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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Loranthaceae

Scurrula Linn.


Description from Flora of China

Shrubs parasitic, base often with epicortical roots, most young parts usually with dense stellate and sometimes also verticillate hairs. Leaves opposite or subopposite, pinnately veined. Inflorescences axillary or at leafless node, racemes or sometimes umbels; 1 bract subtending each flower, usually scale-like. Flowers bisexual, 4-merous, zygomorphic. Calyx pyriform or turbinate, base attenuate, limb annular, persistent. Mature flower bud tubular. Corolla sympetalous, curved, basal portion ± inflated, split along 1 side at anthesis, tip ellipsoid or ovoid, lobes all reflexed toward the side away from the split. Stamens inserted at base of corolla lobes; filaments short; anthers 4-loculed, sometimes multilocellate. Pollen grain trilobate in polar view. Ovary 1-loculed; placentation basal. Style filiform, 4-angled; stigma only slightly enlarged and capitate. Berry turbinate, clavate, or pyriform, base narrow or often attenuate into stipe, exocarp leathery, pubescent or glabrous.

Some authors have considered this genus to be congeneric with Loranthus Jacquin (1762), in which case the name Loranthus is conserved against Scurrula, which would otherwise have priority. However, the name Scurrula is not to be rejected when not united with Loranthus, and takes precedence over Taxillus Tieghem (1895) should, as some authors have suggested, Scurrula and Taxillus be treated as congeneric. Some authors have misinterpreted the status of Scurrula and incorrectly transferred some species to Taxillus. We believe that the difference in shape of the calyx and fruit offers a ready means of distinguishing these two genera in all but extremely immature material, and we therefore keep them separate.

About 50 species: S and SE Asia; ten species (two endemic) in China.

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