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Gnetum pendulum

Description from Flora of China

Gnetum montanum Markgraf f. megalocarpum Markgraf; G. pendulum f. subsessile C. Y. Cheng.

Vines large; bark grayish brown, lenticels conspicuous. Petiole to 1.5 cm; leaf blade narrowly oblong to oblong-ovate, 10-18 × 4-7 cm, leathery, lateral veins 8-10 on each side, base rounded to broadly cuneate, apex acute to acuminate. Male inflorescences terminal, lax, branched 3 or 4 times; male spikes 5 or more, 1-1.5 cm × 3-4 mm, involucral collars each with 45-70 flowers plus 14-16 sterile female flowers, basal hairs very few, short. Female inflorescences once branched, rarely simple; female spikes with 12-21 involucral collars, each collar 1.5-2.5 cm apart in fruit, rachis 3-4 mm thick, nodes each with 10-12 female flowers. Seeds elongate-ellipsoid, 3-4 × ca. 1.8 cm, base usually attenuate into a stipe, rarely subsessile, apex obtuse or abruptly pointed, outer coat smooth or irregularly and ± longitudinally wrinkled; stipe 2-3 cm × 2-3 mm, usually curved so that seed is drooping.

Apparently closely related to the widespread and variable species Gnetum latifolium Blume (from India, Indo-China, and Malesia), differing only by the larger fruits (2-3(-3.5) × 1-1.5 cm in G. latifolium). These differences are comparable to those between the described varieties of G. latifolium, but the status of these is uncertain, as is that of the described forms of G. pendulum with shorter stalked seeds. It seems best, therefore, to maintain the status quo until the pattern of variation has been investigated within the complex as a whole. This will require field population studies. The name G. pendulum f. intermedium C. Y. Cheng, accepted in FRPS but treated here as a synonym of G. pendulum, is invalid because two types (male and female) were designated in the protologue (in W. C. Cheng & al., Acta Phytotax. Sin. 13(4): 88. 1975).

* Forested mountain slopes and valleys; 200-2100 m. Guangxi, SE Guizhou, SE Xizang (Motuo Xian), S Yunnan


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