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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 19 | Rubiaceae | Morinda

17. Morinda officinalis F. C. How, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 7: 326. 1958.

巴戟天 ba ji tian

Lianas; branches surrounded at base by persistent leafless stipules, when young strigillose, hirtellous, or pilose, becoming glabrescent and scabrous, angled, brown or bluish black. Leaves opposite; petiole 4-11 mm, densely puberulent, strigillose, hirtellous, or hirsute to glabrescent; blade drying papery, on both surfaces brown to yellow-brown, shiny to matte adaxially, matte abaxially, ovate-oblong, obovate-oblong, or elliptic, 6-13 × 3-6 cm, adaxially sparsely strigillose, hirtellous, or hirsute to glabrescent, abaxially glabrous or sparsely hirtellous along principal veins, base obtuse, rounded, cuneate, or acute, apex acute, obtuse, or rounded and abruptly mucronulate; secondary veins (4 or)5-7 pairs, with small pilosulous domatia; stipules fused into a spathe or tube, 3-5 mm, membranous, puberulent to hirtellous, truncate, on each side 2-denticulate. Inflorescence terminal; peduncles 1-7 or 15-25, umbellate or fasciculate, 0.1-1 cm, densely hirtellous to strigillose, as a group usually subtended by 1 or 2 stipuliform bracts; heads 1 per peduncle, subglobose to hemispherical, 5-7 mm in diam., 1-3- or 4-10-flowered. Flowers fused for ca. half of hypanthium, biology not noted. Calyx puberulent to glabrous; limb 1-1.5 mm, lobed for ca. 1/2; lobes 2-4, triangular, sometimes markedly unequal on an individual flower, obtuse to acute. Corolla white, campanulate or urceolate, outside puberulent, hirtellous, or glabrescent; tube 3-4 mm, inside densely villosulous from middle of tube to throat; lobes (2-)4, lanceolate or narrowly oblong, 3-4 mm, apically thickened and rostrate. Drupecetum globose to oblate, 5-11 mm in diam. Drupes fully fused, red, subglobose, 4-5 mm. Fl. May-Jul, fr. Oct-Nov.

● Sparse or dense forests and thickets on mountains, also cultivated; 100-500 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan.

According to the protologue, the species is apparently cultivated and used medicinally. The roots were described by Y. Z. Ruan (in FRPS 71(2): 199. 1999) as fleshy, irregularly intestine-like constricted, slightly purplish red, purplish blue when dry; they are illustrated in the protologue figure. The roots of almost no other Morinda species have been described by Y. Z. Ruan or any other authors seen.

1 (1) Flowering heads 15-25, each with 1(-3) flowers; peduncles ca. 2 mm; calyx lobes often becoming white.   17c ‘Uniflora’
+ Flowering heads 1-10, each with 4-10 flowers; peduncles 1-10 mm; calyx lobes green   (2)
2 (1) Young branches and leaf blades abaxially sparsely hirtellous, puberulent, or hirsute to glabrescent.   17b var. officinalis
+ Young branches and leaf blades densely transparent villous.   17a var. hirsuta

Lower Taxa


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