16. Rubia mandersii Collett & Hemsley, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 28: 68. 1890.
黑花茜草 hei hua qian cao
Herbs, perennial, with slightly woody rootstock; stems 20-60 cm tall, erect, unbranched to diffusely branched, quadrangular to narrowly winged, glabrous, ribs retrorsely aculeolate and scabrous to glabrous. Leaves in whorls of 4, sessile; blade drying thickly papery, broadly elliptic-oblong, ovate, or suborbicular, 1.5-3.5 × 0.8-1.9 cm, glabrous but scaberulous at least on upper surface, base rounded to cuneate and subpetiolate, margin aculeolate, apex obtuse or acute; principal veins palmate, 3-5. Inflorescences thyrsoid, narrowly paniculate, with terminal and axillary, many-flowered, long-pedunculate cymes; axes glabrous; bracteoles reduced, narrowly ligulate to lanceolate; pedicels 2-4 mm. Ovary ca. 1.5 mm, glabrous. Corolla greenish, yellowish, or whitish, rotate, ca. 5 mm in diam., glabrous, fused basal part 0.5-0.6 mm; lobes lanceolate or ovate, 1.6-2 mm, apex incurved. Immature mericarp berry ca. 3 mm in diam. Fl. Aug, immature fr. Oct.
Dry rocky mountains, Pinus forests; 1900-3000 m. Sichuan, Yunnan [Myanmar, Thailand].
Rubia mandersii, together with the closely related R. polyphlebia and R. yunnanensis, forms a SW Chinese group of erect herbaceous perennials with rootstock and ± sessile, lanceolate to broadly ovate, and scabrous or hairy leaves in whorls of 4(-6), which belongs to R. sect. Oligoneura.