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

13. Hedyotis capitellata Wallich ex G. Don, Gen. Hist. 3: 527. 1834.

头花耳草 tou hua er cao

Herbs or shrubs, lianescent, climbing, clambering, or scandent, to 1 m; stems terete to weakly 4-angled, often longitudinally ridged and/or sulcate, glabrous or hirtellous to pilosulous or hispidulous at least in longitudinal lines, or tomentose in var. mollissima. Leaves subsessile to petiolate; petiole to 4 mm, glabrous to puberulent or hispidulous, or tomentose (var. mollissima); blade drying membranous, ovate, lanceolate, elliptic, or elliptic-lanceolate, 2-12 × 1-4 cm, glabrous or sparsely to moderately puberulent to hispidulous or hirtellous, or tomentose (var. mollissima), base acute to obtuse then often decurrent, apex acute to shortly or long acuminate; secondary veins 3 or 4 pairs; stipules fused to petiole bases, glabrous to densely puberulent, hispidulous, or strigillose, or tomentose (var. mollissima), triangular, 1.5-5 mm, entire or serrulate at margins, acute to acuminate with tip 0.5-1.5 mm, often spreading to recurved. Inflorescences terminal and often also in axils of uppermost leaves, 4-25 cm, with 3-15 globose, capitate to subcapitate heads in groups of 3, groups then paniculate, pyramidal, densely puberulent to hirtellous or glabrous, or tomentose (var. mollissima), pedunculate; peduncle 1-5 cm; bracts subtending axes triangular to oblanceolate, 1-10 mm, bracts subtending flowers reduced to a tuft of pubescence; heads 3-6 mm in diam. (not including corollas), 8-15 mm in diam. (including corollas). Flowers sessile or subsessile, distylous. Calyx glabrous to densely puberulent; hypanthium portion campanulate to obconic, 0.8-1 mm; limb lobed for 1/3-3/4, 1-2 mm; lobes oblong to narrowly triangular. Corolla white to pale blue, funnelform, outside glabrous, inside densely bearded in throat and onto lobes; tube 1-2 mm; lobes ligulate, 3-5 mm. Anthers included or exserted, 1-1.2(-2) mm. Stigmas linear, 1-2 mm. Fruit capsular, ellipsoid to globose, 2-3 mm in diam., glabrescent, septicidally then loculicidally dehiscent (but see discussion below); seeds numerous, angled. Fl. almost year-round, fr. not seen from China.

Broad-leaved forests in valleys, sunny mountain slopes; ca. 1500 m. Yunnan [India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam].

The fruit is described above following W. C. Ko (in FRPS 71(1): 65. 1999); however, Dutta and Deb (Taxon. Rev. Hedyotis. 2004) described this differently, as loculicidal across the top beak portion, then sometimes tardily septicidal.

W. C. Ko (loc. cit.: 65-66) reported the varieties below from China; they are treated following that work here for reference. Dutta and Deb (loc. cit.) reported only Hedyotis capitellata var. subpubescens Kurz from China; this name was not mentioned by Ko but presumably corresponds to one of Dutta and Deb’s varieties.

1 Plants glabrous.   13a var. capitellata
+ Plants pubescent   (2)
2 (1) Stems, inflorescences, calyx, and leaf blade sparsely pubescent.   13b var. mollis
+ Stems, inflorescences, calyx, and leaf blade densely pale yellow tomentose.   13c var. mollissima

Lower Taxa


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