27. Galium karakulense Pobedimova in Schischkin, Fl. URSS. 23: 712. 1958.
粗沼拉拉藤 cu zhao la la teng
Herbs, perennial, weak to procumbent, 40-70 cm tall. Rootstock slender, with prolonged rhizomes. Stems 4-angled, flaccid, much branched, retrorsely aculeolate, hispidulous or glabrescent at nodes. Leaves in whorls of 4(or 5), subpetiolate; blade drying papery, elliptic to oblanceolate, (12-)15-20(-30) × (2-)5-8(-12) mm, densely antrorsely aculeolate adaxially and along margins, retrorsely aculeolate on abaxial midrib, base attenuate to cuneate, margins thinly revolute, apex rounded to bluntly pointed; vein 1. Inflorescences paniculate, terminal and lateral cymes with several to many flowers (usually more than 4); peduncles scabrous and ± divaricate; bracts ovate to elliptic, 3-7 × 1-3 mm; pedicels 2-4.5 mm, rough, elongated in fruit. Ovary didymous, glabrous. Corolla white, cup-shaped, 3-4(-4.5) mm in diam., 4-lobed to ca. 1/2. Mericarps (sub)globose, 1.5-2.5(-3.5) mm, glabrous, slightly verrucose. Fl. Jul, fr. Aug-Sep.
Swamps and riversides at low to middle elevations. Xinjiang (Chabuchaer) [Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan].
Galium karakulense represents G. sect. Aparinoides in C Asia and is considered as a link between the G. trifidum group in the N Hemisphere and the predominantly Mediterranean-European G. palustre group (Puff, Canad. J. Bot. 54: 1923-1924. 1976). It is also treated in Pobedimova et al. (loc. cit.) and Ehrendorfer et al. (Fl. Iranica 176: 174. 2005) and may be responsible for some of the erroneous indications of G. palustre for N China, as discussed under G. innocuum. The latter is the second verified species of the section in the more southerly part of the Chinese flora. In comparison with G. karakulense, G. innocuum is a much smaller and more slender plant with few-flowered cymes and smooth pedicels.