23. Tribe LOTEAE
百脉根族 bai mai gen zu
Authors: Zhi Wei, Tatiana E. Kramina & Dmitry D. Sokoloff
Herbs, semiwoody plants, subshrubs, shrublets, or shrubs. Leaves distichous [except in 2 Mediterranean species] usually epulvinate, imparipinnate or palmate; stipules free or adnate to petiole base, often possessing a gland or reduced to merely a gland; leaflets 3-5 to many, rarely 1 or 2, margin never serrulate or dentate [rarely leaves simple (entire, lobed, or dissected)]. Partial inflorescences usually umbels or heads, sometimes reduced to solitary flower; peduncles [except in 2 Mediterranean species] all axillary, elongate or shortened, with or without a herbaceous sterile bract. Subtending floral bracts usually small, inconspicuous, typically glandular if stipules of foliage leaves are glandular, sometimes bracts absent; bracteoles usually absent. Calyx campanulate or tubular. Standard tapering or abruptly contracted to a claw with or without thickened infolded margins. Vexillary filament free or postgenitally adnate to others to form a closed tube; filaments dilated upward; anthers uniform. Style smooth or papillose, usually glabrous along length, but sometimes with hairs surrounding stigma. Legume 2-valved [in 1 Mediterranean species opening only along a ventral suture], or indehiscent, or breaking into indehiscent or rarely dehiscent joints. Seeds estrophiolate.
About 18 genera and ca. 270 species: mostly in temperate regions, especially the Mediterranean region, N Atlantic islands, and North America (California); one genus and eight species (one to three introduced) in China.
Two other genera are represented in China by one introduced species each. Coronilla varia Linnaeus (Sp. Pl. 2: 743. 1753; Securigera varia (Linnaeus) Lassen) is cultivated in NE China for ornament and is used medicinally. This species is native to SW Asia and Europe (eastward to Iran, Turkmenistan, and SW Siberia) but is introduced in many other places. Hippocrepis emerus (Linnaeus) Lassen (Svensk Bot. Tidskr. 83: 86. 1989; Coronilla emerus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 742. 1753) is cultivated for ornament in Shaanxi. The species is native to N Africa, SW Asia, and C and S Europe, where it contains two subspecies (H. emerus subsp. emerus and H. emerus subsp. emeroides (Boissier & Spruner) Greuter & Burdet ex Lassen). Most important generic differences between Coronilla and Hippocrepis include structure of stipules, standard claw, vexillary filament, style, ovule, fruit venation, pollen morphology, and chromosome number; in the key below, only features of the two species recorded from China are considered.