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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 12 | Sterculiaceae

6. Helicteres Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 963. 1753.

山芝麻属 shan zhi ma shu

Trees or shrubs. Branches or branchlets ± stellate. Leaves simple, entire or serrate. Flowers bisexual, solitary or cymose, axillary or rarely terminate. Epicalyx lobes minute. Calyx tube-shaped, 5-lobed, lobes usually unequal and 2-lipped. Petals 5, equal to each other or 2-lipped, clawed and usually with auriculate appendage. Anthers 10, on top of elongate androgynophore; filaments ± connate, enclosing pistil; staminodes 5, within stamens. Ovary 5-celled, 5-angular; ovules numerous in each locule; styles 5, linear, apically slightly swollen. Mature capsule straight or spirally twisted, usually densely hairy, often with soft setae which are themselves hairy. Seeds verrucose.

About 60 species: tropical America and Asia; ten species (one endemic) in China.

1 Capsule spirally twisted, not setose; inflorescences several per axil, densely clustered; leaf blade broadly oblong-obovate, apex somewhat truncate and usually lobed.   1 H. isora
+ Capsule not twisted, sparsely to densely softly setose; inflorescences 1 per axil, often spikelike or with subtending leaves very reduced to form a terminal thyrse; leaf blade usually narrower, apex not truncate, often not lobed   (2)
2 (1) Leaf blade margin entire or rarely with a few minute teeth near apex   (3)
+ Leaf blade margin obviously serrate or dentate from base   (6)
3 (2) Capsule apex obtuse; petiole ca. 12 mm, leaf blade 6-10 cm, apex obtuse.   2 H. obtusa
+ Capsule apex pointed or beaked; petiole 3-9 mm, leaf blade 3.5-7.5 cm, apex usually acuminate, acute or obtuse with acumen (obtuse in H. prostrata)   (4)
4 (3) Subshrubs to 0.45 m tall, stems prostrate; leaf blade 2-3.5 cm.   10 H. prostrata
+ Shrubs 1-2 m tall, stems erect or ascending; leaf blade 3.5-7.5 cm   (5)
5 (4) Branchlets pilose with gray-green hairs; leaf blade margin entire to apex; capsule with dense mixed stellate and long simple hairs.   3 H. angustifolia
+ Branchlets tomentose with yellow-brown hairs; leaf blade margin entire or denticulate near apex; capsule with dense long simple hairs.   4 H. lanceolata
6 (2) Calyx 12-18 mm; capsule 2.5-5 cm   (7)
+ Calyx 4-6 mm; capsule 1.5-2 cm   (8)
7 (6) Leaf blade margin lobed; petals white.   8 H. viscida
+ Leaf blade margin irregularly dentate; petals red or purplish red.   9 H. hirsuta
8 (6) Upper leaves of fertile shoots very reduced to a lax thyrse; petals yellow.   5 H. elongata
+ Upper leaves of fertile shoots not or only slightly reduced; petals red-purple or blue-purple   (9)
9 (8) Leaf blade abaxially sparsely stellate pilose; petals with central line of hairs; stipules as long as petiole.   6 H. glabriuscula
+ Leaf blade abaxially densely brown stellate tomentose; petals glabrous; stipules ca. 2 × as long as petiole.   7 H. plebeja

Lower Taxa


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