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Stephania japonica

Description from Flora of China

Vines, glabrous or pubescent. Root woody, not tuberous, brownish yellow. Stems slender, slightly woody when old, sometimes prostrate and rooting at nodes. Petiole 3-12 cm; leaf blade conspicuously peltate, usually triangular-rotund or broadly triangular-ovate to rotund, 5-12(-15) cm, as wide as or slightly wider than long, papery to thinly leathery, abaxially glabrous or hirsute, often glaucous, adaxially glossy, base usually broadly rounded, apex with a finely mucronate acumen, palmately 8-11-veined, raised abaxially, reticulation slightly raised, conspicuous. Inflorescences compound umbelliform cymes, usually axillary, rarely 2 or few on short axillary branches; peduncle to 6 cm; rays often very short, umbellet very condensed, headlike; axes glabrous or pubescent; pedicels almost absent. Male flowers: sepals 6 or 8 in 2 whorls, membranous, yellowish green, oblanceolate or obovate-elliptic to spatulate or narrowly elliptic, 1-1.5 mm, glabrous or pubescent; petals 3 or 4, slightly fleshy, yellow, broadly obovate to rotund, 0.5-1 mm, glabrous, rarely apex slightly concave; synandrium 0.5-1 mm, exserted or not, anthers 6. Female flowers: sepals 3 or 4, shape and size as in male or smaller; petals 3 or 4, shape and size as in male or slightly smaller; carpel ovoid, stigma lacerate. Infructescences with hard and slightly curved umbellet pedicels. Drupes red, obovate to subglobose, 6-8 mm; endocarp 5-6 mm, abaxially ornamented with 10 or slightly more rows of transvers ridges; condyle perforate or not. Fl. spring and summer, fr. autumn and winter.

Village margins, shrublands, open forests, forest margins, limestone mountains. Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, Guangxi, S Guizhou, Hainan, S Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, E and SW Sichuan, NE and S Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bangladesh, India, Indonesia (Java), Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, ?Vietnam; Australia, Pacific islands].


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