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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Menispermaceae | Stephania

Stephania japonica (Thunb.) Miers


Description from Flora of China

Vines, glabrous or pubescent. Root woody, not tuberous, brownish yellow. Stems slender, slightly woody when old, sometimes prostrate and rooting at nodes. Petiole 3-12 cm; leaf blade conspicuously peltate, usually triangular-rotund or broadly triangular-ovate to rotund, 5-12(-15) cm, as wide as or slightly wider than long, papery to thinly leathery, abaxially glabrous or hirsute, often glaucous, adaxially glossy, base usually broadly rounded, apex with a finely mucronate acumen, palmately 8-11-veined, raised abaxially, reticulation slightly raised, conspicuous. Inflorescences compound umbelliform cymes, usually axillary, rarely 2 or few on short axillary branches; peduncle to 6 cm; rays often very short, umbellet very condensed, headlike; axes glabrous or pubescent; pedicels almost absent. Male flowers: sepals 6 or 8 in 2 whorls, membranous, yellowish green, oblanceolate or obovate-elliptic to spatulate or narrowly elliptic, 1-1.5 mm, glabrous or pubescent; petals 3 or 4, slightly fleshy, yellow, broadly obovate to rotund, 0.5-1 mm, glabrous, rarely apex slightly concave; synandrium 0.5-1 mm, exserted or not, anthers 6. Female flowers: sepals 3 or 4, shape and size as in male or smaller; petals 3 or 4, shape and size as in male or slightly smaller; carpel ovoid, stigma lacerate. Infructescences with hard and slightly curved umbellet pedicels. Drupes red, obovate to subglobose, 6-8 mm; endocarp 5-6 mm, abaxially ornamented with 10 or slightly more rows of transvers ridges; condyle perforate or not. Fl. spring and summer, fr. autumn and winter.

Village margins, shrublands, open forests, forest margins, limestone mountains. Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, Guangxi, S Guizhou, Hainan, S Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, E and SW Sichuan, NE and S Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bangladesh, India, Indonesia (Java), Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, ?Vietnam; Australia, Pacific islands].


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