Description from Flora of China
Pimpinella subsect. Spuriopimpinella H. de Boissieu; Spuriopimpinella (H. de Boissieu) Kitagawa.
Herbs, perennial, rarely biennial or annual. Root fibrous or a taproot. Stems erect, branching, base without fibrous remnant sheaths. Basal leaves petiolate, sheathing at base; blade 1–3-ternate, 1–4-pinnate or ternate-1–3-pinnate, sometimes simple. Cauline leaves often heteromorphic. Inflorescence branching, umbels terminal and lateral; bracts and bracteoles present or absent, usually linear, apex entire; rays few to numerous. Calyx teeth usually obsolete, sometimes conspicuous, lanceolate, minute. Petals white, rarely purple, glabrous or hairy abaxially. Stylopodium conic or low-conic, rarely depressed; styles short or long, spreading or reflexed (best observed in young or mature fruit). Fruit cordate-ovoid or oblong-ovoid, slightly laterally compressed, constricted at the commissure, glabrous or variously hairy; ribs 5, filiform, sometimes obscured by the indumentum; vittae 1–3(–4) in each furrow, 2–4(–8) on commissure. Seed face plane, rarely slightly concave. Carpophore 2-fid or 2-parted.
This large, widespread, and taxonomically complex genus is generally characterized by the small, rather featureless fruits. In China, Pimpinella can be divided into two groups: those species with hairy, puberulent, or distinctly roughened fruits and obsolete calyx teeth; and those with smooth, glabrous fruits and obsolete or conspicuous calyx teeth. Plants falling within the former group should be also be compared with Trachyspermum. Several groups of allied species can be recognized within Chinese Pimpinella where species boundaries are indistinct; the P. candolleana complex is a typical example. As these groups are often widespread across Asia, full resolution of the nomenclatural and taxonomic problems can only be achieved with a broad revision across many countries.
The following species have been described from Chinese material, but are imperfectly known as no specimens have been seen or the specimens are inadequate.
Pimpinella bialata H. Wolff (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 27: 188. 1929), described from Hubei (A. Henry 2649, holotype, ?K).
Pimpinella crispulifolia H. de Boissieu (Bull. Soc. Bot. France 56: 354. 1909), described from Yunnan (“Laokouychan,” F. Ducloux 4083, holotype, P).
Pimpinella decursiva H. Wolff (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 16: 237. 1920), described from Shandong (“Clarabucht, Tsingya,” Krug 232 & 463, syntypes, ?B).
Pimpinella limprichtii H. Wolff (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 12: 450. 1922), described from Hebei (Wuling Shan, 2000 m, W. Limpricht 2930, holotype, unlocalized).
Pimpinella tagawae M. Hiroe (Umbell. Asia 1: 61. 1958 [“tagawai”]), described from Taiwan (“Taipei” [Taibei], 1000–2000 m, M. Tagawa 105, holotype, KYO).
Pimpinella urbaniana Fedde ex H. Wolff (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 27: 330. 1930), described from Yunnan (“Tong-tschouan” [Dongchuan], F. Ducloux 6492, holotype, P).
About 150 species: disjunct between Africa, Asia, and Europe; 44 species (28 endemic, one introduced) in China.
(Authors: Pu Fading (溥发鼎 Pu Fa-ting); Mark F. Watson)