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

5. Saxifraga pallida Wallich ex Seringe in de Candolle, Prodr. 4: 38. 1830.

多叶虎耳草 duo ye hu er cao

Micranthes pallida (Wallich ex Seringe) Losinskaja; M. pallidiformis (Engler) Losinskaja; Saxifraga clavistamineoides T. C. Ku; S. himalaica N. P. Balakrishnan; S. micrantha Edgeworth (1846), not Fischer ex de Candolle (1830); S. micrantha var. micrantha f. corymbiflora Engler & Irmscher; S. micrantha var. micrantha f. foliosa Engler & Irmscher; S. micrantha var. micrantha f. minor Engler & Irmscher; S. micrantha var. monbeigii Engler & Irmscher; S. micrantha var. yunnanensis Franchet; S. micranthoides Engler; S. pallida Wallich ex Seringe f. bracteosa Engler & Irmscher; S. pallida f. corymbiflora Engler & Irmscher; S. pallida f. foliosa Engler & Irmscher; S. pallida f. geoides J. Anthony; S. pallida var. monbeigii Engler & Irmscher; S. pallidiformis Engler.

Stem 3.5-33 cm tall, piliferous. Petiole 1-10 cm, adaxially and marginally piliferous; leaf blade narrowly to broadly ovate, rarely obovate, 1.3-8 × 0.7-3.7 cm, adaxially piliferous, base cuneate or truncate to subcordate, margin 11-25-crenate or obtusely dentate, ciliate, apex obtuse. Inflorescence paniculate, 4-20 cm, 4-13-flowered; branches and pedicels pubescent; most proximal bract ovate to narrowly so, 1.2-4 × 0.5-2 cm, adaxially pubescent, base with a stalk 2-7 mm, margin dentate, ciliate, apex acute. Sepals spreading to reflexed, ovate to narrowly so, 3.3-3.8 × 1-2 mm, both surfaces usually glabrous, rarely abaxially pilose, veins 3-7, confluent at apex, margin pilose at base. Petals white, proximally with 2 yellow spots, ovate, 4-4.4 × 2-3 mm, 3-7-veined, base with a claw 0.6-0.9 mm, apex acute, obtuse, or retuse. Stamens 2.5-4 mm; filaments clavate; anthers purple. Ovary up to 1/3 inferior, green or tinged purple, ovoid, 1.6-3 mm, with an annular nectary; styles 1-1.5 mm. Capsule 5-8 mm; carpels divergent distally. Fl. and fr. Jul-Oct. 2n = 22*, 44, 66*.

Forests, alpine scrub, alpine meadows, alpine rock crevices; 3000-5000 m. S Gansu, W Sichuan, SE Xizang, NW Yunnan [Bhutan, N India, Kashmir, Nepal, Sikkim].

Saxifraga pallida is a variable species. Two of the present authors (Gornall and Ohba) believe that there are at least two varieties that may or may not correspond in some way with the variation in chromosome number. Diploid plants (2n = 22) have small leaf blades (usually less than 3 cm); they also exist as two morphs: one Chinese, with petals more than 3 × 2 mm, and the other Himalayan, with petals less than 3 × 1.5 mm. Tetraploid plants (2n = 44) have longer leaf blades more than 3 cm, but are also represented by two variants each with its own distinctive karyotype. Preliminary cytological details have been published by Wakabayashi (Newsl. Himalayan Bot. 21: 9-13. 1997). Further work is needed to devise a taxonomy that reflects the complex pattern of variation.


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