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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Verbenaceae

Vitex Linn.

牡荆属

Description from Flora of China

Trees or shrubs. Branches glabrous or sparsely pubescent. Leaves opposite, palmately (1-)3-8-foliolate; leaflets petiolulate, margin entire, dentate, serrate, or incised. Inflorescences terminal or axillary cymes, thyrses, or panicles; bracts usually small, often early deciduous. Calyx campanulate, tubular, or funnelform, sometimes 2-lipped, usually truncate or shortly 5-dentate. Corolla blue, white, or yellow, 2-lipped, lower lip 3-lobed with middle lobe greatly elongated, upper lip usually 2-lobed. Stamens 4, didynamous, sometimes exserted; anther locules attached only at tip, becoming divaricate. Ovary 2-4-locular; ovules 1 or 2 per locule. Style filiform; stigma 2-cleft. Drupes subtended by enlarged calyx, globose, ovoid, or obovoid, normally 4-locular and 4-seeded but often some locules suppressed and base of pyrene forming a hollowed cavity, endocarp a bony pyrene, mesocarp generally fleshy. Seeds obovoid or oblong, endosperm absent; cotyledons usually fleshy.

About 250 species: chiefly tropical, few in temperate regions of both hemispheres; 14 species in China.

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