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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 5 | Urticaceae | Pilea

77. Pilea peploides (Gaudichaud-Beaupré) W. J. Hooker & Arnott, Bot. Beechey Voy. 96. 1832.

苔水花 tai shui hua

Dubrueilia peploides Gaudichaud-Beaupré, Voy. Uranie, Bot. 495. 1830; Pilea peploides var. major Weddell.

Herbs weak, often clumped, glabrous, monoecious. Stems reddish, simple or branched, slender, 3-20 cm tall, 1-2 mm in diam., succulent; lower internodes long, upper ones very short. Stipules soon deciduous, triangular, minute, ca. 0.5 mm, membranous; petiole slender, subequal in length, 3-20 mm; leaf blade conspicuously purplish punctate, particularly abaxially, suborbicular, rhombic-orbicular, or deltoid-ovate, subequal in size, 3.5-21 × 3-23 mm, membranous, lateral veins indistinct, cystoliths linear, often regularly transverse, conspicuous abaxially, base cuneate or broadly cuneate, rarely subrounded, margin entire or weakly sinuate-crenate distally, apex obtuse, rounded, sometimes subacute. Inflorescences sometimes androgynous, often with male and female inflorescences borne in same axil, compactly cymose-capitate, subglobose; male ones 0.3-1 cm overall, peduncle 0.15-0.7 cm; female inflorescence 0.2-0.6 cm, peduncle 1-4 mm or almost absent. Male flower pedicellate, ca. 0.8 mm; perianth lobes ovate, connate 1/2 of length, apex acute; stamens 4; rudimentary ovary minute. Female flowers light green, pedicellate; perianth lobes 2, very unequal, abaxial lobe cymbiform, as long as fruit, thickened in fruit, adaxial lobe triangular-ovate, ca. 1/5 as long as abaxial lobe, membranous; staminodes oblong, ca. 1/2 length of fruit, but abortive ones much longer. Achene light brownish, ovoid, ca. 0.5 mm, slightly compressed, oblique at apex, smooth or spinulose-verrucose. Fl. Apr-Jul, fr. Jun-Aug.

Shaded moist places in forests, mossy rocks, near streams; 100-1300 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Liaoning, E Nei Mongol, Taiwan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, N India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Russia (Siberia), Sikkim, Thailand, Vietnam; Pacific Islands (Hawaii)].

This species appears to divide into two forms in China, one in the north with usually simple stems, entire leaves, and capitate inflorescences on 2–7 mm long peduncles, and the other in the south with much-branched stems, denticulate leaves, subsessile cymes, and ornamented achenes. However, in SE China, Japan, and Korea, these differences break down and it is not possible to recognize formal taxa.

The plants are used medicinally as an agent to relieve pain and to treat snake bites.


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