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

1. Psychotria asiatica Linnaeus, Syst. Nat., ed. 10. 2: 929. 1759.

九节 jiu jie

Antherura rubra Loureiro; Psychotria esquirolii H. Léveillé; P. reevesii Wallich; P. reevesii var. pilosa Pitard; P. rubra (Loureiro) Poiret; P. rubra var. pilosa (Pitard) W. C. Chen; Uragoga rubra (Loureiro) Kuntze.

Shrubs or small trees, 0.5-5 m tall; stems puberulent to glabrous. Petiole 0.7-5 cm, glabrous or rarely puberulent; leaf blade reportedly rather shiny in life, drying papery to leathery, dark red, brownish red, yellowish green, or gray-green, elliptic-oblong, lanceolate-oblong, or rarely oblong-ovate, 5-23.5 × 2-9 cm, adaxially glabrous, abaxially glabrous or puberulent, base acute to obtuse, margins flat to narrowly revolute, apex acute to acuminate or obtuse then abruptly narrowed and acuminate; secondary veins 5-8(-11) pairs, free or weakly forming a broadly looping, incomplete submarginal vein, usually with foveolate and sometimes pilosulous domatia; stipules caducous or sometimes persisting on 2 or 3 nodes, triangular to broadly triangular or broadly ligulate, interpetiolar or shortly united around stem, [3-]6-8 mm, glabrous to puberulent, broadly rounded to obtuse or shallowly emarginate. Inflorescences terminal or sometimes pseudoaxillary, cymose to paniculiform, many flowered, glabrous or usually densely puberulent, sessile and apparently tripartite to shortly pedunculate; peduncle to 0.3 mm; branched portion corymbiform-rounded to broadly pyramidal, 2-10 × 3-5 cm, with 1-3 pairs of developed secondary axes; bracts triangular, 0.2-1 mm; pedicels to 2.5 mm. Flowers subsessile to pedicellate in dichotomous cymules of 3-5. Calyx densely puberulent; hypanthium portion turbinate, 0.8-1.2 mm; limb 0.8-1 mm, subtruncate to denticulate. Corolla white, funnelform, glabrous outside; tube 2-3 mm, in throat white villous; lobes triangular, 2-2.5 mm. Drupes red, subglobose to broadly ellipsoid, 5-8 × 4-7 mm, with pedicels to 10 mm; pyrenes shallowly 3-5-ribbed. Fl. and fr. year-round.

Thickets or forests in ravines, on hill slopes, or at village margins; near sea level to 1500 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang, also cultivated in Zhejiang [Cambodia, India, Japan, Laos (commonly collected), Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam (very commonly collected)].

This species has long been called Psychotria rubra in China and P. reevesii in Vietnam. However, recently Davis et al. (Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 135: 34-52. 2001) matched the Chinese plants to the type specimen of P. asiatica, which is thus the correct name for these plants. The objective of their work was limited, however, and they did not address the whole circumscription and range of this species, nor the identity of P. rubra. The Chinese specimens treated under this name here closely match the specimens included by them in P. asiatica, and the range of this species is here accordingly expanded to include this range. As noted by Davis et al. (loc. cit.), all the flowers seen have the anthers exserted and the stigmas included and positioned near the middle of the corolla tube, thus resembling the short-styled form of distylous species of Psychotria.


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