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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 20-21 | Asteraceae | Notoseris

7. Notoseris melanantha (Franchet) C. Shih, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 25: 198. 1987.

黑花紫菊 hei hua zi ju

Lactuca melanantha Franchet, J. Bot. (Morot) 9: 291. 1895; Notoseris formosana (Kitamura) C. Shih; N. gracilipes C. Shih; N. henryi (Dunn) C. Shih; N. rhombiformis C. Shih; Prenanthes formosana Kitamura; P. henryi Dunn.

Herbs 0.5-2 m tall, perennial. Stem solitary, erect, apically branched and glabrous or glandular hairy, leafy. Lower and middle stem leaves with petiole 3-17 cm, ± unwinged, basally not widened; leaf blade pinnatipartite to pinnatisect or lyrately so, rarely some leaves undivided, margin mucronulately dentate (sometimes very coarsely so) and sometimes ± sinuate; lateral lobes 1-3 pairs, opposite to subopposite, elliptic, irregularly rhombic, or obovate, 1-10 × 0.5-6 cm, base truncate, cuneate, or subpetiolulate, apex obtuse to acute; terminal lobe broadly elliptic, triangular-ovate, or rhombic, 4-22 × 3-20 cm, base cordate, truncate, or cuneate, apex obtuse, rounded, or acute. Upper stem leaves similar to middle stem leaves but with shorter petiole to sessile, smaller and less or not divided. Synflorescence narrowly paniculiform, with numerous capitula. Capitula with 5(or 6) florets. Involucre ca. 12 × 2-3 mm at anthesis, to 1.6 cm in fruit. Phyllaries purplish, abaxially glabrous; outer phyllaries triangular, linear-elliptic, or lanceolate, largest 4-6 × 1-1.5 mm, apex acute; inner phyllaries 5, apex ± rounded. Florets bluish purple to pink. Achene 4-6 mm, basally more attenuate than apically. Pappus 7-9 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun-Dec. 2n = 18*.

● Forests, forest margins; 1300-2700 m. Chongqing, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan.

Notoseris melanantha is here treated in a wide sense, including several other species previously distinguished only by rather subtle leaf and indumentum features. As here treated, it is well characterized by its pinnatipartite to pinnatisect leaves with a broad, triangular to triangular-ovate or broadly rhombic terminal lobe and its 1.2-1.6 cm involucres with 5 inner phyllaries. Comparing the type material of N. melanantha and N. henryi, which were apparently described independently of each other a few years apart, with a larger number of specimens referable to either of them, it becomes evident that a continuous variation in leaf shape closely knits all of these specimens. The rich type material of N. melanantha represents a form with pinnatipartite to pinnatisect lower and middle stem leaves, the rachis of which is distinctly to broadly winged at least between the broad, triangular-ovate terminal lobe and the upper pair of lateral lobes and narrowly winged to unwinged between the pairs of lateral lobes, and the lateral lobes of which have a broad base. The syntypes of N. henryi, A. Henry 7022 and A. Henry 11214, in contrast, have pinnatisect lower and middle stem leaves with usually unwinged rachis, lateral lobes with narrow or even subpetiolulate base, and a broad, triangular-ovate to rhombic terminal lobe. This latter leaf shape appears to be much more common. As N. melanantha predates the name N. henryi for a few years, the former is the correct name for the commonest and most widespread Notoseris species. Three further species, N. formosana, N. gracilipes, and N. rhombiformis, apparently each represent only part of this continuous variation, making their delimitation practically impossible. Of these, N. rhombiformis refers to plants with a broad, distinctly rhombic terminal lobe separated by the unwinged rachis from the uppermost pair of lateral lobes, a form also represented by the syntype A. Henry 11214 and approximately by part of the material of the syntype A. Henry 7022 of N. henryi, while N. gracilipes and N. formosana refer to pinnatisect-leafy plants with a broadly triangular terminal lobe and were moreover distinguished by indumentum characters.


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