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Gentianaceae A. L. Jussieu

龙胆科 long dan ke

Authors: Ting-nung Ho & James S. Pringle

Gentiana hexaphylla

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Herbs [shrubs or small trees], annual, biennial, or perennial. Stems ascending, erect, or twining. Leaves opposite, less often alternate or whorled, simple, base connate; stipules absent. Inflorescences simple or complex cymes, sometimes reduced to sessile clusters, often in a thyrse or 1-flowered. Flowers bisexual, rarely unisexual, 4 or 5 (or 6-8)[-12]-merous. Calyx tubular, obconic, campanulate, or rotate, lobes joined at least basally. Corolla tubular, obconic, salverform, funnelform, campanulate, or rotate, rarely with basal spurs; lobes overlapping to right or rarely valvate in bud; plicae (extensions of the corolla tube between the lobes) present or absent. Stamens inserted on corolla tube or occasionally at sinus between corolla lobes, alternate with lobes; anthers basifixed or dorsifixed, 2-locular. Nectaries absent or attached to ovary base or corolla. Ovary usually 1-locular at least apically, rarely 2-locular due to intrusion of a lamellate placenta into locular cavity. Fruit a 2-valved capsule, rarely a berry. Seeds many or rarely few, small; endosperm abundant [scant in saprophytic genera].

About 80 genera and 700 species: worldwide; 20 genera and 419 species in China, of which two genera and 251 species are endemic.

Ho Ting-nung; Liu Shang-wu, & Wu Ching-ju in Ho Ting-nung, ed. 1988. Gentianaceae. Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 62: 1-411.


1 Plants saprophytic, with little or no chlorophyll; leaves scalelike   2 Cotylanthera
+ Plants autotrophic; leaves green, well developed.   (2)
       
2 (1) Plants dioecious; corolla lobed nearly to base   13 Veratrilla
+ Plants with perfect flowers; corolla generally distinctly tubular.   (3)
       
3 (2) Fertile stamens 1 or 2 (or 3), with distinctly longer filaments; sterile stamens 2 or 3, anthers nonfunctional, filaments distinctly shorter to nearly absent   5 Canscora
+ Stamens all fertile and without some filaments distinctly longer.   (4)
       
4 (3) Corolla with plicae extending between lobes.   (5)
+ Corolla without plicae between lobes.   (8)
       
5 (4) Stems twining or trailing.   (6)
+ Stems (at least flowering stems) ascending to erect, neither twining nor trailing (plants may be stoloniferous).   (7)
       
6 (5) Calyx tube with 5 vascular bundles; nectaries forming a collarlike disc around gynophore; stamens unequal, recurved   7 Tripterospermum
+ Calyx tube with 10 vascular bundles; nectaries 5, on gynophore; stamens equal, straight   8 Crawfurdia
       
7 (5) Filaments broadly and asymmetrically winged below middle, abruptly narrowed apically; seeds broadly winged, discoid   8 Crawfurdia
+ Filaments flattened or narrowly winged, tapering gradually toward apex; seeds variously winged or wingless, not discoid   9 Gentiana
       
8 (4) Corolla with 4 distinct spurs   12 Halenia
+ Corolla without spurs.   (9)
       
9 (8) Anthers opening by apical pores   1 Exacum
+ Anthers opening by longitudinal slits.   (10)
       
10 (9) Anthers helically coiled   4 Centaurium
+ Anthers not coiled.   (11)
       
11 (10) Stems twining   6 Pterygocalyx
+ Stems not twining.   (12)
       
12 (11) Stamens inserted at or very near sinuses of corolla tube.   (13)
+ Stamens inserted on corolla tube distinctly below sinuses.   (15)
       
13 (12) Perennials; basal leaves in a well-developed rosette with blades mostly over 5 cm; stem leaves in 1-3 pairs; capsules distinctly curved, valves with bent or twisted tips   10 Latouchea
+ Annuals; basal leaves not in a rosette or rosette leaves not larger than stem leaves; stem leaves often more than 3 pairs; capsules straight, valves without bent or twisted tips.   (14)
       
14 (13) Corolla yellow; leaf blade 1-2.5 × 0.5-0.8 mm; corolla lobes contorted in bud   3 Sebaea
+ Corolla blue or purple; leaf blade over 2 × 1 mm but usually much larger; corolla lobes valvate in bud at least toward base   20 Jaeschkea
       
15 (12) Nectaries on gynophore; corolla over 5 cm, 5lobed   11 Megacodon
+ Nectaries on corolla; corolla less than 5 cm or if longer then 4lobed.   (16)
       
16 (15) Nectaries surrounded by fringed or tubular appendages.   (17)
+ Nectaries not surrounded by fringes or appendages.   (19)
       
17 (16) Nectaries on corolla lobes; stigma elevated above ovary, not decurrent   14 Swertia
+ Nectaries on corolla tube near base; stigma decurrent on ovary.   (18)
       
18 (17) Corolla lobe with 2 nectaries each in a conspicuous pit; corolla tissue associated with nectary and pit sometimes basally connate, apically lobulate or lamellate   15 Lomatogonium
+ Corolla lobe with 1 nectary not in a conspicuous pit; corolla tissue associated with nectaries lamellate or galeate appendaged, margin entire or erose   16 Lomatogoniopsis
       
19 (16) Flowers 4merous; 2 outer calyx lobes narrower than and basally overlapping 2 inner lobes; discontinuous intracalycular membranes present   17 Gentianopsis
+ Flowers 4 or 5merous; calyx lobes equal or nearly so, not overlapping nor in 2 distinct pairs; intracalycular membranes absent.   (20)
       
20 (19) Corolla lobes less than 5 × as long as tube.   (21)
+ Corolla lobes at least 5 × as long as tube.   (22)
       
21 (20) Corolla with 1 or 2 nonvascularized fringed scales at base of each lobe   18 Comastoma
+ Corolla either without appendages or with a single vascularized fringed scale at base of each lobe   19 Gentianella
       
22 (20) Nectaries on corolla lobes; stigma elevated above ovary, not decurrent   14 Swertia
+ Nectaries on corolla tube near base; stigma decurrent on ovary.   (23)
       
23 (22) Corolla lobe with 2 nectaries each in a conspicuous pit; corolla tissue associated with nectary and pit sometimes basally connate, apically lobulate or lamellate   15 Lomatogonium
+ Corolla lobe with 1 nectary not in a conspicuous pit; corolla tissue associated with nectaries lamellate or galeate appendaged, margin entire or erose   16 Lomatogoniopsis

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