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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 14 | Ericaceae

5. Pyrola Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 396. 1753.

鹿蹄草属 lu ti cao shu

Qin Haining (覃海宁); Peter F. Stevens

Amelia Alefeld; Braxilia Rafinesque; Erxlebenia Opiz ex Rydberg; Thelaia Alefeld.

Herbs suffruticose, evergreen, erect, glabrous. Rootstock long, slender, branched, with sparse fine roots. Aerial stem ascending, not branched, scaly at base. Leaves in a rosette at base of caudex, long petiolate; leaf blade abaxially light green, adaxially green, margin entire or serrate. Scapes long, slender, with scalelike bracts at base. Flowers many, nodding, in racemes. Calyx 5-lobed, persistent. Stamens glabrous; anthers opening by pores. Ovary depressed-globose; style exserted, usually curved distally and dilated apically into a ring; stigma capitate, shortly 5-lobed. Capsules nodding, valves connected by fibers at valve margins. Seeds many, small, with thin testa prolonged at both ends. n = 23, 46.

Between 30 and 40 species: N temperate regions, extending south to Indonesia (N Sumatra); 26 species (15 endemic) in China.

Pyrola chouana Chang Y. Yang (Bull. Bot. Res., Harbin 5: 167. 1985) was described from N Xinjiang (Burqin). However, we have seen no specimens and are therefore unable to treat it in this account. Further revision is necessary.


1 Leaves reniform to cordate-ovate, base cordate.   (2)
+ Leaves not as above.   (3)
       
2 (1) Leaves cordate-ovate, adaxially green, abaxially purplish red, margin crenate; calyx lobes triangular; bracts ovate.   3 Pyrola atropurpurea
+ Leaves reniform or reniform-orbicular, adaxially dark green, abaxially light green, margin sinuate; calyx lobes suborbicular; bracts narrowly lanceolate.   19 Pyrola renifolia
       
3 (1) Corolla purplish red or only brownish purple outside.   (4)
+ Corolla white, green, yellow, or yellowish green, sometime pinkish red.   (6)
       
4 (3) Plants 8–10 cm tall; leaves 1.8–2.5 × 1.2–1.7 cm; anthers yellow.   13 Pyrola markonica
+ Plants taller than 15 cm; leaves ca. 2.5 × 1.7 cm or more; anthers dark purple or red.   (5)
       
5 (4) Leaves oblong or oblong-ovate; scale-leaf at base of scape narrowly ensiform; sepals oblong, 2.5–3 mm; style not exserted.   6 Pyrola corbieri
+ Leaves suborbicular, ovate, or ovate-elliptic; scale-leaf at base of scape narrowly oblong or ovate-oblong; sepals triangular-lanceolate, 3.5–5 mm; style exserted.   2 Pyrola asarifolia subsp. incarnata
       
6 (3) Leaves only 1(or 2).   (7)
+ Leaves more numerous.   (8)
       
7 (6) Leaves ovate-oblong or elliptic, 1.5–2(–2.5) × 0.8–1(–1.2) cm; sepals lanceolate; style 8–10 mm.   11 Pyrola japonica
+ Leaves broadly elliptic or suborbicular, 2.7–3 × 2.5–2.6 cm; sepals oblong; style 4–5 mm.   17 Pyrola monophylla
       
8 (6) Leaves thickly leathery, rough, wrinkled.   (9)
+ Leaves papery to leathery, smooth, not wrinkled.   (11)
       
9 (8) Bracts broadest above middle; petals oblong, margin dentate, apex broadly rounded.   26 Pyrola xinjiangensis
+ Bracts broadest at or below middle; petals ovate-lanceolate to ± triangular, margin entire, apex obtuse or acuminate.   (10)
       
10 (9) Margin of leaf blade sinuate; petals ovate-lanceolate or triangular-lanceolate, apex acuminate.   21 Pyrola rugosa
+ Margin of leaf blade crenate; petals triangular or triangular-ovate, apex obtuse, rarely acute.   10 Pyrola forrestiana
       
11 (8) Sepals broadly triangular, ovate-triangular, or triangular-ovate.   (12)
+ Sepals ovate to oblong or ligulate.   (15)
       
12 (11) Leaves 1–1.6 × 1–1.2 cm; petals triangular-ovate.   5 Pyrola chlorantha
+ Leaves ca. 2 × 1.5 cm or more; petals broadly triangular or ovate-triangular.   (13)
       
13 (12) Leaves elliptic or ovate-elliptic; style 6–7 mm.   22 Pyrola shanxiensis
+ Leaves broadly elliptic or suborbicular to broadly ovate; style less than 4 mm.   (14)
       
14 (13) Margin of leaf blade sinuate; styles 3–3.5 mm, slightly curved towards apex.   23 Pyrola sororia
+ Margin of leaf blade crenate; styles 2–2.2 mm, erect.   16 Pyrola minor
       
15 (11) Styles less than 6 mm, not or slightly exserted.   (16)
+ Styles ca. 6 mm or more.   (17)
       
16 (15) Leaves elliptic or oblong, 5–7.5 × 2.2–3 cm, margin subentire or sparsely dentate.   14 Pyrola mattfeldiana
+ Leaves suborbicular, elliptic, or broadly ovate, 2.9–3.5 × 2.3–2.6(–3) cm, margin sparsely dentate.   15 Pyrola media
       
17 (15) Raceme 1.5–2.8 cm, 3–5-flowered.   25 Pyrola tschanbaischanica
+ Raceme longer than 2.8 cm, 5- or more flowered.   (18)
       
18 (17) Sepals ligulate, apex mucronate, margin slightly sinuate.   24 Pyrola szechuanica
+ Sepals usually ovate, apex acuminate, margin entire or nearly so.   (19)
       
19 (18) Leaves often with white stripes over veins adaxially.   (20)
+ Leaves without white stripes over veins adaxially, or inconspicuous if present.   (21)
       
20 (19) Leaves ovate or ovate-elliptic, 3–4 × 1.5–3 cm, base broadly rounded to cuneate, often oblique; petals obovate-orbicular.   1 Pyrola alboreticulata
+ Leaves oblong or obovate-oblong, (3–)5–7 × 2.5–3.5(–4) cm, base cuneate; petals ovate-oblong.   8 Pyrola decorata
       
21 (19) Leaf margin crenate; petiole more than 1.5 × as long as leaf blade.   18 Pyrola morrisonensis
+ Leaf margin entire or sinuate; petiole less than 1.5 × as long as leaf blade.   (22)
       
22 (21) Leaves narrowly oblong, leaf blade 2.5–3 × as long as wide, apex acute.   9 Pyrola elegantula
+ Leaves suborbicular, broadly ovate to elliptic, leaf blade less than 2 × as long as wide, apex obtuse to rounded.   (23)
       
23 (22) Sepals lanceolate-triangular; style 1.1–1.3 cm; bracts linear-lanceolate.   11 Pyrola japonica
+ Sepals narrowly lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate or ligulate; style shorter than 1 cm; bracts lanceolate or long ligulate.   (24)
       
24 (23) Sepals lanceolate.   (25)
+ Sepals ligulate or ovate-lanceolate.   (26)
       
25 (24) Flowers 0.8–1 cm in diam.; sepals ca. as long as or slightly longer than petals.   12 Pyrola macrocalyx
+ Flowers 1.5–2 cm in diam.; sepals ca. 1/2–2/3 as long as petals.   20 Pyrola rotundifolia
       
26 (24) Leaves light green abaxially; flowers ca. 1 cm in diam.; sepals 3–4 mm, margin sparsely slightly denticulate.   7 Pyrola dahurica
+ Leaves often glaucous abaxially; flowers 1.5–2 cm in diam.; sepals 5–7.5 mm, margin entire.   4 Pyrola calliantha

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