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Libanotis Hill


Description from Flora of China

Herbs rarely subshrubs, perennial, stout, sometimes small, rarely acaulescent. Taproot conic, unbranched, caudex simple, rarely branched, woody. Stem often strongly angled and fluted, base densely clothed with fibrous leaf remains. Basal leaves 1–4-pinnate or 1–4-pinnatisect; ultimate segments linear, ovate or lanceolate, entire or lobed. Umbels compound, terminal and lateral; bracts few to numerous or absent; rays numerous to few; bracteoles several, linear or lanceolate. Calyx teeth conspicuous, linear, triangular or elliptic. Petals white, rarely pinkish, ovate or obcordate, apex narrow, inflexed. Stylopodium low-conic, margins often undulate at the base. Fruit ovoid or oblong, slightly to moderately dorsally compressed; dorsal ribs filiform, low or prominent, acute-ridged, lateral ribs sometimes slightly broader; vittae 1–2(–3) in each furrow, 2–4 (rarely 6–8) on commissure. Seed face plane. Carpophore entire or 2-parted.

The taxonomic position of Libanotis and related genera continues to be controversial. Since its establishment authors have either accepted it as an independent genus or regarded it as a subgenus or a section of Seseli. The conspicuous calyx teeth, well-developed bracts and bracteoles, and almost always pubescent fruit seem to distinguish it from Seseli, but more material is needed for a taxonomic study to resolve this complex situation. Among the present co-authors, Pimenov and Kljuykov favor a classification where Eriocycla and Libanotis are included within an expanded, polymorphic Seseli, whereas She and Watson prefer to retain these as separate genera pending further research. As is usual in Flora of China, where there are differences of taxonomic opinion, the Chinese view is adopted for the Flora and a summary of the alternative classification is provided, in this case at the end of the Seseli account.

About 30 species: Asia, Europe; 18 species (eight endemic) in China.

(Authors: She Menglan (佘孟兰 Sheh Meng-lan); Michael G. Pimenov, Eugene V. Kljuykov, Mark F. Watson)

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