38. Galium paniculatum (Bunge) Pobedimova, Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 7: 277. 1971.
圆锥拉拉藤 yuan zhui la la teng
Asperula paniculata Bunge in Ledebour, Fl. Altaic. 1: 140. 1829; Galium xinjiangense W. C. Chen.
Herbs, perennial, often somewhat caespitose from elongated, much branched, and ca. 1 mm thick rhizomes. Stems erect, to 60 cm tall, 4-angled, little branched, glabrous and smooth, only sometimes puberulent at nodes. Leaves in whorls of up to 6, subsessile; blade drying papery, discolorous (more pale abaxially), lanceolate or narrowly lanceolate, (15-)25-60(-70) × (3-)5-10(-12) mm, glabrous, smooth or mostly somewhat antrorsely ciliolate on margins and midrib, base acute to cuneate, apex acute to acuminate; vein 1. Inflorescences terminal, 8-16 × 8-16 cm, corymbiform to paniculate, lax, with several- to many-flowered cymes; axes glabrous, smooth with few lanceolate, 1-3 mm long bracts and 1.5-6 mm long pedicels. Ovary obovoid, ca. 1 mm, glabrous. Corolla white, drying often yellowish brown, campanulate to funnelform, ca. 4 mm in diam., glabrous, lobed for ca. 1/2; lobes 4, triangular, acute. Fruit on elongating pedicels with ellipsoid, ca. 2 mm, glabrous and smooth mericarps. Fl. Jun-Jul, fr. Aug-Sep.
Montane river valleys, open forests, grasslands, rocky slopes and talus; 1300-1900 m. Xinjiang [Russia].
When W. C. Chen described Galium xinjiangense, he compared it only with the completely different G. odoratum, not being aware of the certainly conspecific G. paniculatum. Because of its corolla shape, this characteristic and relatively isolated taxon was originally described as Asperula. But there is no affinity to any group of Asperula as presently circumscribed. Instead, there are similarities with G. ser. Nemoralia M. Popova of G. sect. Leiogalium and with some members of G. sect. Orientigalium. Therefore, the transfer of A. paniculata to Galium by Pobedimova was fully justified.
Pobedimova et al. (Fl. URSS 23: 271. 1958) also discussed the disjunct distribution of this relict species, which extends from its center in the Altai to the middle Yenisei and to the Dzungarian Alatau in NW China (Xinjiang).