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Matthiola R. Br.


Description from Flora of China

Herbs annual or perennial. Trichomes eglandular, stalked or sessile, stellate or dendritic, rarely forked or simple, sometimes mixed with glandular, multicellular, multiseriate ones. Basal leaves petiolate, rosulate or not, simple, entire, dentate, or pinnatisect. Cauline leaves petiolate or sessile and not auriculate, entire, dentate, or pinnatisect. Racemes ebracteate, elongated in fruit. Fruiting pedicels erect or divaricate. Sepals oblong or linear, connivent, erect, base of lateral pair strongly saccate. Petals yellowish green, white, pink, purple, or brown, much longer than sepals, clawed; blade broadly obovate, spatulate, oblong, or linear, flat or involute, crisped or not, apex obtuse or emarginate. Stamens 6, strongly tetradynamous; filaments not dilated at base; anthers oblong or linear, obtuse at apex. Nectar glands lateral, 4, when 1 on each side of lateral stamen, or 2, when semiannular and intrastaminal; median glands absent. Ovules (5-)15-60 per ovary. Fruit dehiscent siliques, linear, terete or latiseptate, sessile; valves with a prominent midvein, often torulose; replum rounded; septum complete, often opaque, veinless; style obsolete or up to 3 mm; stigma conical, 2-lobed, lobes prominent, connivent, free or connate, decurrent, unappendaged or with 2 or 3 hornlike appendages. Seeds uniseriate, narrowly winged or wingless, oblong, ovate, or orbicular, flattened; seed coat minutely reticulate, not mucilaginous when wetted; cotyledons accumbent.

Matthiola incana (Linnaeus) R. Brown is widely cultivated as an ornamental in China, but it is not known to have become naturalized.

About 50 species: E and N Africa, Asia, Europe; one species in China.


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