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Pyracantha Roem.


Description from Flora of China

Sportella Hance.

Shrubs or small trees, evergreen, usually with thorny branches; buds small, pubescent. Leaves simple, alternate or fascicled, shortly petiolate or sessile, venation camptodromous, margin crenulate, serrulate, or entire; stipules caducous, minute. Inflorescences compound corymbs; hypanthium short. Sepals 5. Petals 5, spreading, white, usually suborbicular, base shortly clawed. Stamens 15–20; anthers yellow. Carpels 5; basally ca. 1/2 adnate to hypanthium, apically free; ovary 5-loculed, semi-inferior, with 2 ovules per locule; styles 5, free. Pome red or orange, globose, with persistent incurved sepals at apex; pyrenes (nutlets) 5.

Further study is necessary to determine the placement of Pyracantha crenulata (D. Don) M. Roemer (Fam. Nat. Syn. Monogr. 3: 220. 1847; Mespilus crenulata D. Don, Prodr. Fl. Nepal. 238. 1825), reportedly present in SE Xizang, and the recently described species P. heterophylla T. B. Chao & Zhi X. Chen (Bull. Bot. Res., Harbin 17: 302. 1997) and P. stoloniformis T. B. Chao & Zhi X. Chen (loc. cit.: 301).

About ten species: E Asia to SE Europe; seven species (five endemic) in China.

(Authors: Gu Cuizhi (Ku Tsue-chih); Stephen A. Spongberg)

Lower Taxa


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