous (when young) and sparsely red scaly; leaf blade abaxially without tufts of hairs in axils of lateral veins; inflorescences densely compound spikes usually crowded at branchlet apex and forming a dense, leafy panicle.   1 C. pilosum
+ Calyx tube distally cupular, 3-5 mm; stamens ca. 2 mm, not exceeding petals; fruit glossy, glabrous; leaf blade abaxially sometimes with tufts of hairs in axils of lateral veins; inflorescences laxly compound spikes usually grouped at branchlet apex and forming a ± lax, leafy panicle.   2 C. roxburghii
3 (1) Branchlets, both surfaces of leaf blade, inflorescence axes, calyx tube, and fruit sparsely to densely covered with obvious, white to ferruginous, peltate scales ca. 0.2 mm in diam.; leaf blade apex abruptly caudate, cauda with rounded or obtuse tip.   3 C. punctatum
+ Branchlets, leaf blade, inflorescence axes, and calyx tube without obvious, peltate scales, although often with minute scales or verrucae much less than 0.2 mm in diam.; leaf blade apex not caudate but often acuminate and then acumen with acute tip   (4)
4 (3) Inflorescences compound spikes, flower-bearing part of spikes very condensed and forming obconic to hemispheric capitula.   4 C. sundaicum
+ Inflorescences simple or compound spikes, flower-bearing part of spikes broadly cylindric to long and slender   (5)
5 (4) Inflorescence of at least some branched spikes; fruit obovoid, globose, or oblate   (6)
+ Inflorescence of simple spikes only (even when grouped at branchlet apex and forming a panicle); fruit globose or ± so   (7)
6 (5) Inflorescences broadly cylindric spikes; calyx tube 12-15 mm, lobes reflexed, 2-3 mm; fruit ± obovoid, 2.5-4.5 cm, sparsely minutely tomentose when young, glabrous when mature, not scaly.   5 C. latifolium
+ Inflorescences narrowly cylindric spikes; calyx tube 5-7 mm, lobes erect, 1-1.5 mm; fruit globose or oblate, 1.5-2.5 cm, glabrous, scaly.   6 C. alfredii
7 (5) Both surfaces of leaf blade usually not ferruginous minutely scaly but often densely green or white verruculose, glabrous at maturity except abaxially often with tufts of hairs in axils of lateral veins (rarely abaxially persistently sparsely pilose, densely so on veins).   7 C. wallichii
+ Both surfaces of leaf blade ferruginous minutely scaly (more densely so abaxially), not verruculose, glabrous, or pilose and glabrescent with age but remaining pilose on veins.   8 C. griffithii

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