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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Rubiaceae | Lasianthus

Lasianthus chinensis Benth.


Description from Flora of China

Mephitidia chinensis Champion ex Bentham, Hooker’s J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 4: 196. 1852; Lasianthus dinhensis Pierre ex Pitard; M. odajimae Masamune.

Shrubs, 1-4 m tall; branches and branchlets terete, densely pubescent or puberulent to strigillose. Petiole 0.5-1.5 cm, densely pubescent or puberulent to strigillose; leaf blade subleathery, oblong to elliptic, 11-25 × 2.5-7 cm, glabrous adaxially, thinly to densely pubescent or puberulent to strigillose abaxially, base acute or obtuse, margin plane or usually reflexed, apex acute or acuminate; lateral veins 9-15 pairs; nervules reticulate, slightly elevated abaxially; stipules generally persistent, triangular to narrowly triangular, 1.5-3 mm, densely pubescent or puberulent to strigillose. Inflorescences subcapitate to congested-cymose, sessile to subsessile; bracts reduced. Flowers sessile or subsessile. Calyx puberulent to strigillose; hypanthium portion globose to ellipsoid, 1.5-3 mm; limb 1.5-2.5 mm, lobed for 1/2-2/3; lobes 4-6, triangular, ovate, or orbicular, becoming reflexed. Corolla 10-15 mm, densely strigillose to sericeous outside; lobes 5 or 6, lanceolate. Fruit globose to depressed globose, 5-8 mm in diam., pubescent to strigillose, with 5 or 6 conspicuous longitudinal angles; pyrenes 5 or 6. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Sep-Oct.

The relatively large flowers with the large globose to ellipsoid hypanthium (i.e., ovary) portion is distinctive; Lasianthus verticillatus is similar in these characters but can be distinguished by its truncate to denticulate calyx limb and smooth fruit. The calyx limb often enlarges as the fruit develops.

Forests, shaded and wet places; below 100-900 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan [Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam].


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