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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 16 | Boraginaceae

6. Heliotropium Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 130. 1753.

天芥菜属 tian jie cai shu

Herbs annual or perennial, rarely subshrubs, pubescent or strigose, rarely scabrous. Leaves alternate, less often opposite, sessile or petiolate. Cymes terminal, rarely axillary, unilateral, scorpioid, bracteate or not. Calyx 5-parted. Corolla white or light bluish purple, less often yellow, cylindric or funnelform, strigose outside, glabrous and rarely appressed pubescent inside; throat frequently pubescent; limb 5-parted; lobes orbicular, sometimes linear, margin with folds or undulate. Filaments extremely short; anthers included. Ovary completely or incompletely divided into 4 lobes; ovules 4. Style terminal; stigma conical or ringlike. Fruit nutletlike dry drupes, without evident mesocarp at maturity, endocarp bony, dividing into 4 1-seeded or 2 2-seeded mericarps. Seeds straight or curved, usually with a thin endosperm.

About 250 species: tropical and temperate regions; ten species in China.

Heliotropium ovalifolium Forsskål var. depressum (Chamisso) Merrill is not included here because no material was available for study.

1 Corolla blue, violet, or purple.   (2)
+ Corolla white.   (3)
2 (1) Leaf blade decurrent to petiole, lateral veins 5-7 pairs; cymes solitary; mericarps with longitudinal ribs   10 Heliotropium indicum
+ Leaf blade not decurrent to petiole, lateral veins 7-9 pairs; cymes paniculate or corymbose; mericarps without longitudinal ribs   9 Heliotropium pseudoindicum
3 (1) Stigma short conical, not longer than style.   (4)
+ Stigma long conical, longer than style.   (6)
4 (3) Shrubby perennials; flowers sessile; stigma ca. 1/2 as long as style   2 Heliotropium arguzioides
+ Annuals; flowers pedicellate; stigma ca. as long as style.   (5)
5 (4) Style glabrous; mericarps narrowly ovate, 3-3.5 mm   8 Heliotropium acutiflorum
+ Style densely white pubescent; mericarps linear-oblong, complanate, ca. 5 mm   7 Heliotropium micranthum
6 (3) Leaf blade elliptic to elliptic-ovate or obovate, 3-6 cm, sparsely strigose; mericarps glabrous or strigose.   (7)
+ Leaf blade narrowly oblong to ovate or linear-lanceolate, 0.3-2 cm, densely strigose; mericarps hairy.   (8)
7 (6) Mericarps glabrous, ± distinctly tuberculate; stigma elongated, deeply 2-cleft at apex   5 Heliotropium europaeum
+ Mericarps retrorsely strigose, indistinctly rugose and warty; stigma not 2-cleft at apex   6 Heliotropium lasiocarpum
8 (6) Cymes slender, 2-6 cm; flowers sparse, in 1 row   3 Heliotropium strigosum
+ Cymes stout, 0.8-2.5 cm; flowers crowded, in 2 rows.   (9)
9 (8) Bracts lanceolate; fruit densely antrorse hirtellous at apex   1 Heliotropium marifolium
+ Bracts elliptic to ovate; fruit appressed pubescent above middle   4 Heliotropium formosanum

Lower Taxa


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