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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 10 | Fabaceae

1. Cercis Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 374. 1753.

紫荆属 zi jing shu

Authors: Dezhao Chen, Prof. Dianxiang Zhang, Supee Saksuwan Larsen & Michael A. Vincent

Shrubs or trees. Leaves alternate, simple, entire, veins palmate, base cordate to truncate or cuneate, apex acute to attenuate or emarginate; stipules caducous, small, scalelike or membranous. Flowers zygomorphic, bisexual, purplish red, pink, or white, in soli­tary racemes or subumbellate clusters on branches of current year or older branches or trunks, flowering before or as leaves expand; bracts scalelike, often imbricate, aggregated at base of racemes; bracteoles minute or absent. Calyx shortly campanulate, slightly oblique, apex unequally 5-toothed; teeth broadly triangular. Petals 5, appearing papilionaceous, but with standard smallest and inside other petals. Stamens 10, free, included; filaments often hairy in lower part; anthers dorsifixed, opening lengthwise. Ovary shortly stipitate; ovules 2-10; style filiform; stigma capitate. Legumes compressed, narrowly oblong to broadly linear, usually narrowly winged along ventral suture, indehiscent or dehiscent, both ends acuminate or obtuse. Seeds 2 to many, compressed, suborbicular, without endosperm.

Eleven species: four confined to North America, one in E and S Europe, one in C Asia; five species (all endemic) in China.

Cercis siliquastrum Linnaeus and C. canadensis Linnaeus are sometimes cultivated in China.

1 Flowers in subumbellate clusters, without peduncles or with short peduncles to 1 mm   (2)
+ Flowers in racemes with conspicuous peduncles   (3)
2 (1) Legume thin, usually indehiscent, winged, with small curved beak; leaves papery, thinner, abaxially glabrous or puberulent on veins.   4 C. chinensis
+ Legume thick and hard, dehiscent, valves not winged, twisting upon dehiscence, with thick straight beak; leaves subleathery, thicker, often comose-pubescent on axils of veins at base.   5 C. chingii
3 (1) Leaves rhombic-ovate, asymmetric on two sides, base obtusely triangular, both surfaces often glaucous.   1 C. chuniana
+ Leaves broadly ovate, ovate-orbicular, or cordate, symmetric, base cordate or subtruncate, abaxially hairy or glabrous, not glaucous   (4)
4 (3) Racemes longer, rachis 2-10 cm; leaves abaxially puberulent, densely hairy on veins; legume basally attenuate, dorsal and ventral sutures equal in length.   2 C. racemosa
+ Racemes short, rachis less than 2 cm; leaves glabrous or sparsely pubescent in axils of veins; legume basally rounded and obtuse, dorsal and ventral sutures unequal.   3 C. glabra

Lower Taxa


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