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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 17 | Solanaceae

2. Lycium Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 191. 1753.

枸杞属 gou qi shu

Shrubs, often armed with thorns, pubescent with simple hairs. Leaves usually fasciculate on short shoots, petiolate or subsessile; leaf blade small, plane or linear-cylindric, entire. Inflorescences solitary or fasciculate axillary flowers; peduncle absent. Flowers pedicellate. Calyx campanulate, 2- or 5-dentate or -lobed. Corolla funnelform or campanulate; tube short, limb usually (4- or) 5-lobed, enlarged at throat. Stamens inserted high in corolla tube, included or exserted; anthers oblong-elliptic, dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary 2-locular; ovules 1 to many. Style slender. Berry red, orange, yellow, or black, globose, ovoid, or oblong, fleshy or juicy; fruiting calyx slightly enlarged. Seeds numerous or few, compressed, pitted.

About 80 species: South America, S Africa, a few in temperate Europe and Asia; seven species in China.

Lycium cochinchinense Loureiro (Fl. Cochinch. 1: 134. 1790) is excluded from this treatment. According to Merrill (Trans. Amer. Acad. n.s., 24: 401. 1935), "it is clearly not a Lycium and is not a solanaceous plant." While this name, with its early publication date, may have priority for some Chinese plant, it is unlikely to affect names in Lycium.

1 Berry purple-black, globose; thorns occurring singly at nodes; leaves narrowly linear, fleshy; corolla tube 3-4 × as long as limb and lobes; filaments pubescent   1 Lycium ruthenicum
+ Berry red or orange-yellow, elongated or sometimes globose; thorns usually clustered with leaves and flowers, rarely lacking; leaves broader, linear-lanceolate, lanceolate, or elliptic, fleshy or not; corolla tube ca. 2 × as long as limb and lobes or shorter; filaments glabrous or pubescent.   (2)
2 (1) Corolla lobed about 1/4 way down; filaments sparsely pubescent near base.   (3)
+ Corolla lobed 1/3 way down or more; filaments and corolla with a villous ring just above point of insertion.   (4)
3 (2) Branches slender, flexible; leaves narrow, widest near middle; calyx truncate at apex or unequally divided, lobes not ciliate; apex of young fruit mucronate from a persistent style   2 Lycium truncatum
+ Branches stout, stiff; leaves usually oblanceolate, sometimes broadly so; calyx lobed halfway down, lobes usually ciliate; apex of young fruit rounded   3 Lycium dasystemum
4 (2) Corolla less than 7 mm; stamens manifestly exceeding corolla; seeds ca. l mm; berry globose, ca. 4 mm   7 Lycium yunnanense
+ Corolla more than 9 mm; stamens shorter than or slightly exceeding corolla; seeds 2-3 mm; berry oblong or ellipsoid, more than 5 mm.   (5)
5 (4) Calyx usually 2-lobed; corolla lobes marginally glabrescent, tube and limb funnelform, obviously longer than lobes   4 Lycium barbarum
+ Calyx usually 3-lobed or 4- or 5-dentate; corolla lobes marginally pubescent, tube cylindric or funnelform, about as long as lobes.   (6)
6 (5) Corolla tube cylindric, longer than lobes; leaves lanceolate   5 Lycium cylindricum
+ Corolla tube funnelform, shorter than or subequaling lobes; leaves mostly broadly or narrowly ovate, rhomboid, or elliptic   6 Lycium chinense

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