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Verbenaceae Jaume Saint Hilaire

马鞭草科 ma bian cao ke

Authors: Shou-liang Chen & Michael G. Gilbert

Caryopteris tangutica

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Shrubs or trees, sometimes climbing shrubs, rarely herbs. Indumentum of simple, stellate, and/or other complex hairs. Leaves opposite or rarely whorled, without stipules, simple or 3-foliolate, less often palmately [or pinnately] compound. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, racemose, cymose, spicate, or thyrses. Flowers bisexual or polygamous by abortion, zygomorphic or rarely actinomorphic. Calyx persistent. Corolla 4- or 5- or more lobed; lobes usually spreading, aestivation overlapping. Fertile stamens inserted on corolla tube, alternate with lobes; filaments free; anthers dorsifixed, 1- or 2-locular, dehiscing by longitudinal slits or sometimes a circular pore. Ovary entire or 4-grooved, 2-8-locular; ovules 1 or 2 per locule, erect or pendulous. Style terminal, simple, entire or 2-cleft. Fruit a drupe or indehiscent capsule, sometimes breaking up into nutlets. Seeds (1 or)2-4, endosperm usually absent, seed coat thin; embryo straight, as long as seed; radicle short, inferior.

Some 91 genera and ca. 2000 species: primarily tropical and subtropical, 20 genera and 182 species in China.

Chinese genera of economic importance include Tectona (timber), Vitex (gum, oil, tannin, timber), Premna and Gmelina (fine wood), Callicarpa and Clerodendrum (ornamental), Callicarpa, Clerodendrum, Caryopteris, Premna, etc. (medicinal).

Some species are only known in China as introduced ornamentals. Among these are Vitex agnuscastus Linnaeus and Holmskioldia sanguinea Retzius. According to H. Keng (pers. comm.), Teijsmanniodendron coriaceum (C. B. Clarke) Kostermans, a species characterized by indehiscent 1-seeded dry fruits, was collected near the Guangxi-Vietnam border and is expected to be found in China.

The classification of Verbenaceae is in a state of flux, especially regarding its relationship to Lamiaceae. There is evidence to suggest a significant division between members of subfamily Verbenoideae, genera 1-5 in this account, and the remaining genera, including genera 6-20, which for convenience are here referred to as subfamily Viticoideae s.l. The latter are more closely allied to each other and to genera traditionally kept within Lamiaceae (including genera 1-8 in this Flora). Avicennia is often placed in a family of its own, but its affinities are clearly with Viticoideae, especially genera 17-19 in this account which have traditionally been placed in a separate subfamily, Symphorematoideae.

P'ei Chien & Chen Shou-liang, eds. 1982. Verbenaceae. Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 65(1): 1-229.

1 Inflorescences centripetal (lowermost flower or flower farthest from axis opening first), usually clearly racemose or spicate, sometimes condensed into capitula, always terminal; 1 or 2 stigma lobes prominently expanded (subfam. Verbenoideae).   (2)
+ Inflorescences centrifugal (uppermost flower or flower closest to axis opening first), usually clearly cymose, sometimes grouped into elongated thyrses or reduced to axillary flowers or clusters of flowers; stigma lobes usually linear to tongue-shaped (capitate in Callicarpa) (subfam. Viticoideae).   (6)
2 (1) Inflorescences dense capitula or short spikes, with overlapping bracts, rachis obscure.   (3)
+ Inflorescences elongated spikes or racemes, without overlapping bracts, rachis easily visible.   (4)
3 (2) Shrubs, sometimes climbing; fruit a drupe; flowers red, orange, or yellow; stem spiny   2 Lantana
+ Herbs, creeping and rooting at nodes; fruit a capsule; flowers purple; stem not spiny   3 Phyla
4 (2) Stamens 2; rachis excavated; fruit splitting into 2 1-seeded cocci   4 Stachytarpheta
+ Stamens 4; rachis not excavated; fruit splitting into pyrenes.   (5)
5 (4) Shrubs, often climbing; ovary 8-locular; fruit fleshy; pyrenes 2-seeded; flowers pedicellate   1 Duranta
+ Annual or weakly perennial herbs; ovary 4-locular; fruit dry; pyrenes 1-seeded; flowers sessile   5 Verbena
6 (1) Mangrove trees, growing along sea coast in tidal mud   20 Avicennia
+ Lianas, shrubs, herbs, or trees, growing inland or on sandy beaches at sea coast.   (7)
7 (6) Inflorescences capitate, with conspicuous oblanceolate to spatulate involucral bracts; ovules apical, orthotropous.   (8)
+ Inflorescences mostly lax, rarely capitate, always without clearly defined involucral bracts; ovules basal, anatropous.   (10)
8 (7) Involucre 3- or 4-lobed, lobes usually joined at base; corolla 2-lipped; stamens 4   19 Congea
+ Involucre (5- or) 6-lobed, lobes free; corolla not 2-lipped; stamens 5 or more.   (9)
9 (8) Corolla actinomorphic, 6-16(-18)-lobed; stamens 6-16(-18); leaf blade margin often ± dentate   17 Symphorema
+ Corolla actinomorphic or slightly zygomorphic, 5(-7)-lobed; stamens 5(-7); leaf blade margin entire   18 Sphenodesme
10 (7) Fruit dry, usually a schizocarp, sometimes deeply lobed.   (11)
+ Fruit a fleshy drupe, often lobed, with separate pyrenes.   (14)
11 (10) Fruiting calyx conspicuously accrescent, translucently membranous; corolla 4-lobed   7 Hymenopyramis
+ Fruiting calyx slightly enlarged; corolla usually 5-lobed.   (12)
12 (11) Stems strongly 4-winged; leaves soon falling, leaf blade much shorter than internodes; calyx divided to near base   16 Schnabelia
+ Stems terete or 4-angled, not winged; leaves persistent, leaf blade at least as long as most internodes; calyx tube as long as or longer than lobes.   (13)
13 (12) Leaves simple; calyx (4- or) 5- (or 6)-dentate or lobed; flowers 6-15 mm   15 Caryopteris
+ Leaves simple or 3-lobed; calyx minutely dentate to subtruncate; flowers ca. 4 mm   13 Garrettia
14 (10) Corolla actinomorphic; stamens 4-6, subequal.   (15)
+ Corolla zygomorphic or slightly oblique; stamens 4, didynamous.   (17)
15 (14) Flower bud conspicuously swollen at tip; stamens fewer than corolla lobes; leaf hairs simple   14 Clerodendrum
+ Flower bud not swollen at tip; stamens as many as corolla lobes; leaf hairs often branched or stellate, rarely all simple.   (16)
16 (15) Inflorescences axillary cymes; fruiting calyx unaltered, tube always shorter than fruit   6 Callicarpa
+ Inflorescences large terminal panicles; fruiting calyx very elongated, inclosing fruit   8 Tectona
17 (14) Flower bud conspicuously swollen at tip; drupes with 4 1-seeded pyrenes, sometimes separating into 4 1-locular nutlets   14 Clerodendrum
+ Flower buds not swollen at tip; drupes with 1 pyrene, normally 4-locular, 4-seeded or (by abortion) 3- or 2-seeded.   (18)
18 (17) Leaves palmately compound (except V. rotundifolia and V. trifolia var. subtrisecta)   11 Vitex
+ Leaves simple (occasionally some 3-foliolate in Tsoongia).   (19)
19 (18) Leaf blade abaxially gray mealy, often with large gland patches especially near base; corolla 2-5 cm, ventricose or funnelform; stigma lobes very unequal   12 Gmelina
+ Leaf blade abaxially green or if gray or white then with dense simple hairs, without gland patches; corolla to 1 cm, tubular; stigma lobes (where known) equal.   (20)
20 (19) Inflorescences terminal cymes, panicles, or thyrses, sometimes racemelike or spikelike; calyx usually not 2-lipped but if 2-lipped then upper lip usually emarginate or dentate and if lower lip entire then upper lip also entire   9 Premna
+ Inflorescences axillary, few flowered lax cymes; calyx obscurely 2-lipped with lower lip 2-lobed, upper lip entire   10 Tsoongia

  • List of lower taxa


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