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

35. Galium morii Hayata, Icon. Pl. Formosan. 7: 32. 1918.

森氏猪殃殃 sen shi zhu yang yang

Galium sigeyosii Masamune.

Herbs, perennial, erect, 5-10 cm tall. Stems slender, 4-angled, glabrous. Leaves in whorls of 4, sessile or subsessile; blade drying papery, obovate, ovate, elliptic, or elliptic-oblong, 1-6 × 1.5-10 mm, glabrous or sparsely hairy abaxially, base obtuse, margins smooth, apex obtuse or apiculate-acute; principal veins 3, palmate. Inflorescences terminal or sometimes axillary, with few-flowered cymes of 0.5-1.5 cm; peduncles and bracts glabrous; pedicels 1-2 mm. Ovary densely strigillose with undeveloped trichomes. Corolla ?white, rotate, ca. 1.2 mm in diam., lobed for 3/4 or more; lobes 4, ovate. Mericarps subglobose, ca. 1 mm, with dense, ± appressed uncinate trichomes.

● Mountains; 2500-3400 m. Taiwan (Jiayi).

Galium morii was described as a very small plant from Yu Shan (Mt. Morrison) in Taiwan. We have seen no authentic material. The present description combines information from the protologue, FRPS (71(2): 241. 1999), and Yang and Li (Bull. Natl. Mus. Nat. Sci., Taichung 11: 106-107. 1998; Fl. Taiwan, ed. 2, 4: 256. 1998). But there are certain conflicts: whereas the leaves were characterized by FRPS as 1- or indistinctly 3-veined, the protologue and Yang and Li said they were 3-veined.

Galium morii was the first species to be described from an obviously closely related assembly of G. sect. Platygalium taxa growing in the high mountains of Taiwan, which is here called the G. morii group and also includes G. formosense, G. minutissimum, G. nankotaizanum, and G. tarokoense. On the mainland, the newly described G. rupifragum from Yunnan obviously also belongs here. This G. morii group is characterized by low and condensed growth, small ovate to elliptic or broadly lanceolate leaves, reduced inflorescences, and hairy fruit. Affinities obviously exist with the aggregates of G. elegans and G. serpylloides.

Characters used to differentiate the taxa of the Galium morii group are stem indumentum, number of leaf veins (1-3), uncinate to straight fruit hairs, etc., but many taxonomical problems remain. As an example: G. morii may not be clearly separable from G. tarokoense by its smaller and sparsely pubescent, 3-nerved leaves (vs. larger, completely glabrous, and rather 1-nerved leaves of G. tarokoense); the two taxa are geographically separated according to Yang and Li (loc. cit. 1998: 107, 110). Furthermore, relationships between the alpine core group (as G. morii) and other taxa with taller growth from lower elevations (as G. formosense) evidently need more attention in the future. Transitional states in the above characters make it necessary to place several species in two or three different positions in our key.


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