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49. Thermopsis R. Brown in W. T. Aiton, Hort. Kew., ed. 2. 3: 3. 1811.

野决明属 ye jue ming shu

Thermopsis lanceolata

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Perennial herbs. Rhizome creeping, producing annual erect stems, basal stipules joined to form a sheath, thin and scarious, 3-fid. Leaves digitately 3-foliolate, pedicellate; stipules large, leaflike, free. Racemes leaf-opposed or terminal; bracts connate with lat­eral stipules, becoming 3(or 6)-fid, persistent; bracteoles absent. Calyx campanulate, or gibbous and baglike on proximal side, 5-toothed. Corolla yellow, rarely purple, petals clawed. Stamens 10, free. Ovules 4-22. Legume linear-oblong or ovate, straight or curved, leathery. Seed reniform or orbicular; hilum small, white.

About 25 species: C and E Asia and North America; 12 species (four endemic) in China.

The genus in China appears to be divisible into three groups. Thermopsis lupinoides and T. chinensis are upright plants with terminal inflo­rescences, apparently from a single rootstock. Thermopsis lanceolata is an upright plant with terminal inflorescences; there are numerous aerial shoots arising from a spreading rhizome. Thermopsis barbata, T. inflata, T. smithiana, and T. alpina are all precociously flowering species, in which the inflorescences arise early from the rootstock, before the main leafy shoots appear. Then, basal buds on the flowering shoot, below the inflorescence, develop into long leafy shoots completely different in appearance from the precociously flowering material.

1 Flowers alternate; petioles subequal to stipules; stems more than 50 cm   (2)
+ Flowers opposite or verticillate; petioles shorter than stipules; stems less than 30 cm   (3)
2 (1) Leaflets 3.5-8 cm; stipules broadly ovate, obtuse or mucronate; legume inclined extrorsely, valves papery, sparsely villous.   1 T. fabacea
+ Leaflets 2-4.5 cm; stipules lanceolate, acuminate; legumes appressed to stem, valves thinly woody, appressed hirsute.   2 T. chinensis
3 (1) Calyx not gibbous, base tapering, distal tooth ca. 2 × length of tube; corolla yellow or purple   (4)
+ Calyx gibbous proximally, distal tooth subequal to tube; corolla yellow   (5)
4 (3) Corolla purple.   11 T. barbata
+ Corolla yellow.   12 T. gyirongensis
5 (3) Legume elliptic or narrowly elliptic, inflated; leaflets obovate or broadly obovate; plant usually 7-15(-18) cm   (6)
+ Legume linear to oblong, compressed; leaflets oblanceolate, oblong, to ovate; plant usually 15-30 cm   (7)
6 (5) Legume stipitate, equal to calyx tube, beak exserted from dorsal suture, downcurved; ovules 12-17; seeds reniform; wings narrower than keel; leaflets broadly obovate, apex acute, both sides asymmetric.   9 T. inflata
+ Legume without stipe, base tapering, apex rounded, mucronate; ovules 3-5; seeds ellipsoid; wings ca. as broad as keel; leaflets obovate to narrowly elliptic, apex rounded.   10 T. smithiana
7 (5) Leaflets narrowly elliptic or linear, length more than 5 × width; wings much narrower than keel   (8)
+ Leaflets oblanceolate to ovate, length less than 4.5 × width; wings as wide as keel or slightly narrower   (9)
8 (7) Leaflets glabrous adaxially, appressed pubescent abaxially; legume flat, 8-13 mm wide, seeds close to dorsal suture.   5 T. turkestanica
+ Leaflets appressed pubescent adaxially, rather densely so abaxially; legume 7-9(-11) mm wide, seeds prominent in legume, at central line of valve.   8 T. mongolica
9 (7) Leaflets plane, 1.5-2.5 × as long as broad; wings and keel subequal in width; ovules 4-8; legume flat.   3 T. alpina
+ Leaflets involute along margins, 2.5-4.5 × as long as broad; wings slightly narrower than keel; ovules 10-20; legume prominent with seeds   (10)
10 (9) Leaflets to 7.5 cm; legumes with straight sutures.   4 T. lanceolata
+ Leaflets less than 4 cm; legume contracted between seeds   (11)
11 (10) Plant appressed puberulent or tomentose; leaflets narrowly obovate, rounded at apex; seeds dark green.   6 T. przewalskii
+ Plant villous; leaflets narrowly oblong, apex acute; seeds black.   7 T. yushuensis

  • List of lower taxa


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