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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 9 | Rosaceae

1. SPIRAEA Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 489. 1753.

绣线菊属 xiu xian ju shu

Lu Lingdi (Lu Ling-ti); Crinan Alexander

Spiraea alpina

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Shrubs deciduous. Winter buds small, with 2–8 exposed scales. Leaves alternate, usually shortly petiolate, simple; stipules absent; leaf blade veins usually pinnate, rarely 3–5 from base, margin serrate or incised, sometimes lobed, rarely entire. Flowers in umbels, umbel-like racemes, corymbs, or panicles, bisexual, rarely ± unisexual. Hypanthium campanulate or cupular, lined by nectariferous disk. Sepals 5, valvate or slightly imbricate, usually slightly shorter than hypanthium. Petals 5, imbricate or contorted, usually longer than sepals. Stamens 15–60, borne between disk and petals. Disk annular, usually lobed. Carpels (3–)5(–8), free; ovules (2 to) several per carpel, pendulous; styles terminal, subterminal, or abaxial; stigma capitate or disciform. Follicles bony, often dehiscent along adaxial suture. Seeds linear to oblong, minute; testa membranous.

Between 80 and 100 species: N temperate zone, extending S to mountainous subtropical areas; 70 species (47 endemic) in China.

Spiraea holorhodantha H. Léveillé (Bull. Acad. Int. Géogr. Bot. 25: 44. 1915), described from Yunnan, is Rodgersia sambucifolia Hemsley var. sambucifolia in the Saxifragaceae (see Fl. China 8: 274. 2001).

Many of the following species are ornamental, nectar-secreting plants long established in horticulture and often cultivated in gardens and parks.

In the following key, leads 1a and 1b are not quite mutually exclusive. If identifying plants with short, lateral inflorescences, it is advisable to work from lead 3a as well as 1b.

1 Inflorescences borne on erect, long, leafy shoots of current year arising from base of shrub, sometimes on short, lateral branchlets arising from branches of previous year.   (2)
+ Inflorescences borne on short, lateral branchlets arising from (often arching) branches of previous year.   (30)
2 (1) Inflorescences paniculate, oblong or pyramidal.   1 S. salicifolia
+ Inflorescences broadly compound corymbose.   (3)
3 (2) Inflorescences borne on erect, long, leafy shoots of current year.   (4)
+ Inflorescences borne on short, lateral branchlets arising from branches of previous year.   (9)
4 (3) Inflorescences glabrous; flowers white; follicles erect.   7 S. fritschiana
+ Inflorescences pubescent; flowers usually pink, rarely purple-red; follicles divergent.   (5)
5 (4) Leaf blade base truncate to rounded; petiole (2–)4–8 mm.   (6)
+ Leaf blade base cuneate to broadly so; petiole 1–3 mm.   (7)
6 (5) Branchlets glabrous; leaf blades 3–7 cm, glabrous on both surfaces, margin crenate to doubly serrate; flowers bisexual, dark purple-red.   5 S. purpurea
+ Branchlets pubescent or subglabrous; leaf blades 2–4 cm, slightly pubescent on veins on both surfaces or glabrous adaxially, margin sharply serrate or doubly serrate; flowers usually ± unisexual, pink, rarely white.   6 S. bella
7 (5) Leaf blades glabrous on both surfaces; inflorescences to 5 × 5.5 cm.   4 S. hayatana
+ Leaf blades pubescent on both surfaces or only on veins; inflorescences 6–12 × 4–14 cm.   (8)
8 (7) Branchlets glabrous or pubescent when young; leaf blades doubly incised serrate at margin, rarely singly serrate, apex acute to acuminate.   2 S. japonica
+ Branchlets densely yellow pubescent when young; leaf blades doubly serrate at margin, apex acute.   3 S. formosana
9 (3) Buds obtuse at apex, with several exterior scales.   (10)
+ Buds acute to acuminate at apex, with 2 exterior scales.   (19)
10 (9) Stamens 2–3 × as long as petals.   8 S. miyabei
+ Stamens shorter than to nearly equaling petals.   (11)
11 (10) Leaf blade margin with a few teeth above middle or near apex.   (12)
+ Leaf blade margin entire, rarely with a few teeth apically.   (15)
12 (11) Follicles glabrous or hairy only along adaxial suture.   11 S. sargentiana
+ Follicles hairy.   (13)
13 (12) Branchlets angled; leaf blades tomentose abaxially; pedicels 1–2 mm.   10 S. schochiana
+ Branchlets terete; leaf blades densely thinly villous abaxially; pedicels 4–8 mm.   (14)
14 (13) Bracts 2–4 mm; follicles thinly villous.   9 S. henryi
+ Bracts 4–6 mm; follicles densely pubescent.   12 S. wilsonii
15 (11) Leaf blades glabrous on both surfaces or thinly villous along margin; branchlets angled.   16 S. schneideriana
+ Leaf blades softly hairy abaxially or on both surfaces; branchlets terete.   (16)
16 (15) Follicles glabrous.   15 S. veitchii
+ Follicles softly hairy.   (17)
17 (16) Inflorescences glabrous; leaf blades glabrous or sparsely pubescent only on veins abaxially.   14 S. ovalis
+ Inflorescences and both surfaces of leaf blades softly hairy.   (18)
18 (17) Inflorescences sparsely villous; leaf blades 10–30 × 5–10 mm, villous on both surfaces, adaxially without papillae, margin entire or apically with a few teeth.   12 S. wilsonii
+ Inflorescences densely and thinly pubescent; leaf blades 6–11 × 4–7 mm, thinly pubescent on both surfaces when young, later glabrescent, adaxially with papillae, margin entire.   13 S. teretiuscula
19 (9) Leaf blade margin entire or with a few teeth above middle.   (20)
+ Leaf blade margin singly or doubly serrate, sometimes incised.   (23)
20 (19) Branchlets cylindric or slightly angled; inflorescences glabrous.   28 S. uratensis
+ Branchlets angled; inflorescences puberulous to pubescent.   (21)
21 (20) Flowers red; leaf blades 0.8–1.2 cm, sometimes lobed apically; follicles usually glabrous, rarely puberulous on adaxial suture.   25 S. arcuata
+ Flowers white; leaf blades 1–3 cm, not lobed apically; follicles pubescent.   (22)
22 (21) Leaf blades ovate or obovate to obovate-lanceolate, 1–2 cm, pubescent abaxially, margin obtusely 3–5-dentate above middle.   26 S. canescens
+ Leaf blades oblong to ovate- or obovate-oblong, 1.5–3 cm, glabrous on both surfaces, margin often entire.   27 S. trichocarpa
23 (19) Buds small, shorter than petioles.   (24)
+ Buds usually large, nearly equaling or longer than petioles, very rarely shorter.   (27)
24 (23) Shrubs to 3 m tall; leaf blades abaxially slightly hairy on veins.   (25)
+ Shrubs to 0.5 m tall; leaf blades abaxially glabrous.   (26)
25 (24) Leaf blades elliptic to elliptic-ovate, margin sharply singly serrate; inflorescences and hypanthium abaxially softly hairy.   17 S. teniana
+ Leaf blades ovate to elliptic-ovate, margin obtusely singly or doubly serrate; inflorescences and hypanthium abaxially glabrous.   18 S. hingshanensis
26 (24) Leaf blades ovate or rhomboid-ovate, margin sharply singly serrate above middle; flowers white; ovary basally slightly pubescent.   19 S. morrisonicola
+ Leaf blades ovate, margin doubly serrate; flowers pink; ovary glabrous.   20 S. kweichowensis
27 (23) Inflorescences and follicles subglabrous or pilose.   24 S. longigemmis
+ Inflorescences and follicles densely softly hairy.   (28)
28 (27) Buds glabrous; leaf blades abaxially pubescent.   23 S. rosthornii
+ Buds densely tomentose-villous; leaf blades abaxially sericeous-villous, sometimes glabrescent.   (29)
29 (28) Petioles 3–5 mm; leaf blades ovate or ovate-lanceolate, abaxially sericeous-villous, later glabrescent, margin often entire.   21 S. velutina
+ Petioles 6–10 mm; leaf blades broadly ovate or rhombic-ovate, abaxially sericeous-villous, not glabrescent, margin lobed.   22 S. lobulata
30 (1) Flowers in sessile umbels, with or without leaves at base.   (31)
+ Flowers in pedunculate umbels or umbel-like racemes, with clustered leaves at base.   (42)
31 (30) Leaf blade margin entire or with a few crenate teeth near apex; stamens equaling petals or nearly so.   (32)
+ Leaf blade margin serrate or slightly lobed; stamens shorter than petals.   (36)
32 (31) Branchlets conspicuously angled; flowers pinkish.   66 S. calcicola
+ Branchlets terete; flowers white.   (33)
33 (32) Leaf blades on sterile branches usually flabellate, ± as wide as long.   (34)
+ Leaf blades on sterile branches not flabellate, longer than wide, apex acute or obtuse.   (35)
34 (33) Branchlets glabrous; leaf blades abaxially glabrous, with glaucous bloom.   69 S. compsophylla
+ Branchlets densely pubescent, later glabrescent; leaf blades abaxially densely pubescent.   70 S. aquilegiifolia
35 (33) Branchlets glabrous or puberulent; leaf blades 15–20 × 5–7 mm; follicles glabrous.   67 S. hypericifolia
+ Branchlets densely pubescent, later glabrescent; leaf blades 4–14 × 3–5 mm; follicles pubescent.   68 S. hailarensis
36 (31) Leaf blade margin sharply serrulate.   (37)
+ Leaf blade margin coarsely serrate.   (38)
37 (36) Leaf blades ovate to oblong-lanceolate, abaxially pubescent; pedicels 10–24 mm, pubescent.   59 S. prunifolia
+ Leaf blades linear-lanceolate, abaxially glabrous; pedicels 6–10 mm, glabrous.   60 S. thunbergii
38 (36) Leaf blades glabrous on both surfaces.   65 S. kwangsiensis
+ Leaf blades pubescent on both surfaces or glabrous adaxially when old.   (39)
39 (38) Branchlets terete, pubescent or tomentose; pedicels and hypanthium abaxially glabrous.   (40)
+ Branchlets prominently angled, pubescent or villous; pedicels and hypanthium abaxially hairy.   (41)
40 (39) Branchlets densely tomentose; leaf blade margin usually 3-lobed, with a few large, obtuse teeth above middle, base cuneate or broadly so.   61 S. martini
+ Branchlets pubescent; leaf blade margin not lobed, with many large, crenate teeth above base, base subrounded.   62 S. cavaleriei
41 (39) Branchlets and buds appressed villous; pedicels and hypanthium abaxially villous when young; follicles glabrous or slightly pilose on adaxial suture.   63 S. daochengensis
+ Branchlets and buds densely pubescent; pedicels, hypanthium abaxially, and follicles pubescent.   64 S. muliensis
42 (30) Buds with 2 exterior scales.   (43)
+ Buds with several exterior scales.   (46)
43 (42) Leaf blade margin serrate; stamens longer than petals; sepals reflexed in fruit.   (44)
+ Leaf blade margin entire or apically crenate-serrate; stamens subequaling petals; sepals erect or spreading in fruit.   (45)
44 (43) Leaf blades oblong-elliptic to oblong-ovate, margin sharply serrate above middle or near apex; petioles 2–5 mm; stamens ca. 20.   55 S. flexuosa
+ Leaf blades broadly ovate, margin minutely serrate or doubly serrate; petioles 4–7 mm; stamens 35–50.   56 S. chamaedryfolia
45 (43) Branchlets, leaf blades, and inflorescences glabrous; follicles glabrous or slightly hairy on adaxial suture.   57 S. mongolica
+ Branchlets, leaf blades, and inflorescences villous; follicles pubescent.   58 S. mollifolia
46 (42) Leaf blade margin entire or apically crenate-serrate.   (47)
+ Leaf blade margin serrate or incised, sometimes lobed.   (55)
47 (46) Leaf blades abaxially hairy; follicles hairy; sepals reflexed in fruit.   (48)
+ Leaf blades abaxially glabrous (pubescent in S. xizangensis); follicles glabrous or pilose on adaxial suture; sepals erect, spreading, or reflexed in fruit.   (51)
48 (47) Leaf blade margin with a few obtuse teeth above middle; racemes dense.   49 S. tarokoensis
+ Leaf blade margin entire or on sterile shoots with sharp teeth apically; racemes lax.   (49)
49 (48) Branchlets glabrous or subglabrous; leaf blades abaxially glabrous or slightly pubescent in vein axils.   48 S. media
+ Branchlets densely villous; leaf blades abaxially densely long sericeous.   (50)
50 (49) Shrubs erect, to 2 m; leaf blades ovate-elliptic or elliptic, 1.5–4.5 cm; inflorescences 15–30-flowered; stamens longer than petals.   46 S. sericea
+ Shrubs prostrate; leaf blades broadly ovate, 0.8–1.5 cm; inflorescences 7–15-flowered; stamens slightly shorter than petals.   47 S. prostrata
51 (47) Branchlets terete, glabrous; sepals reflexed.   54 S. dahurica
+ Branchlets angled, pubescent; sepals erect or slightly spreading.   (52)
52 (51) Leaf blades 2–4 mm wide; veins inconspicuous.   (53)
+ Leaf blades 4–9 mm wide, ± conspicuously 3-veined at base.   (54)
53 (52) Flowers white; styles subterminal, divergent.   50 S. alpina
+ Flowers pink-red; styles abaxial, suberect.   51 S. xizangensis
54 (52) Inflorescences 2–4 cm; styles terminal, divergent.   52 S. myrtilloides
+ Inflorescences 1–1.5 cm; styles abaxial.   53 S. ningshiaensis
55 (46) Stamens longer than or rarely subequaling petals; flowers in umbel-like racemes.   (56)
+ Stamens shorter than or subequaling petals; flowers in umbels.   (61)
56 (55) Follicles pubescent or hirsute; sepals erect in fruit.   (57)
+ Follicles glabrous or subglabrous; sepals reflexed in fruit.   (59)
57 (56) Pedicels and hypanthium abaxially pubescent; leaf blades abaxially pubescent, margin lobed.   40 S. sublobata
+ Pedicels and hypanthium abaxially glabrous; leaf blades abaxially pubescent on veins or in vein axils, margin not lobed.   (58)
58 (57) Leaf blades oblong-elliptic to lanceolate-elliptic, abaxially pubescent in vein axils, base cuneate, margin irregularly incised serrate, sometimes doubly serrate above middle.   41 S. elegans
+ Leaf blades triangular-ovate or lanceolate-ovate, abaxially pubescent on veins, base truncate, rarely subrounded, margin doubly serrate except near base.   42 S. anomala
59 (56) Leaf blades ovate to elliptic-ovate, glabrous or abaxially with tufted hairs in vein axils, margin singly serrate, leaves on sterile shoots often incised doubly serrate.   43 S. laeta
+ Leaf blades oblong or ovate, margin with a few coarse teeth.   (60)
60 (59) Leaf blades sericeous-villous on both surfaces, margin with 3–7 large, acute teeth on each side above middle; inflorescences 12–20-flowered; flowers 8–10 mm in diam.   44 S. papillosa
+ Leaf blades glabrous on both surfaces, margin with 3–5 inconspicuous, triangular, obtuse teeth on each side above middle; inflorescences 5–10-flowered; flowers 10–12 mm in diam.   45 S. lichiangensis
61 (55) Leaf blades, inflorescences, and follicles glabrous.   (62)
+ Leaf blades hairy abaxially.   (65)
62 (61) Leaf blade apex acute.   (63)
+ Leaf blade apex obtuse.   (64)
63 (62) Leaf blade rhombic-lanceolate to rhombic-oblong, pinnately veined, margin serrate above middle.   36 S. cantoniensis
+ Leaf blade rhombic-ovate, inconspicuously 3-veined or pinnately veined, margin usually 3-lobed, incised doubly serrate.   37 S. ×vanhouttei
64 (62) Leaf blades suborbicular, 3–5-veined, base rounded to subcordate, rarely cuneate, margin with a few crenate teeth above middle, apex usually 3-lobed.   38 S. trilobata
+ Leaf blades rhombic-ovate to obovate, inconspicuously 3-veined or pinnately veined, base cuneate, margin with a few crenate, incised teeth or 3–5 lobes above middle.   39 S. blumei
65 (61) Inflorescences glabrous; follicles glabrous except on adaxial suture.   35 S. pubescens
+ Inflorescences and follicles hairy.   (66)
66 (65) Leaf blades glabrous adaxially, pilose or subglabrous abaxially.   34 S. siccanea
+ Leaf blades pilose adaxially.   (67)
67 (66) Leaf blades pubescent abaxially.   (68)
+ Leaf blades tomentose abaxially.   (69)
68 (67) Leaf blades abaxially sericeous-pubescent, margin coarsely obtusely dentate, apex usually 3-lobed; inflorescences 2–3 cm in diam.; pedicels 6–10 mm.   29 S. nishimurae
+ Leaf blades abaxially sparsely pubescent, margin obtusely or sharply serrate above middle or near apex, apex not 3-lobed; inflorescences 4–5 cm in diam.; pedicels 12–22 mm.   30 S. hirsuta
69 (67) Sepals ovate-lanceolate; leaf blades abaxially densely yellow tomentose, deeply sharply incised serrate.   31 S. chinensis
+ Sepals triangular to ovate-triangular; leaf blades abaxially densely white tomentose, shallowly obtusely serrate.   (70)
70 (69) Leaf blades rhombic-ovate, 2–4.5 cm, margin obtusely incised serrate or lobed, apex acute, rarely obtuse.   32 S. dasyantha
+ Leaf blades ovate to obovate, 1–2 cm, margin ± obtusely serrate or doubly serrate, apex obtuse or slightly 3-lobed.   33 S. yunnanensis

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