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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Solanaceae | Withania

Withania somnifera (Linn.) Dunal


Description from Flora of China

Physalis somnifera Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 182. 1753; Withania kansuensis Kuang & A. M. Lu.

Herbs perennial, 30-150 cm tall, pubescent with dendritic hairs. Stems woody proximally, erect or reclining, branched, tomentose. Petiole 1-2 cm; leaf blade ovate, obovate, or oblong, 2.5-12 × 2-7 cm, glabrescent adaxially except along midvein, pubescent abaxially, base cuneate, apex acute. Inflorescences subsessile clusters of 4-6 flowers; peduncle obsolete. Pedicel ca. 5 mm. Calyx campanulate, 3-5 mm, tomentose; lobes deltate, 1-2 mm. Corolla yellowish green, narrowly campanulate, 5-8 mm, tomentose at throat; lobes ovate, spreading or recurving, 2-2.5 mm. Filaments ca. 1.8 mm; anthers yellow, ovoid, ca. 1 mm, minutely apiculate. Style exserted. Fruiting calyx becoming brown and translucent, globose or ovoid, truncate at base, 1-2.2 cm; lobes short, somewhat urceolate. Berry shiny, scarlet, globose, 5-8 mm. Seeds drying pale brown, reniformdiscoid, 2-2.5 × 2 mm. Fl. and fr. Oct.

Withania kansuensis, which is known only from the type that cannot be located, was distinguished by a series of characters that are also found in W. somnifera, and only the presence of simple hairs seems distinctive.

Gansu, Yunnan [Afghanistan, India, Pakistan; SW Asia, Europe]


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