57. Peliosanthes Andrews, Bot. Repos. 10: t. 605. 1810.
球子草属 qiu zi cao shu
Chen Xinqi (陈心启 Chen Sing-chi); Minoru N. Tamura
Bulbospermum Blume; Lourya Baillon; Neolourya L. Rodriguez; Teta Roxburgh.
Herbs perennial, rhizomatous, with thick roots. Stem usually short, rarely elongate and procumbent. Leaves usually basal, rarely cauline, petiolate; leaf blade linear to elliptic-ovate, subplicate veined, with conspicuous, transverse veins between main, longitudinal veins, glabrous. Scape terminating in a raceme or reduced panicle. Flowers solitary or in clusters of 2--5, subtended by a bract; pedicel articulate near apex; bracteole absent or 1. Perianth segments 6, united into a tube. Stamens 6; filaments dilated, connate in a fleshy ring (corona), rarely free; corona flat or elevated; anthers subsessile. Ovary inferior to semi-inferior, 3-loculed; ovules 2--4(or 5) per locule. Style shortly conical to columnar; stigma capitate to 3-lobed, small. Fruit bursting at an early stage and exposing young seeds. Seeds blue at maturity, berrylike, ellipsoid to globose.
About 16 species: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim, Thailand, Vietnam; six species (five endemic) in China.
Jessop (Blumea 23: 141--159. 1976) united all the previously recognized species of Peliosanthes into a single species, P. teta Andrews, comprising two subspecies, subsp. teta and subsp. humilis (Andrews) Jessop ex Gandhi, because he could not find satisfactory correlations between the variations of gross morphological characters. However, according to a molecular taxonomic study by Yamashita, Vogel, and Tamura (unpublished), individuals of some species of Peliosanthes based on the earlier, narrower species concept clearly form clades. Therefore, in this treatment, we use the narrower species concept instead of that of Jessop. Peliosanthes kaoi P. macrostegia and P. yunnanensis are distinguishable from one another primarily by size, and P. ophiopogonoides is distinguished from these three species primarily by leaf venation (the diagnostic value of which in Peliosanthes is not well known). Further studies are needed to ascertain whether or not these four species are really distinct from one another and also from the Himalayan species P. macrophylla Wallich ex Baker. Peliosanthes stenophylla Merrill, described from Guangdong, has been transferred to Ophiopogon as O. stenophyllus (Merrill) L. Rodriguez. The holotype specimen of P. mairei H. Léveillé, described from Yunnan, can be identified as Maianthemum atropurpureum (Franchet) LaFrankie.