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

25. Galium innocuum Miquel, Fl. Ned. Ind. 2: 341. 1857.

小猪殃殃 xiao zhu yang yang

Galium modestum Diels; G. trifidum Linnaeus var. modestum (Diels) Cufodontis.

Herbs, perennial, weak to procumbent, from slender rhizomes. Stems (7-)10-40(-60) cm, 4-angled, caespitose, glabrous and smooth to sparsely retrorsely aculeolate on angles. Leaves in whorls of 4(-6), subsessile; blade drying papery, blackish or green, linear-lanceolate to oblanceolate, 3-8(-10) × 1-2 mm, glabrous and smooth to sparsely retrorsely aculeolate on margins and midrib, base acute to attenuate, apex rounded or obtuse; vein 1. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, cymes 1-3.5 cm, with 1-3(or 4) flowers; peduncles glabrous and smooth; bracts oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic; fruiting pedicels (3-)5-8(-10) mm, straight and ± divaricate. Ovary didymous, glabrous, smooth. Corolla white, cup-shaped to slightly campanulate, 1-1.8 mm in diam.; lobed to 1/2 or slightly more; lobes 3(or 4), ovate and rounded at tip. Fruit markedly didymous, mericarps (sub)globose, 2-2.8 mm, glabrous, smooth to slightly tuberculate. Fl. and fr. Mar-Aug.

Swampy or wet localities at lower to upper montane elevations. Fujian, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, and ?elsewhere [India, Indochina, Indonesia (Java, Sumatra), New Guinea].

In the available floras of China and Taiwan, W. C. Chen (in FRPS 71(2): 252-253. 1999) and Yang and Li (Bull. Natl. Mus. Nat. Sci., Taichung 11: 101-117. 1998; Fl. Taiwan, ed. 2, 4: 254-259. 1998) have completely ignored Galium innocuum, classifying most of the relevant specimens under G. trifidum. In the Kew Rubiaceae checklist (Govaerts et al., World Checkl. Rubiaceae;; accessed on 15 Sep 2010) G. trifidum var. modestum appears as a synonym under G. innocuum, with a range from India to China and through Taiwan to SE Asia and New Guinea. Originally, G. innocuum was described from Java. In the critical revision of G. sect. Aparinoides by Puff (Canad. J. Bot. 54: 1911-1925. 1976), not considered by the above authors, G. innocuum is accepted as a valid species and regarded as a southern member of the G. trifidum group. The above diagnosis and distribution data correspond to Puff’s revision. He differentiated the two species mainly by their fruiting pedicels: relatively short, straight, and ± divaricate in G. innocuum but slender, elongated, and conspicuously arcuate in G. trifidum s.s. According to Puff (loc. cit.: 1922-1923) only G. innocuum but none of the subspecies of G. trifidum occur in China. This is in strong conflict with W. C. Chen (loc. cit.: 253) who described the distribution of G. trifidum in China by listing the provinces Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang, Yunnan, and Zhejiang. As we have seen only limited Chinese material of G. sect. Aparinoides, the question remains whether G. innocuum extends from S to N China or is replaced further north by populations of the G. trifidum group not mentioned by Puff. Furthermore, one has to consider that species from other sections of Galium have often been misidentified as members of G. sect. Aparinoides, e.g., G. bungei. In view of these uncertainties, we accept only G. innocuum but not G. trifidum for the present Chinese flora.

Another problematic taxon in Galium sect. Aparinoides for the Flora of China is G. palustre Linnaeus. In spite of the critical comments by Cufodontis (Oesterr. Bot. Z. 89: 232. 1940), this species has been included in FRPS by W. C. Chen (loc. cit.: 250). According to Puff (loc. cit.: 1923-1924) this species belongs to the G. palustre group of taxa, with leaves often in whorls of more than 4, many-flowered cymes (more than 3 or 4 flowers), and smooth pedicels. Its natural distribution is verified from temperate and boreal Europe to W Siberia, whereas occurrences in E North America (and elsewhere) are obviously adventive. Considering the common confusion of G. sect. Aparinoides taxa (in China particularly G. innocuum in the south and G. karakulense in the north) and the lack of authentic specimens seen by us, we exclude G. palustre from China in the present text.


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