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

30. Ophiorrhiza kwangsiensis Merrill ex H. L. Li, J. Arnold Arbor. 24: 453. 1943.

广西蛇根草 guang xi she gen cao

Herbs, creeping to weakly ascending, to 18 cm tall; stems drying yellowish brown, subglabrous or with puberulent to strigillose lines. Leaves in subequal pairs; petiole 0.5-1.5 cm, glabrous; blade drying papery to membranous, leaden gray or olive-green adaxially, pale green or yellowed abaxially, cordiform to cordate-ovate, 0.8-2 × 0.7-1.5 cm, glabrous on both surfaces or puberulent adaxially, base cordate to subtruncate, margins entire, apex acute to somewhat obtuse; secondary veins 4-6 pairs; stipules caducous, not seen. Inflorescence congested-cymose, few or several flowered, densely hirtellous to pilosulous; peduncle 0.7-1.5 cm; axes reduced or shortly helicoid; bracts linear to linear-lanceolate, 4.5-6 mm, glabrous except sparsely ciliolate. Flowers reportedly distylous, subsessile, fragrant. Calyx puberulent; hypanthium turbinate, ca. 1 mm, weakly 5-ribbed; lobes oblong-lanceolate, in bud 1-2.5 mm and equal to unequal. Corolla pale yellow or reddish, tubular-funnelform, outside subglabrous; tube 9-10 mm, inside sparsely pilose; lobes ovate-triangular, ca. 2 mm, dorsally costate and with very short horn. Capsules ?mitriform, 2-2.5 × 6-7 mm, puberulent. Fl. early spring or Sep.

● Shady wet places in forests. Guangxi (Shangsi).

H. S. Lo (in FRPS 71(1): 145. 1999) reported this species as distylous but described only one floral form, similar to the short-styled flowers of distylous species. The protologue described only young flower buds with no description of anther or stigma position. The protologue described the calyx lobes as ca. 1 mm without any note about them being unequal, while H. S. Lo (loc. cit.) described these as 1.5-2.2 mm and usually unequal; both conditions are included here provisionally.

Ophiorrhiza kwangsiensis was synonymized with O. japonica by Duan and Lin (Acta Phytotax. Sin. 45: 873. 2007), but a number of characters seem to distinguish it; it is provisionally separated here pending further study.


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