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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 16 | Convolvulaceae | Merremia

19. Merremia similis Elmer, Leafl. Philip. Bot. 1: 335. 1908.

红花姬旋花 hong hua ji xuan hua

?Convolvulus distillatorius Blanco; ?Merremia distillatoria (Blanco) Merrill, p.p.

Climbers or sprawlers, perennial. Axial parts densely gray or rust-colored pubescent or mealy when young, later glabrescent. Stems terete, fistulose. Petiole 3-17 cm; leaf blade broadly ovate to circular, 8.5-18(-20) X 8-16(-20) cm, densely rust or grayish tomentose when young, later glabrescent adaxially, base cordate, apex abruptly acuminate. Peduncle to 30(-60?) cm, branched near apex. Pedicel thickened distally, with a thick lobed ring below sepals, 2-3 cm, 4-4.5 cm in fruit. Sepals obovate to broadly elliptic or circular, concave, ± equal, 1.5-1.8 cm, glabrous, margin membranous, apex obtuse or slightly retuse. Fruiting sepals to 2 cm, forming a cup around capsule. Corolla reddish (white with a tinge of red, according to Elmer's protologue), broadly funnelform, 3-4 cm, midpetaline bands pubescent apically; limb slightly 5-lobed. Stamens 1.6-1.8 cm; filaments with 2 lines of hairs below insertion; anthers spirally twisted. Ovary conical, glabrous. Style ca. 2.8 cm. Fruit ovoid, 1.5-1.8 cm; valves at first brown-black, later straw colored. Seeds black, ca. 6 mm, tomentose-villous.

Taiwan (Hengchun Peninsula) [Philippines].

Van Ooststroom (Blumea 3: 360-361. 1939) has discussed the ambiguity surrounding the taxon Blanco described as Convolvulus distillatorius, and whether it was indeed identical with the one Merrill had before him when he made the combination Merremia distillatoria. Specimens cited by Merrill disagree in several points with Blanco's original description. Van Ooststroom therefore set aside this ambiguous name and took up Elmer's later-published M. similis, for which the typification and original description are quite clear. The correct application of binomial requires further study, including access to types not presently available.

Chang Ching-en (Fl. Taiwan 4: 385. 1978) recorded Merremia similis from the extreme southern portion of Taiwan on the Hengchun Peninsula. This is the first record of the species outside the Philippines.


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