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Ceropegia Linn.


Description from Flora of China

Herbs perennial, erect or twining, sap clear or cloudy, rarely milky. Rootstock often a cluster of fusiform roots or a subglobose tuber, sometimes a rhizome [or with fibrous roots only]. Stems herbaceous [to very succulent]. Inflorescences extra-axillary [rarely terminal], mostly umbel-like, less often racemelike and sometimes branched. Flowers usually large. Calyx deeply 5-parted; basal glands many, small. Corolla tubular, base swollen, often asymmetrically, upper part often funnelform; lobes usually slender and coherent at apex. Corona double, outer lobes 5, joined to form a cup, entire to deeply 2-lobed so that outer corona is 10-toothed; inner lobes 5, subulate to narrowly spatulate, basally incumbent on anthers, apical part usually long, erect. Filaments connate into a very short tube; anthers without apical appendages; pollinia 2 per pollinarium, erect, inner angle with a prominent translucent margin. Stigma head convex or impressed. Follicles linear, fusiform, or cylindric.

About 170 species: mostly Africa, extending through tropical Asia and Oceania; 17 species in China.

The elaborate flowers of species of Ceropegia are particularly difficult to study from dried material, and this account must be regarded as provisional.

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