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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Solanaceae | Mandragora

Mandragora caulescens C. B. Clarke


Description from Flora of China

Anisodus caulescens (C. B. Clarke) Diels; A. mariae Pascher; Mairella yunnanensis H. Léveillé; Mandragora chinghaiensis Kuang & A. M. Lu; Mandragora tibetica Grubov.

Herbs perennial, mostly scapose, 20-60 cm tall, pubescent with simple or glandular hairs. Rhizome sturdy, fleshy, elongated or not, 5-22 cm. Stems sometimes present, 10-40 cm, occasionally branched. Leaves mostly basal, sometimes on ascending stems; leaf blade obovate- oblong to oblanceolate, 3-20 cm × 1.5-5 cm, pubescent, densely ciliate, base narrow, decurrent, apex obtuse. Peduncle 1-17 cm; bracts sessile, decurrent, membraneous, apex obtuse. Flowers solitary, axillary, sometimes nodding; pedicel stout, 6-20 cm. Calyx campanulate, divided to halfway; lobes ovate to deltate. Corolla dark purple or yellow, divided halfway; lobes broadly ovate to deltate. Filaments ca. 7 mm; anthers 1.5-5 mm. Style ca. 4 mm; stigma slightly 2-lobed. Fruiting calyx becoming enlarged, campanulate, sometimes exceeding berry. Berry globose, 2-2.5 cm in diam. Seeds yellow, compressed-reniform, ca. 2 mm. Fl. May-Jul, fr. Jul-Sep.

The roots contain hyoscine and anisodamine, which are used medicinally.

There is considerable variability in flower color, stature, shapes, and dimension of parts, including anther length. Grierson & Long (Notes. Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 36:139-144. 1978) recognized four subspecies of Mandragora caulescens that overlap geographically, and their analysis did not cover M. tibetica and M. chinghaiensis that were described from western China. Further study may lead to separation of independent taxa from the single species recognized here. Authentic material of M. tibetica was not seen.

Grassy slopes; 2200-4200 m. SE Qinghai, W Sichuan, E Xizang, NW Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Nepal]


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