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73. Pseudopyxis Miquel, Ann. Mus. Bot. Lugduno-Batavi. 3: 189. 1867.

假盖果草属 jia gai guo cao shu

Authors: Tao Chen & Charlotte M. Taylor

Herbs, perennial, low, unarmed, rhizomatous, sometimes with fetid odor. Raphides present. Leaves opposite or sometimes basalmost pairs reduced to prophylls, without domatia; stipules persistent, interpetiolar and fused to petioles, triangular or 3(or 5)-lobed, often glandular-dentate. Inflorescences terminal and in uppermost leaf axils (or subtended by leaflike bracts), fasciculate and 2- to several flowered or sometimes 1-flowered, pedunculate or subsessile, bracteate or bracts reduced. Flowers pedunculate or pedicellate, bisexual, apparently monomorphic. Calyx limb deeply 5-lobed, usually markedly reticulate-veined, with lobes often unequal. Corolla white or purplish red, slenderly tubular-funnelform to salverform, inside glabrous or pubescent in throat; lobes 5, valvate-induplicate in bud. Stamens 5, inserted at base of corolla tube, included to exserted; filaments short to developed; anthers dorsifixed. Ovary 4- or 5-celled, ovules 1 in each cell, anatropous on basal placentas; stigmas 2-, 4- or 5-lobed, exserted. Fruit capsular, obconic to hemispherical, papery, dehiscent through apical lid or operculum within persistent calyx limb, with pedicels becoming reflexed; seeds 3-5, obovoid, longitudinally grooved (or with many longitudinal idioblasts containing raphides).

Three species: China, Japan; one species (endemic) in China.

H. S. Lo (in FRPS 71(2): 153-155. 1999) reported one species from China, Pseudopyxis heterophylla Maximowicz, with morphological characters that include some characters of both P. heterophylla and P. depressa Miquel as treated by the Fl. Japan (3a: 229. 1993). These two species were both reported there to be endemic to Japan: P. depressa with a height of 3-8 cm, uniformly distributed stem pubescence, purple corollas 20-25 mm, very short filaments, and 5 stigmas; and P. heterophylla with a height to 50 cm, stem pubescence arranged in lines, white corollas 6-7 mm, developed filaments, and 2 stigmas.

Subsequently, Chen (Edinburgh J. Bot. 64: 303-309. 2007) recognized three species in the genus, describing the Chinese plants as a new species, Pseudopyxis monilirhizoma, mainly based on root and stem characters (i.e., including number of leaf pairs). He considered this the species that was treated as P. heterophylla by H. S. Lo (in FRPS 71(2): 153-155. 1999).

One of us (Taylor) does not fully agree with the species treatment here but has not had adequate access to all the materials and specimens cited by Chen to evaluate the situation completely. The species circumscription and description given here do not seem to include or account for all the specimens of Pseudopyxis from China.

Lower Taxon


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