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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 8 | Saxifragaceae | Parnassia

47. Parnassia wightiana Wallich ex Wight & Arnott, Prodr. Fl. Ind. Orient. 35. 1834.

鸡肫草 ji zhun cao

Parnassia wightiana

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Parnassia ornata Wallich ex Arnott; P. wightiana var. ornata (Wallich ex Arnott) Drude.

Stems 2-4(-7), 18-24(-30) cm or less, with 1 leaf near middle or distally. Basal leaves 2-5; petiole 3-10(-13) cm; leaf blade abaxially greenish, adaxially green, subtriangular-ovate, ovate-cordate, broadly cordate, or reniform, 2.5-4(-5) × 3.8-6.3 cm, 7-9 veined, base deeply cordate to subcordate, truncate, or occasionally subtruncate, apex rounded, obtuse, or apiculate. Cauline leaf sessile, semiamplexicaul, similar to basal ones but sometimes smaller, often with several rusty brown appendages at base. Flower 1.5-4 cm in diam.; hypanthium shortly turbinate. Sepals densely purple-brown punctate on both surfaces, ovate-lanceolate, 5-9 × 3-3.5 mm, base often with several rusty brown appendages, margin entire, apex rounded-obtuse. Petals white, oblong, obovate, or subpandurate, 8-11 × 4-9 mm, base cuneate into a claw 1.5-2.5 mm, margin long fimbriate proximally, erose-dentate or rarely erose distally. Anthers oblong, ca. 1.5 mm; filaments 5-7 mm; staminodes flat, 3-5 mm, 5-lobed for up to 1/2 their length, lobes narrowly linear, occasionally with inconspicuous glands at apex. Ovary superior, densely small brown punctate, obovoid; style ca. 1.5 mm; stigma 3-lobed. Capsule obovoid. Seeds brown, glossy, oblong. Fl. Jul-Aug, fr. Sep. 2n = 36.

Open valley forests, valleys, grassy areas, roadsides; 600-2000 m. Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, N India, Nepal, Sikkim, N Thailand].

Parnassia wightiana is a very variable species. Populations in E Sichuan have basal leaf blades usually reniform, wider than long, with base cordate, deeply cordate, or occasionally subtruncate, apex apiculate, flower (2-)4 cm in diam., and staminodes usually divided to the middle, rarely shallowly lobed. Populations in NE Yunnan have stems low, basal leaf blades mostly ovate-cordate, nearly as long as (rarely longer than) wide, smaller, with base cordate, flower 1.5-2.5 cm in diam., and staminodes divided to the middle. Other populations in C and NE Yunnan have basal leaf blades mostly reniform, with base often cordate and apex apiculate. Populations in Guangdong have stems of moderate height, basal leaf blades subtriangular-ovate, larger, with base usually truncate or occasionally subcordate, apex obtuse, and flower larger. Because intermediate forms occur in various regions, and the characters all show ± continuous variation, the varieties and forms described by some authors are difficult to distinguish. Therefore none is recognized in the present account.

This species is used medicinally.


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  • Image/JPEG (Harvard University Herbaria)
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    Photos by The Biodiversity of the Hengduan Mountains Project  
  • Image/JPEG (David E. Boufford)
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