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16. Corispermum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 4. 1753.

虫实属 chong shi shu

Herbs annual, usually covered with dendroid and stellate hairs. Leaves flat or flattened, filiform or linear to lanceolate, margin entire; veins 1-3. Flowers solitary in bract axils, bisexual, forming dense or loose, spikelike inflorescences on upper stem and branches; bractlets absent. Perianth segments 1-3 or absent, unequal, membranous, upper segment larger, lower 2 segments smaller or absent. Stamens 1-3 or 5; filaments linear, flattened, usually longer than perianth; anthers oblong, 2-loculed, longitudinally dehiscent. Ovary ovoid or ellipsoid, compressed; style short; stigmas 2. Fruit a utricle, compressed, oblong to orbicular in outline, abaxially convex, adaxially plane or slightly concave, margin usually winged, entire or erose, plane or crisped, apex emarginate or rounded to acute, beaked; beak with a 2-fid tip formed from style bases; pericarp adnate to seed. Seed vertical; embryo horseshoe-shaped; radicle inferior; perisperm copious.

About 60 species: N hemisphere, mostly in Asia, but several species in Europe and North America; 27 species (12 endemic) in China.

Despite several attempts at regional taxonomic revisions, representatives of this taxonomically complicated genus are still insufficiently known in China. Several entities (species and varieties) are reported in China from only one to several localities and probably represent local forms of more widespread, variable species. Characters used for segregation of some species and infraspecific entities are very unreliable and variable (e.g., plant size, branching habit, degree of pubescence, color, shape of inflorescence etc.). For example, young plants are normally more pubescent than old ones, which sometimes become nearly glabrous at maturity. Many plants at maturity become yellowish or reddish to deep beet-red, which often greatly depends on environmental conditions. The branching habit depends, among other factors, on the populational structure: plants in dense stands are often less branched than plants growing in rarefied populations. The most reliable diagnostic characters are those of utricles; however, even these characters should be used carefully. When collecting Corispermum, representative series of specimens showing variability patterns and possible hybridization processes in populations are very desirable.

The number of species of Corispermum occurring in China is probably exaggerated. Variability ranges and hybridization patterns of taxa are also poorly understood. To reveal these peculiarities of Corispermum species in China, field observation and populational and experimental studies are desirable, with comparative data on Corispermum from adjacent territories.

In our opinion, the best solution at the present state of our knowledge of Corispermum in China would be to refrain from hasty decisions and attempts to reduce the number of taxa by uniting poorly known entities. Because of that, the present treatment mainly follows the treatment by Tsien and Ma in FRPS (1979), especially in the key and descriptions. However, we have inserted necessary taxonomic and nomenclatural comments drawing attention to particular problems.

1 Utricle apex ± emarginate.   (2)
+ Utricle apex rounded or acute, not emarginate.   (13)
2 (1) Plants usually small, of montane habitats; branches prostrate or ascending.   (3)
+ Plants large; branches ascending.   (6)
3 (2) Utricle ovate, covered with stellate hairs.   27 C. lepidocarpum
+ Utricle obovate or oblong-obovate, glabrous.   (4)
4 (3) Plants much branched, branches crowded; bracts lanceolate to ovate, not sickle-shaped.   26 C. lhasaense
+ Plants few branched; bracts sickle-shaped.   (5)
5 (4) Utricle yellow-green, obovate, ca. 5 × 4 mm, wing yellow-green, ca. 1 mm wide.   24 C. pseudofalcatum
+ Utricle dark green, oblong-obovate, 3.5-4 × 2.5-3 mm, wing light yellow, ca. 0.5 mm wide.   25 C. falcatum
6 (2) Spikelike inflorescence narrowly cylindric, slender, loose (dense in C. platypterum); bracts ovate to lanceolate, usually 1-veined, with narrowly membranous margin.   (7)
+ Spikelike inflorescence clavate, stout, crowded; bracts ovate to broadly so, usually 3-veined, with broadly membranous margin.   (9)
7 (6) Utricle oblong-elliptic, wing 0.4-0.7 mm wide.   21 C. elongatum
+ Utricle suborbicular, wing ca. 1 mm wide.   (8)
8 (7) Spikelike inflorescence dense; bracts ovate to lanceolate; utricle 4-5 × 3.5-4.5 mm.   22 C. platypterum
+ Spikelike inflorescence loose and interrupted; bracts lanceolate; utricle 4.5-5.5 × 3.9-5 mm.   23 C. stenolepis
9 (6) Utricle orbicular, suborbicular, or ovate.   (10)
+ Utricle oblong-elliptic to broadly elliptic-obovate.   (11)
10 (9) Utricle yellow-green, brown punctate and bullate, obovate, 3.7-4.5 × 2.9-4 mm, wing light yellow.   19 C. dilutum
+ Utricle light yellow, dark punctate, orbicular or suborbicular, 3-4.5 × 3-4.3 mm, wing of lighter color than utricle body.   20 C. confertum
11 (9) Utricle 4.9-6 × 3.5-4.2 mm; spikelike inflorescence 7-12 × 1-1.5 cm, bracts subherbaceous.   16 C. macrocarpum
+ Utricle less than 4.5 mm; spikelike inflorescence usually 3-6(-7) × 0.8-1 cm, bracts submembranous.   (12)
12 (11) Utricle oblong-obovate, 3.5-4 × 2.5-3 mm, wing strongly twisted.   17 C. retortum
+ Utricle elliptic or oblong-elliptic, 3.7-4.5 × 2.8-3.2 mm, wing not twisted.   18 C. puberulum
13 (1) Utricle discoid, orbicular, or suborbicular, marginal wing absent or very narrow, slightly involute; leaves narrowly oblong or oblanceolate, 3(or 5)-veined.   1 C. patelliforme
+ Utricle not discoid, marginal wing (if present) not involute; leaves linear or oblanceolate, 1(or 3)-veined.   (14)
14 (13) Spikelike inflorescence stout, dense.   (15)
+ Spikelike inflorescence linear to narrowly cylindric, long, thin, loose, and at maturity often interrupted.   (19)
15 (14) Utricle elliptic to obovate.   15 C. orientale
+ Utricle elliptic, broadly so, or oblong-obovate.   (16)
16 (15) Spikelike inflorescence usually cylindric, 3-8 mm wide; utricle 2-3.5 × 1.5-2 mm.   11 C. chinganicum
+ Spikelike inflorescence usually clavate, 8-15 mm wide; utricle 3-6 × 2-3.5 mm.   (17)
17 (16) Spikelike inflorescence 1-7 cm, bracts lanceolate, with narrowly membranous margin.   13 C. huanghoense
+ Spikelike inflorescence 1-25 cm, bracts linear-lanceolate to ovate, with broadly membranous margin.   (18)
18 (17) Utricle oblong-obovate or broadly elliptic, 3-5 × 2-3.5 mm, hairy, base and apex rounded.   12 C. candelabrum
+ Utricle broadly elliptic, 3.5-4 × 2.5-3 mm, glabrous, base subcordate, apex rounded.   14 C. stauntonii
19 (14) Plants small, of montane habitats, 3-20 cm tall; spikelike inflorescence 2.5-5 cm.   (20)
+ Plants usually large, 15-50 cm tall; spikelike inflorescence usually 5-10 cm.   (22)
20 (19) Utricle 2-3 × 1.5-2 mm, wing very narrow, hairy.   8 C. pamiricum
+ Utricle 3-4 × 2-2.5 mm, wing broad, slightly hairy.   (21)
21 (20) Plants usually reddish purple at maturity, stout; bracts oblanceolate to lanceolate; utricle oblong-obovate, wing slightly undulate or crisped, apex acute, distinctly subulate beaked.   9 C. dutreuilii
+ Plants green at maturity, slender; bracts lanceolate; utricle broadly elliptic or oblong-elliptic, wing neither undulate nor crisped, apex rounded or acute.   10 C. tibeticum
22 (19) Utricle 1.5-3 mm, apex rounded.   (23)
+ Utricle 3-5 mm, apex acute.   (25)
23 (22) Utricle yellow-green, broadly obovate-elliptic, wing yellow-green.   2 C. lehmannianum
+ Utricle gray-green, elliptic, wing light yellow.   (24)
24 (23) Utricle 2.5-3 × 1.5-2 mm, smooth, margin distinctly winged.   6 C. heptapotamicum
+ Utricle 1.5-2.3 × 1-1.5 mm, abaxially sometimes tuberculate (i.e., with occasional "warts" formed by portions of pericarp not adherent to testa), margin nearly wingless.   7 C. mongolicum
25 (22) Plants small, 7-10 cm tall, less branched; spikelike inflorescence broader; utricle oblong to broadly elliptic, 4-5 × 2.5-3.5 mm, wing ca. 1/2 as wide as utricle body.   5 C. praecox
+ Plants large, usually ca. 35 cm tall, much branched; spikelike inflorescence slender; utricle obovate-oblong, 3-4 × ca. 2 mm, wing narrow, sometimes nearly absent.   (26)
26 (25) Utricle wingless or nearly so, never pubescent, margin usually entire; inflorescence narrowly cylindric, slender, normally interrupted and often reflexed at maturity.   3 C. declinatum
+ Utricle narrowly winged, pubescent or glabrescent at maturity, margin entire to erose or undulate; inflorescence cylindric, interrupted or not, normally erect at maturity.   4 C. tylocarpum

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