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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 16 | Gentianaceae

9. Gentiana Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 227. 1753.

龙胆属 long dan shu

Gentiana crassicaulis

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Herbs annual, biennial, or perennial. Rootstock with a fibrous primary root and secondary rootlets, with a stout ± fleshy or woody taproot, or with several linear-cylindric roots from a collar. Stems ascending to erect, striate or angled, in perennial species sometimes both flowering and vegetative. Leaves opposite, rarely whorled, sometimes forming a basal rosette. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, 1 to few-flowered cymes, sometimes in terminal clusters and/or axillary whorls. Flowers (4 or) 5- (or 6-8)-merous. Calyx lobes filiform to ovate, with a prominent midvein. Corolla tubular, salverform, funnelform, obconic, or urceolate, very rarely rotate; tube usually much longer than lobes; plicae between lobes. Stamens inserted on corolla tube; filaments basally ± winged; anthers free or rarely contiguous. Glands 5-10 at ovary base. Pistil sessile or on a long gynophore. Style usually short, linear, less often long and filiform; stigma lobes free or connate, recurved, usually oblong to linear, rarely expanded and rounded. Capsule cylindric to ellipsoid and wingless or narrowly obovoid to obovoid (narrowly ellipsoid in G. winchuanensis) and winged, many seeded. Seeds wingless or winged; seed coat minutely reticulate, rugose, simply areolate, or with complex spongy areolation.

About 360 species: NW Africa (Morocco), America, Asia, E Australia, Europe; 248 species in China.

Gentiana pseudazurea Grubov, G. subpolytrichoides Grubov, and G. tischkovii Grubov have been described from Xizang by Grubov (J. Jap. Bot. 69: 18-21. 1994). However, specimens have not been seen by the authors, and the species are not included in this treatment.

1 Plicae reduced to a small tooth or auricle on side of lobe, less than 1 mm.   (2)
+ Plicae usually wider and/or longer than 1 mm.   (3)
2 (1) Corolla lobes as long as or longer than tube   I Otophora
+ Corolla lobes shorter than tube (in G. prainii)   XI Sect. Chondrophyllae
3 (1) Corolla throat with a ring of multicellular hairs (not to be confused with fringed plicae between corolla lobes)   XII Sect. Fimbricorona
+ Corolla throat naked.   (4)
4 (3) Style almost as long as or longer than ovary; calyx winged or sharply angled or if terete then stems, leaves, and calyces densely covered with purple and white pilosity.   (5)
+ Style usually much shorter than ovary (about as long as ovary in some species of sects. Isomeria and Microspermae); calyx not winged, usually terete.   (6)
5 (4) Plants 5-12 cm tall, densely branched from base and toward stem apex; stem leaves ± crowded toward apex, leaf blades lanceolate; stamens straight; seed coat alveolate   VIII Microsperma
+ Plants (5-)10-50 cm tall, not densely branched; stem leaves widely separated, leaf blades ovate-lanceolate, ovate, or cordate; stamens decurved; seed coat minutely to coarsely reticulate   IX Stenogyne
6 (4) Stigma lobes connate or contiguous, expanded into a discoid or funnelform structure; calyx completely enveloped by upper pair of broad obovate leaves   VI Phyllocalyx
+ Stigma lobes free, recurved, linear to oblong; calyx usually not concealed by upper leaves or leaves narrower.   (7)
7 (6) Stamens unequal and plants perennial; flowers 4merous or if 5merous then corollas 3-4.5 cm …   III Kudoa
+ Stamens equal or if unequal then plants annuals with solitary flowers (flowers of G. picta and G. yunnanensis in clusters) and corollas 0.6-2.5 mm; flowers 5-merous.   (8)
8 (7) Perennials; basal leaves persistent at flowering time, blades (excluding petiole) mostly over 3 cm and much larger than stem leaves or vegetative rosettes present along with flowering stems and their leaves distinctly larger than those of flowering stems.   (9)
+ Annuals or if perennials then without conspicuously larger basal or rosette leaves (largest leaves at flowering time usually well above base of stem), and/or with all basal leaves less than 1.5 cm.   (13)
9 (8) Flowering stems arising singly from slender stolons, often creeping and rooting at lower nodes, without a well-developed caudex or stout rhizome and without a stout persistent taproot; larger leaves generally distinctly pseudopetiolate, with blades less than 1.8 cm, spatulate, elliptic, ovate-elliptic, obovate, or suborbicular, base obtuse, rounded, or truncate, only midvein prominent; flowers solitary or to 8 in terminal clusters, sessile   VII Sect. Isomeria
+ Flowering stems arising from a ± stout erect caudex, often with a well-developed ± stout taproot and/or in a dense tuft (sometimes also stoloniferous); leaves and inflorescences diverse but above combination of characters generally not present.   (10)
10 (9) Remains of old leaf bases fibrous and conspicuous on caudex; seed coat reticulate, usually minutely so (also winged at 1 end in G. waltonii)   II Cruciata
+ Remains of old leaf bases at base of current season's growth absent or membranous, not distinctly fibrous or if somewhat fibrous then with stem leaves numerous, closely spaced, less than 5 mm wide, and with flowers solitary; seed coat with membranous lamellae forming spongy complex hexagonal pits.   (11)
11 (10) Stems several to many, ± tufted, strongly decumbent; stem leaves opposite or whorled, numerous, closely spaced (9 or more pairs or whorls per stem and/or upper leaves exceeding internodes)   III Kudoa
+ Stems 1 to several, decumbent or erect; stem leaves opposite, usually fewer than 9 pairs per stem, closely spaced only basally and on short stems.   (12)
12 (11) Sepals 3-9 mm, ± erect, 2 conspicuously larger than other three; base of current season's growth without blackish membranous remains of old leaf bases   III Kudoa
+ Sepals smaller, often recurved or if over 3 mm then sepals subequal and/or base of current season's growth covered with blackish membranous remains of old leaf bases   IV Sect. Frigida
13 (8) Perennials, without a stout caudex; flowers solitary.   (14)
+ Annuals or if perennial then with a stout caudex and clustered flowers; flowers solitary or clustered.   (15)
14 (13) Corolla over 2.5 cm, often much larger; capsule wingless   III Kudoa
+ Corolla usually to 1.5 cm (2.3-3 cm in G. qiujiangensis and G. jamesii); capsule winged along sutures toward apex   XI Sect. Chondrophyllae
15 (13) Perennials; stems usually over 20 cm, from a stout caudex; larger stem leaf blades usually over 3.5 cm; flowers clustered.   (16)
+ Annuals; stems usually shorter than 20 cm, caudex none; all stem leaf blades usually less than 3 cm; flowers solitary or clustered.   (17)
16 (15) Calyx lobes subequal or irregularly unequal, linear to narrowly triangular, base not or scarcely narrowed; calyx tube often split along 1 side (except in G. manshurica); lowermost stem leaves scalelike; seed coat coarsely reticulate, winged at ends   V Pneumonanthe
+ Calyx lobes dimorphic, 2 larger than other 3, lanceolate to spatulate, base distinctly narrowed; calyx tube entire; lowermost stem leaves larger or scalelike; seed coat alveolate, not winged   III Kudoa
17 (15) Seed coat alveolate, with hexagonal pits; flowers solitary or clustered in axillary or terminal inflorescences, if clustered then with corollas over 1.5 cm and/or with calyx lobes each with distinct blade and petiole   VIII Microsperma
+ Seed coat finely reticulate, without hexagonal pits; flowers usually solitary, if ± clustered in terminal inflorescences then with corolla 0.7-1.1 cm and calyx lobes without petiole.   (18)
18 (17) Capsule conspicuously winged along sutures at apex   XI Sect. Chondrophyllae
+ Capsule not winged   X Sect. Dolichocarpa

  • List of lower taxa


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