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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Apiaceae | Pimpinella

Pimpinella candolleana Wight et Arn.


Description from Flora of China

Carum candolleanum (Wight & Arnott) Franchet.

Plants perennial, 10–100 cm, pubescent throughout. Root cylindrical or fusiform, 5–15 × 0.5–1 cm. Stems 1–2, little-branched. Basal petioles 2–20 cm; bade simple (rarely ternate), cordate-ovate, (1–)3–8 × (1–)2–7 cm, margins coarsely serrate. Cauline leaves few, ternate, 3-lobed or 1-pinnate, rarely entire. Umbels 3–6 cm across; bracts absent or 1–7, linear, 3–8 mm; rays (6–)10–25, 1.5–4 cm, unequal, pubescent or scabrous; bracteoles 1–6, linear, 2.5–4 mm, ca. equal to or longer than pedicels, glabrous; umbellules 9–12 mm across, 10–20-flowered, usually central flowers subsessile and sterile; pedicels 0.5–3.5 mm. Calyx teeth obsolete. Petals white or purplish, obcordate, apex with incurved lobule. Stylopodium conic; styles ca. 2–3 × stylopodium. Fruit cordate-ovoid, ca. 1.5–2 × 1–1.5 mm, surface granulate with dense, short papillae; vittae 2–3 in each furrow, 2–4 on commissure. Seed face plane. Fl. Apr–Aug, fr. Aug–Oct. 2n = 18*.

This species has reputed medicinal value in China. The Chinese species Pimpinella bisinuata, P. candolleana, P. coriacea, P. renifolia, P. rockii, P. tibetanica, and P. yunnanensis form part of a species complex with papillose or granular fruits and heteromorphic leaves: basal leaves are simple or ternate (sometimes pinnate with 5 leaflets), compared to the more dissected upper leaves with more leaflets and narrower segments. These, together with similar species in India and SE Asia, are often difficult to distinguish and their species boundaries are unclear. Pimpinella candolleana is generally known from peninsular India, and so the application of this name to Chinese plants is controversial. However, this and other problems with these Chinese taxa cannot be resolved in isolation, and must wait for a broad revision of allied taxa in China, India, Indonesia, and SE Asia.

Pinus forest margins, among shrubs, grassy slopes, streamsides; 1300–3500 m. Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan [S India].


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