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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Urticaceae | Pilea

55. Pilea peperomioides Diels, Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh. 5: 592. 1912.

镜面草 jing mian cao

Description from Flora of China

Herbs perennial, rhizomatous, glabrous, often dioecious, sometimes monoecious. Stems greenish to dark brownish, often simple, erect, ascending, or climbing, 15-40 cm tall, 0.6-2 cm in diam., thick, woody at base, succulent distally, internodes 0.3-1 cm, rough; leaf scars conspicuous, semiorbicular, 3-4 mm in diam., Leaves spirally opposite, crowded on upper nodes; stipules persistent, light green, becoming brownish when dry, triangular-ovate, caudate-acuminate, squamose, 7-12 mm, with dense linear cystoliths; petiole unequal in length, 2-17 cm; leaf blade abaxially pale green, adaxially green, suborbicular, peltate, unequal in size, 2.5-9 × 2-8 cm, succulent, papery when dry, 3-veined, lateral veins 3 or 4 on each side, inconspicuous, external secondary veins numerous, anastomosing by margin, finely honeycombed abaxially, cystoliths fusiform, often conspicuous adaxially, base rounded or emarginate, margin entire, rarely inconspicuously undulate, apex rounded or obtuse. Inflorescences solitary, in upper nodes, male inflorescence a cymose panicle, 18-28 cm overall, peduncle thick, 5-14 cm; bracts lanceolate, ca. 0.5 mm; female inflorescence shorter. Male flower purplish, pedicellate, in bud obovoid, ca. 2.5 mm; perianth lobes 4, obovate, connate at base, subapically corniculate; stamens 4; rudmentary ovary oblong. Female perianth lobes unequal, largest lobe cymbiform, 1/2 as long as achene. Achene purplish, broadly ovoid, ca. 0.8 mm, slightly compressed, oblique, verrucose, enclosed by persistent perianth. Fl. Apr-Jul, fr. Jul-Sep.

This species is very rare and possibly endangered in the wild, but is widely cultivated as an ornamental pot plant in China and other countries.

* Shaded moist rocks in forests; 1500-3000 m. SW Sichuan, W Yunnan.


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