13. Sanicula elata Buchanan-Hamilton ex D. Don, Prodr. Fl. Nepal. 183. 1825.
软雀花 ruan que hua
Sanicula europaea Linnaeus subsp. elata (Buchanan-Hamilton ex D. Don) H. de Boissieu; S. hermaphrodita Buchanan-Hamilton ex D. Don; S. montana Reinwardt ex Blume.
Plants 20–80 cm high. Stem erect, branched above, upper parts purplish brown-tinged. Basal leaves several; petioles 5–25 cm; blade broadly ovate-cordate or subpentagonal, 3–7 × 4–10 cm, palmately 3(–5)-parted, irregularly serrate, teeth mucronate; central segment obovate or rhombic, shallowly 2–3-parted, base cuneate, apex acuminate; lateral segments oblique-ovate, often 2-parted. Cauline leaves short-petiolate; blade 3(–5)-parted, upper leaves greatly reduced. Inflorescence cymose branched, terminal branch often very short, lateral branches elongate; bracts 2, lanceolate; rays ca. 5 mm, unequal; bracteoles 7–10, linear; umbellules 4–8-flowered. Staminate flowers 1–4 per umbellule, pedicels 1–1.5 mm; petals white, pale yellow or pale blue. Fertile flowers 3(or 4) per umbellule; calyx teeth shorter than bristles, persistent; styles 2-times longer than calyx teeth, recurved. Fruit ovoid-globose, 2.5–3 × 2–2.5 mm, densely covered with uncinate bristles; vittae 5, small, commissural vittae 2, larger. Fl. and fr. May–Oct.
Forests, stream banks; 800–3200 m. Guangxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, N India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam; E Africa].
The species has reputed medicinal value. It is a widespread and very variable species, and the leaf dissection tends to intergrade with that of Sanicula astrantiifolia in E Himalayan material.