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

9. Ophiorrhiza chinensis H. S. Lo, Bull. Bot. Res., Harbin. 10(2): 70. 1990.

中华蛇根草 zhong hua she gen cao

Herbs or subshrubs, to 40(-80) cm tall; stems drying straw-yellow or purplish black, terete, subglabrous to pilosulous. Leaves in subequal pairs; petiole 1-4 cm; blade drying papery, rather pale red, lanceolate to ovate, 3.5-12(-15) cm, usually glabrous or subglabrous on both surfaces, base cuneate, obtuse, or rarely rounded, margins entire, apex acuminate; secondary veins 9 or 10 pairs; stipules caducous, not seen. Inflorescences paniculiform to cymose, several to many flowered, densely hirtellous to pilosulous; peduncle 1.5-3.5 cm; axes 1-3.5 cm, helicoid, deflexed, later becoming erect; bracteoles absent or reduced and caducous. Flowers distylous, on pedicels 1-2 mm. Calyx mealy puberulent; hypanthium subturbinate, 1.2-1.4 mm, 5-ribbed; lobes subtriangular, 0.4-0.5 mm. Corolla white or pale purplish red, tubular-funnelform, subglabrous or mealy puberulent outside, inside pilosulous to scaly hairy in upper part onto lobes and with a white villous ring near middle of tube; tube 18-20 mm; lobes triangular-ovate, 2.5-3 mm, dorsally with carinate narrow wing prolonged into very short horn near apex, apex cucullate-rostrate. Infructescence axes often becoming thickened, glabrescent, expanded, peduncle to 5 cm, axes to 6 cm, pedicels to 4 mm. Capsules obcordate-mitriform, 3-3.4 × 8-10 mm, subglabrous. Fl. winter and spring, fr. spring and summer.

● Fertile soil in broad-leaved forests; ca. 1300 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan.

The protologue detailed the long-styled and short-styled flowers, which are said to be similar in corolla size and to differ reciprocally in anther and stigma position, with one structure held in the middle of the corolla tube and the other exserted from the throat, respectively.


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