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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 10 | Fabaceae

132. Lespedeza Michaux, Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 70. 1803.

胡枝子属 hu zhi zi shu

Authors: Puhua Huang, Hiroyoshi Ohashi & Tomoyuki Nemoto

Subshrubs, shrubs, or perennial herbs. Leaves pinnately compound, 3-foliolate; stipule small, subulate or linear, persistent or caducous; stipels absent; leaflets entire. Racemes axillary or flowers fasciculate; bracts persistent, 2-flowered at each bract; brac­teoles 2, often persistent; flowers often dimorphic, corollate or not (cleistogamous plants). Calyx campanulate; tube short; lobes 5, upper 2 often connate at base. Corolla exserted; standard oblong or obovate; wings oblong, straight, clawed, auriculate, connivent with keel; keel obtuse and incurved. Stamens 10, diadelphous (9+1), equal. Ovary superior, 1-ovuled; style incurved; stigma ter­minal. Legume ovoid, obovoid, or ellipsoidal, rarely slightly globose, lenticular, indehiscent, reticulate veined, 1-seeded.

About 60 species: E Asia to India and North America, introduced from Malesia to NE Australia; 25 species (ten endemic) in China.

Because most species can tolerate arid soils, they are good for soil conservation and sand stabilization. They are also used as honey plants and for nitrogen fixation. The young shoots and leaves are used as forage for livestock and as green manure.

1 Flowers all chasmogamous, usually longer than 10 mm, in compound racemes; standard usually pink to rose-purple, rarely yellowish or white; loments shortly stipitate; shrubs to subshrubs (L. subg. Macrolespedeza (Maximowicz) H. Ohashi)   (2)
+ Flowers chasmogamous and cleistogamous (except L. forrestii), usually less than 10 mm (except L. gerardiana), in ± elongated racemes of chasmogamous flowers with basal fascicles of cleistogamous flowers, or composed only of fasciculate racemes of cleistogamous flowers; standard white to yellowish or purplish; loments sessile or subsessile; herbs to subshrubs (L. subg. Lespedeza)   (9)
2 (1) Inflorescences almost sessile, not longer than subtending leaves; lateral and lowermost calyx lobes acuminate to caudate   (3)
+ Peduncles distinct, inflorescences longer than subtending leaves; lateral and lowermost calyx lobes obtuse or acute to acuminate   (4)
3 (2) Leaflets broadly ovate, ovate-elliptic, or obovate; bracteoles nearly 1/2 as long as calyx tube; wings longer than keels; legumes globose, less than 7 mm.   1 L. cyrtobotrya
+ Leaflets ovate-oblong to oblong; bracteoles ca. as long as calyx tube; wings equal to keels; legumes oblong-ellipsoidal, 13-15 mm.   2 L. fordii
4 (2) Winter buds depressed, scales distichously arranged; leaflets sharply acute, rarely obtuse; branches woody   (5)
+ Winter buds thickened, scales spirally arranged; leaflets rounded, obtuse, or acute; branches herbaceous to herbaceous-woody   (7)
5 (4) Corolla pale yellow; calyx lobes acute and not spine-tipped at apex.   3 L. buergeri
+ Corolla red-purple; calyx lobes acuminate to caudate and spine-tipped at apex   (6)
6 (5) Leaflets acute and sharply pointed at apex; standard longer than keel.   5 L. maximowiczii
+ Leaflets obtuse to rounded or retuse at apex; standard shorter than keel.   7 L. dunnii
7 (4) Lateral calyx lobes ovate or triangular to narrowly ovate, apically acute to shortly acuminate, rarely obtuse, less than 2.5 mm; keel claw nearly as long as keel lamina; legumes orbicular.   8 L. bicolor
+ Lateral calyx lobes narrowly ovate to narrowly triangular, apically acuminate, longer than 4 mm; keel claw nearly 1/2 as long as keel lamina; legumes ovoid, obovoid, or obovoid-oblong   (8)
8 (7) Stems distinctly angled, densely spreading tomentose; leaflets thickly papery, broadly ovate-elliptic; calyx lobes long acuminate; legumes ovoid.   6 L. davidii
+ Stems terete or striate, appressed sericeous; leaflets papery, usually ovate-elliptic; calyx lobes acute to acuminate; legumes obovoid or obovoid-oblong.   4 L. thunbergii
9 (1) Stems procumbent to weakly ascending, spreading pilose, rarely appressed sericeous   (10)
+ Stems erect or strongly ascending, mostly appressed sericeous   (13)
10 (9) Leaflets narrowly obovate; stem short, usually less than 20 cm; corolla pink to purplish red; cleistogamous flowers and legumes unknown.   11 L. forrestii
+ Leaflets broadly obovate or broadly elliptic to orbicular; stem elongated, more than 20 cm; both chasmogamous and cleistogamous flowers and legumes known   (11)
11 (10) Corolla reddish purple; plants spreading pilose, rarely appressed sericeous.   10 L. fasciculiflora
+ Corolla yellow-white or white; plants densely spreading pilose   (12)
12 (11) Leaflets broadly obovate or broadly elliptic to orbicular, both surfaces densely spreading pilose.   9 L. pilosa
+ Leaflets narrowly oblong, rarely elliptic to broadly elliptic, abaxially grayish white hispid, adaxially glabrous.   17 L. potaninii
13 (9) Stems tomentose   (14)
+ Stems appressed sericeous   (15)
14 (13) Stems densely tomentose throughout; leaflets elliptic or ovate-oblong, 3-6 × 1.5-3 cm, abaxially densely tomentose.   14 L. tomentosa
+ Stems tomentose at upper part, downward more sparsely so; leaflets obovate or obcordate, 1-2 × 1-1.3 cm, abaxially densely hirsute.   16 L. mucronata
15 (13) Leaflets narrowly elliptic or narrowly obovate (length:width ratio 3:1-6:1) to linear (length:width ratio 12:1), without visible reticulate venation between principle lateral veins; inflorescence sessile or peduncle 2 mm or less (except L. caraganae)   (16)
+ Leaflets elliptic (length:width ratio 3:2) or narrowly elliptic-obovate (length:width ratio 3:1-6:1) with visible (with lens) reticulate venation or a thin central vein between principle lateral veins; peduncle usually more than 2 mm   (20)
16 (15) Leaflets narrowly obovate (length:width ratio 6:1) above middle; flowers more than 10 mm; calyx with lobes 5-6 mm; bracteoles distinct, 4-5 mm.   23 L. gerardiana
+ Leaflets ± narrowly elliptic (length:width ratio 3:1) to linear (length:width ratio 12:1); flowers less than 10 mm; calyx with lobes less than 3 mm; bracteoles minute, less than 3 mm   (17)
17 (16) Leaflets oblong-linear (length:width ratio 6:1); principle lateral veins reaching margin and then running upward along margin; lateral calyx lobes sharply narrowly triangular (more than 3 × as long as tube); peduncle 2 mm or more.   19 L. caraganae
+ Leaflets narrowly elliptic to narrowly obovate (length:width ratio 3:1-6:1); principle lateral veins not reaching margin but running upward within margin; lateral calyx lobes narrowly triangular or slightly narrowly ovate (less than 3 × as long as tube); inflorescence sessile or peduncle less than 2 mm   (18)
18 (17) Flowers reddish purple; corolla almost or more than 2 × as long as calyx; lateral calyx lobes narrowly ovate; abaxial surface of leaflets densely sericeous with rather thick hairs.   24 L. lichiyuniae
+ Flowers white; corolla 1.3-1.5 × as long as calyx; lateral calyx lobes narrowly triangular   (19)
19 (18) Abaxial surface of leaflets densely appressed or ascending pubescent; bracteoles 1.5-2.5 mm, longer than calyx tube; calyx densely pubescent, lobes with 3-5 conspicuous veins in flower; corolla 1.3-1.5 × as long as calyx.   25 L. hispida
+ Abaxial surface of leaflets sparsely appressed pubescent; bracteoles less than 1.5 mm, almost equal to or shorter than calyx tube; calyx sparsely appressed pubescent; corolla more than 1.5 × as long as calyx.   20 L. cuneata
20 (15) Leaflets narrowly elliptic-obovate (length:width ratio 3:1-6:1); calyx lobes ca. 2 × as long as tube   (21)
+ Leaflets elliptic (length:width ratio ca. 3:2) to narrowly elliptic (length:width ratio 3:1); calyx lobes more than 3 × as long as tube   (22)
21 (20) Leaflets length:width ratio ca. 3:1, large ones more than 5 mm wide; pedicel ca. 1 mm; lateral calyx lobes narrowly acuminately ovate, distinctly veined in flower.   22 L. inschanica
+ Leaflets length:width ratio ca. 6:1, large ones less than 5 mm wide; pedicel 3-4 mm; lateral calyx lobes narrowly triangular, inconspicuously veined in flower.   21 L. juncea
22 (20) Leaflet with a thin central vein between principle lateral veins; inflorescence usually densely several to ca. 10-flowered   (23)
+ Leaflet with reticulate venation between principle lateral veins; inflorescence laxly few flowered or densely flowered   (24)
23 (22) Flowers white; calyx lobes linear to narrowly triangular (length:width ratio 6:1-12:1); bracteoles longer than calyx tube; cleistogamous legumes with caudate apex.   18 L. chinensis
+ Flowers reddish purple; calyx lobes narrowly ovate (length:width ratio 6:1); bracteoles shorter than calyx tube; cleistogamous legumes with rounded apex.   12 L. floribunda
24 (22) Leaflets elliptic (length:width ratio ca. 3:2); inflorescence laxly few flowered; peduncles filiform, glabrous; flowers sessile or pedicel less than 1 mm; bracteoles shorter than calyx tube.   13 L. virgata
+ Leaflets narrowly elliptic to elliptic (length:width ratio 2:1-3:1); inflorescence densely flowered; peduncles pubescent; pedicel 1-3 mm; bracteoles longer than calyx tube.   15 L. davurica

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