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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 5 | Urticaceae | Pilea

62. Pilea racemosa (Royle) Tuyama in H. Hara, Fl. E. Himal. 61. 1966.

亚高山冷水花 ya gao shan leng shui hua

Procris racemosa Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal. Mts. t. 83, f. 1. 1836; Pilea subalpina Handel-Mazzetti; P. wightii Weddell var. roylei J. D. Hooker.

Herbs perennial, weak, glabrous, monoecious or dioecious. Tuber whitish gray, globose, 3-20 mm in diam. Stems often branched, 2-15(-30) cm tall, succulent. Stipules persistent, triangular, ca. 1 mm, membranous; petiole subequal in length, 0.2-1 cm; leaf blade abaxially pale green, adaxially green, ovate, elliptic, rhombic, obovate, or suborbicular, subequal in size, 0.5-2 × 0.3-1.2 cm, succulent, herbaceous, 3(-5)-veined, rarely triplinerved, lateral veins 1-3 each side, inconspicuous, cystoliths fusiform, conspicuous on both surfaces, base rounded, subcordate, or broadly cuneate, margin bluntly 1-5-serrate each side or entire, apex subacute or obtuse. Inflorescences in pairs, male a capitulum or racemelike-cyme, 1-3.5 cm; female peduncle 0.2-2 cm. Male flowers pedicellate, in bud ca. 1.5 mm; perianth lobes 4, obovate-oblong, connate 1/2 of length, subapically corniculate, stamens 4; rudimentary ovary oblong. Female perianth lobes unequal, subapically corniculate. Achene narrowly ovoid or oblong-ovoid, ca. 0.8 mm, slightly compressed, smooth, enclosed by persistent perianth lobes. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Jul-Sep.

Tsuga or Picea forests, semishaded moist places, often on mossy rocks, sometimes on walls by villages; 2200-5400 m. W Sichuan, S Xizang, NW Yunnan, [Bhutan, N India, Nepal, Sikkim].

This species shows great variability in stem branching, leaf shape, leaf margin, and peduncle length. Plants found at higher elevations are shorter, often unbranched, have a less serrate leaf margin, and a shorter peduncle. This species is distinct in always having a globose tuber, capitate inflorescences, and a narrow, smooth achene.


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