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Dysosma R. E. Woodson


Description from Flora of China

Herbs, perennial. Rhizomes creeping, short, stout, with numerous fibrous roots; aerial stems erect, simple, glabrous, with large scales at base. Leaves peltate, large, 3-9-parted or lobed. Inflorescence of few fascicled flowers or a subumbel. Flowers perfect, nutant. Sepals 6, membranous, caducous. Petals 6, dark purplish red. Filaments decumbent, flat; anthers introrsely dehiscent; anther connective wide and usually prolonged; pollen grains 3-colpate, subspheroidal or suboblate, sexine thicker than nexine, foveolate. Pistils solitary; ovary 1-loculed; ovules numerous; stigma globose. Berry red or purplish red. Seeds numerous, without arils. 2n = 12.

Dysosma was included within Podophyllum by Shaw (in Stearn, Gen. Epimedium, 269. 2002).

Insufficiently known species

Shaw (in Stearn, Gen. Epimedium, 283, 285, 297. 2002) recognized three species of Podophyllum, below, that we have not seen, or for which we have seen inadequate material. The descriptions and key characters (in quotes) provided here are taken from Shaw’s treatment.
Podophyllum glaucescens J. M. H. Shaw, New Plantsman 6(3): 162. 1999.

Plants to 40 cm tall. Mature leaves 2, glabrous, membra­nous, abaxially glaucescent, adaxially dark green, shiny; lower leaf trapezoid, 4-lobed, sinuses shallowly undulate, margin minutely toothed, apex of lobes shortly acuminate; upper leaf roughly pentagonal, with 4 obvious and 2 obscure lobes, ca. 20 cm across. Inflorescence inserted on petiole of upper leaf ca. 2 cm below blade, 7-flowered. Pedicel thin, 4-6 cm, swollen near apex, densely hairy. Sepals narrowly ovate, ca. 14 × 6 mm, margins membranous. Petals 6, reddish purple, ovate-lanceo­late, 10-12 × 5-6 mm, apex acute or slightly toothed. Stamens 6, ca. 1 cm; filaments flattened, 2-3 mm; anthers 6-7 mm, apical mucro 1.5-2 mm. Ovary ovoid, ca. 5 × 3 mm; style 2-3 mm; stigma peltate, corrugated, ca. 3 mm in diam. Mature fruit and seeds unknown.

● Moist woodlands; ca. 1200 m. Guangxi. On the basis of petal size and leaf blade color, Shaw (in Stearn, Gen. Epimedium, 285-286. 2002) distinguished Podophyllum glauces­cens ("petals less than 1.2 cm; leaves abaxially glaucous") from P. difforme and P. versipelle ("petals more than 1.5 cm; leaves abaxially pale green"). Shaw (loc. cit.) also speculated that P. glaucescens may be of hybrid origin from a cross between those two species, which he dis­tinguished from each other by their leaf lobes and flower number (P. difforme with "upper leaf irregularly and indistinctly lobed; inflores­cence 1-3-flowered" vs. P. versipelle with "upper leaf 4-7-lobed; inflo­rescence 4-9-flowered").

Podophyllum hemsleyi J. M. H. Shaw & Stearn, New Plants­man 6(3): 161. 1999.

Plants to 40 cm. Stems grooved. Leaves 2, abaxially glau­cous green, adaxially dark green, to 35 cm in diam., lobed to 4/5 of radius, sinuses rounded, lobes spatulate-oblong, abaxially with prominent main veins, margin with fine teeth, apex of lobes rounded, tip acute to acuminate. Inflorescence inserted on petiole ca. 2 cm below blade, 4-flowered. Pedicel glabrous, 3-4 cm, dilated to 2 mm wide below receptacle. Sepals ovate-lan­ceolate, 14-16 mm, outer sepals 6-8 mm wide, inner sepals 3-4 mm wide, glabrous, entire, apex rounded. Petals dark red, 3-3.5 cm, oblong-spatulate, widest below apex, entire, apex rounded. Stamens 6; filaments flattened, 7-8 mm; anthers 9-10 mm. Ovary globose to pyriform, 6-7 × ca. 4 mm; style 2-3 × ca. 1 mm; stigma globose, corrugated, 3-5 mm across. Berry and seeds unknown.

● Forests; 1500-1800 m. W Hubei. This is apparently known from only three collections made by E. H. Wilson between 1901 and 1909. It was reported by Shaw to be most similar to Podophyllum versipelle subsp. boreale. Shaw separated P. hemsleyi by its "lobes of leaves spatulate-oblong, to 4/5 of leaf radius; inflorescence 4-flowered, on petiole 2 cm below lamina" and P. ver­sipelle by its "lobes of leaves obovate to oblong, 1/2-2/3 of leaf radius; inflorescence 4-19-flowered, on petiole just below upper leaf."

Podophyllum trilobulum J. M. H. Shaw, New Plantsman 7: 158. 2000 ["trilobulus"].

Plants 20-25(-40) cm tall. Stem and petioles with fine short linear hairs. Leaves 2, lobed, lobes trilobulate, margin finely toothed; lower leaf 18-28 cm wide, lobes 7, sinuses to 2/3 of radius, rounded, keyhole-shaped; upper leaf ca. 15 cm wide, lobes 5, strongly retarded on adaxial margin, reduced to few large teeth. Inflorescence inserted at or above midpoint on petiole of upper leaf, 2-5-flowered. Pedicel 2.2-2.5 cm, api­cally dilated, brown pilose, hairs linear. Petals purplish red, ovate-lanceolate, tapering gradually to acute apex, 4-5 × 8-10 mm. Anthers ca. 6 mm. Fruit unknown.

● Forests; ca. 1600 m. Sichuan (Emei Shan). Podophyllum trilobulum is most similar to Dysosma delavayi. Shaw separated P. delavayi by its "inflorescence in fork of petioles" and P. trilobulum by its "inflorescence along petiole just below leaf, at or above midpoint of upper leaf or held above leaves on elongated pe­duncle."

Between seven and ten species: China and N Vietnam; seven species (six endemic) in China; three additional species (all endemic, described under Podophyllum) are insufficiently known.

(Authors: Ying Junsheng (应俊生 Ying Tsun-shen); David E. Boufford, Anthony R. Brach)

Lower Taxa


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