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Sorbus

Description from Flora of China

Aria (Persoon) Host; Pleiosorbus Lihua Zhou & C. Y. Wu; Sorbus subgen. Aria Persoon.

Trees or shrubs, usually deciduous. Winter buds usually rather large, ovoid, conical, or spindle-shaped, sometimes viscid; scales imbricate, several, glabrous or pubescent. Leaves alternate, membranous or herbaceous; stipules caducous, simple or pinnately compound, plicate or rarely convolute in bud; leaf blade usually serrate, sometimes nearly entire, venation craspedodromous or camptodromous, glabrous or pubescent. Inflorescences compound, rarely simple corymbs or panicles. Hypanthium campanulate, rarely obconical or urceolate. Sepals 5, ovate or triangular, glabrous, pubescent, or tomentose, sometimes glandular along margin. Petals 5, glabrous or pubescent, base clawed or not. Stamens 15–25(–44) in 2 or 3 whorls, unequal in length; anthers ovoid or subglobose. Carpels 2–5, partly or wholly adnate to hypanthium; ovary semi-inferior to inferior, 2–5-(–7)loculed, with 2 or 3(or 4) ovules per locule, one usually abortive; styles 2–5, free or partially connate, glabrous or pubescent. Fruit a pome, white, yellow, pink, or brown to orange or red, ovoid or globose to ellipsoid or oblong, usually small, glabrous or pubescent, laevigate or with small lenticels, apically with sepals persistent or caducous leaving an annular scar, with 2–5(–7) locules, each with 1 or 2 exendospermous seeds; seeds several, with thin perisperm and endosperm enclosing embryo with compressed cotyledons.Trees or shrubs, usually deciduous. Winter buds usually rather large, ovoid, conical, or spindle-shaped, sometimes viscid; scales imbricate, several, glabrous or pubescent. Leaves alternate, membranous or herbaceous; stipules caducous, simple or pinnately compound, plicate or rarely convolute in bud; leaf blade usually serrate, sometimes nearly entire, venation craspedodromous or camptodromous, glabrous or pubescent. Inflorescences compound, rarely simple corymbs or panicles. Hypanthium campanulate, rarely obconical or urceolate. Sepals 5, ovate or triangular, glabrous, pubescent, or tomentose, sometimes glandular along margin. Petals 5, glabrous or pubescent, base clawed or not. Stamens 15–25(–44) in 2 or 3 whorls, unequal in length; anthers ovoid or subglobose. Carpels 2–5, partly or wholly adnate to hypanthium; ovary semi-inferior to inferior, 2–5-(–7)loculed, with 2 or 3(or 4) ovules per locule, one usually abortive; styles 2–5, free or partially connate, glabrous or pubescent. Fruit a pome, white, yellow, pink, or brown to orange or red, ovoid or globose to ellipsoid or oblong, usually small, glabrous or pubescent, laevigate or with small lenticels, apically with sepals persistent or caducous leaving an annular scar, with 2–5(–7) locules, each with 1 or 2 exendospermous seeds; seeds several, with thin perisperm and endosperm enclosing embryo with compressed cotyledons.

This account follows the FRPS generic concept; however, the reader should note the alternative of treating simple-leaved species within the genus Aria (see Ohashi & Itetani, J. Jap. Bot. 68: 355–361. 1993).

Sorbus forrestii McAllister & Gillham (Bot. Mag. 183: n.s., t. 792. 1980), described from NW Yunnan, requires further study. We are unable to treat it in this account because we have seen no specimens.

Kai Larsen (pers. comm.) noted that Sorbus verrucosa (Decaisne) Rehder (in Sargent, Pl. Wilson. 2: 278. 1915; Micromeles verrucosa Decaisne, Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Nat. 10: 169. 1874) might occur in China since it is present in NE India, N Thailand, and N Vietnam.

Sorbus species are ornamental plants with attractive, large clusters of white flowers, and most bear colorful fruits. The fruits can be used for making jam, marmalade, various drinks, wine, vinegar, etc. The wood is hard, heavy, and fine-grained, suitable for making furniture or small, carved articles.

About 100 species: widely distributed throughout temperate regions of Asia, Europe, and North America; 67 species (43 endemic) in China.

(Authors: Lu Lingdi (Lu Ling-ti); Stephen A. Spongberg)

Lower Taxa


 

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