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Stephania merrillii

Description from Flora of China

Stephania sasakii Hayata ex Yamamoto.

Woody vines, 3-5 m or longer. Root thick, rough and contracted, 1-2 cm in diam. Old branches brown, longitudinally 10-grooved, ca. 1 cm in diam.; young branches green, ca. 4 mm in diam. Petiole 7-9 cm or longer, compressed laterally, striate; leaf blade peltate, insertion ca. 2 cm from margin, broadly ovate, 9-10(-16) × 8.5-9(-15) cm, thinly leathery or thickly papery, base usually rounded, margin slightly involute, apex mucronate, palmately ca. 12-veined, veins thicker, very prominent abaxially, fine reticulation very conspicuous. Inflorescences compound umbelliform cymes, axillary or on old leafless stems; peduncle 6-12 cm; umbellet pedicels ca. 8; bracts small, linear. Male flowers: sepals 6(or 8) in 2 whorls, membranous, outer 3 usually lanceolate or suboblong, 1.2-1.5 mm, ciliate, mucronate, inner whorl obovate, rarely spatulate, concave, ca. 2 mm, base clawed, margin dentate, apex rounded; petals 3(or 4), light yellow or white, broadly ovate or rotund, deeply concave, with tuberculate processes inside; synandrium with 6 anthers. Female flowers unknown. Drupes red, broadly obovate to rotund, ca. 12 × 10 × 4 mm, compressed laterally; endocarp 10-12 mm, abaxially with 4 rows of columnar processes with ends swollen. Fl. spring and summer.

● Taiwan (Lan Yu).


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