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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 7 | Menispermaceae

17. Stephania Loureiro, Fl. Cochinch. 2: 598, 608. 1790.

千斤藤属 qian jin teng shu

Stephania epigaea

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Clypea Blume.

Herbaceous or woody vines. Rootstock often tuberous, sometimes above ground; branches striate, slightly twining. Petiole often very long, swollen at both ends; leaf blade deltoid, deltoid-rotund, or deltoid-subovate, peltate, papery, rarely membranous or subleathery, palmately veined. Inflorescences axillary or from axillary stems with leaves reduced or absent, rarely from old stems, usually umbelliform cymes, sometimes condensed into heads on discoid receptacles, often in compound umbels, rarely along thyrsoid axis. Male flowers: sepals in (1 or)2 symmetrical whorls of 3 or 4, free or occasionally connate at base; petals 3 or 4 in 1 whorl, rarely in 2 whorls or absent; stamens 2-6, usually 4, connate into a peltate synandrium, anthers dehiscing transversely. Female flowers: perianth symmetrical; sepals and petals each in 1 whorl of 3 or 4, or asymmetrical, sepal 1(or 2) and petals 2(or 3); staminodes absent; carpel 1, subovoid. Drupes red or orangish red, subglobose, slightly flattened on both sides, style scar near base; endocarp usually bony, obovoid to obovoid-rotund, abaxially bearing 1 or 2 rows of transverse ridges or columnar ornamentation on each side; condyle slightly concave on each side, perforate or not. Seed horseshoe-shaped; embryo horseshoe-shaped; endosperm fleshy; cotyledons subequal to or shorter than radicle.

About 60 species: tropical and subtropical Asia and Africa, a few in Oceania; 37 species (30 endemic) in China.

Plants of this genus contain more than 50 kinds of alkaloids. Their tuberous roots are widely used in traditional Chinese medicine and as local medicines.

1 Perianth in female flowers symmetrical; sepals and petals each in whorls of 3 or 4; male and female flowers similar; main root cylindrical and fleshy or roots not enlarged   (2)
+ Perianth in female flowers asymmetrical, occasionally also symmetrical within same inflorescence; sepal 1(-3), scalelike; petals 2(or 3); rootstock tuberous, often huge, often partly above ground (S. subg. Tuberiphania)   (12)
2 (1) Inflorescences mostly slender axillary thyrses; male flowers with sepals usually in 1 whorl of 4; endocarp abaxially bearing 4 rows of ornamentation, 2 inner rows columnar and very prominent; condyle usually not perforate; [leaf blade abaxially densely pubescent]; main root cylindrical, fleshy (S. subg. Botryodiscia).   11 S. tetrandra
+ Inflorescences umbelliform cymes, simple or compound, sometimes forming a terminal thyrse by reduction of apical leaves; male flowers with sepals in 2 whorls each of 3 or 4; endocarp abaxially bearing 2, 4, or 10 or more rows of ornamentation; [leaf blade abaxially often glabrous]; roots not tuberous and fleshy (S. subg. Stephania)   (3)
3 (2) Cymelets and flowers sessile or nearly so, tightly condensed into compound umbelliform cymes; endocarp abaxially ornamented with rows of 10 or slightly more (S. sect. Stephania)   (4)
+ Cymelets and flowers conspicuously pedicellate, loose, in simple, seldom compound, umbelliform cymes; endocarp abaxially ornamented with rows of 2 or 4 (S. sect. Laxithyrsa)   (5)
4 (3) Leaf blade ca. as long as wide, abaxial surface glaucous.   9 S. japonica
+ Leaf blade longer than wide, abaxial surface usually green.   10 S. longa
5 (3) Inflorescence compound with umbel-like cymelets themselves in secondary umbels; condyle perforate   (6)
+ Inflorescence simple with cymelets borne directly on peduncle; endocarp abaxially ornamented with 2 or 4 rows each of less than 10 transverse ridges; condyle perforate or not   (7)
6 (5) Endocarp 10-12 mm, abaxially with 4 rows of columnar processes with ends swollen; palmate veins thick, conspicuously raised abaxially.   7 S. merrillii
+ Endocarp 4-5 mm, abaxially ornamented with 2 rows of transverse ridges; palmate veins slender, slightly raised abaxially.   8 S. delavayi
7 (5) Sepals apically mucronate or acutely acuminate, never caudate   (8)
+ Sepals conspicuously caudate at apex   (10)
8 (7) Condyle perforate.   3 S. gracilenta
+ Condyle not perforate   (9)
9 (8) Leaf blade broadly ovate-triangular, usually wider than long.   1 S. herbacea
+ Leaf blade narrowly triangular, longer than wide.   2 S. elegans
10 (7) Leaf blade margin repand dentate.   6 S. chingtungensis
+ Leaf blade margin entire   (11)
11 (10) Petiole inserted 1-2 mm from base of leaf blade; leaf blade subpeltate, ovate- triangular or broadly triangular to subtriangular, longer than wide; condyle not perforate.   4 S. subpeltata
+ Petiole inserted ca. 10 mm from base of leaf blade; leaf blade conspicuously peltate, triangular, ca. as long as wide; condyle perforate.   5 S. sutchuenensis
12 (1) Endocarp abaxially ornamented with transverse ridges; male and female inflorescences ± similar (S. sect. Transcoctula)   (13)
+ Endocarp abaxially ornamented with rows of columnar tubercles; male and female inflorescences ± different (S. sect. Tuberiphania)   (19)
13 (12) Peduncle of inflorescence with disciform receptacle at apex, both male and female inflorescences capitate.   18 S. cephalantha
+ Peduncle of inflorescence without disciform receptacle at apex   (14)
14 (13) Leaves with margin dentate; branches and leaves containing red juice.   17 S. dentifolia
+ Leaves entire or horned; branches and leaves not containing red juice   (15)
15 (14) Endocarp abaxially ornamented with rows of 20-25 transverse ridges; condyle perforate; petals of male flowers with granular glands.   16 S. glabra
+ Endocarp abaxially ornamented with rows of less than 20 transverse ridges; condyle not perforate; petals of male flowers with or without glands   (16)
16 (15) Inflorescence with simple umbelliform cymes; flowers purple; male petals not adaxially glandular; leaf blade usually less than 7(-9) cm long and wide   (17)
+ Inflorescence with compound umbelliform cymes; flowers greenish yellow; leaf blade usually more than 10 cm long and wide   (18)
17 (16) Male sepals ovate, 1.3-1.6 mm; leaves abaxially glabrous; peduncle 1-4 cm.   12 S. epigaea
+ Male sepals rounded, ca. 0.5 mm in diam.; leaves abaxially whitish puberulent; peduncle 0.5-1.5 cm.   13 S. brevipedunculata
18 (16) Male petal with margin extended, with 2 adaxial glands.   14 S. sinica
+ Male petal with margin involute, without adaxial glands.   15 S. intermedia
19 (12) Endocarp tubercles apically obtuse, or slightly swollen and capitate; condyle perforate   (20)
+ Endocarp tubercles abaxially with columnar ornamentation apically curved   (27)
20 (19) Peduncles and umbellet pedicels not bracteate and bracteolate or occasionally with 1 or 2 reduced bracts; petals with verruculose or tuberculate processes inside   (21)
+ Peduncles and umbellet pedicels bracteate and bracteolate; petals with or without processes inside   (22)
21 (20) Sepals ca. 3 mm, abaxially densely papillate; leaf blade margin horned or horned dentate; fruit unknown.   25 S. macrantha
+ Sepals ca. 2 mm, abaxially not papillate; leaf blade margin entire; fruiting pedicels fleshy.   26 S. officinarum
22 (20) Petals of male flowers with lateral margins involute   (23)
+ Petals of male flowers with lateral margins not involute, with 2 large glands inside   (24)
23 (22) Endocarp 5-6 mm; male petals abaxially conspicuously depressed, with many verruculose or lobed processes.   19 S. viridiflavens
+ Endocarp 9-10 mm; male petals abaxially not depressed, without verruculose processes.   20 S. brachyandra
24 (22) Sepals and petals purple; branches and leaves containing purplish red juice.   21 S. yunnanensis
+ Sepals green; petals orangish yellow; branches and leaves not containing red juice   (25)
25 (24) Branches and leaves black when dried; sepal margins involute when flower blooming.   22 S. lincangensis
+ Branches and leaves not black when dried; sepal margins not involute   (26)
26 (25) Fruiting pedicel not fleshy; endocarp with columnar tubercles apically obtuse.   23 S. kuinanensis
+ Fruiting pedicel fleshy; endocarp with columnar tubercles apically swollen and capitate.   24 S. dicentrinifera
27 (19) Petals of male flowers with 2 large glands inside   (28)
+ Petals in male flowers without glands inside   (31)
28 (27) Condyle not perforate.   37 S. miyiensis
+ Condyle perforate   (29)
29 (28) Fruiting pedicel not fleshy; condyle perforate in middle.   34 S. kwangsiensis
+ Fruiting pedicel fleshy; condyle perforate laterally   (30)
30 (29) Sepals of male flowers free without conspicuous claw; peduncle apically bracteate.   35 S. excentrica
+ Sepals of male flowers connate, inner whorl with conspicuous claw.   36 S. ebracteata
31 (27) Fruiting pedicel fleshy   (32)
+ Fruiting pedicel not fleshy   (33)
32 (31) Branches and leaves containing red juice; sepals and petals purple; endocarp with columnar ornamentation short, apically slightly curved and hooklike; leaf blade less than 10 cm.   32 S. succifera
+ Branches and leaves containing light yellow or white juice; sepals green; petals orange; endocarp with columnar ornamentation conspicuously curved and hooklike; leaf blade 10-16 cm.   33 S. hainanensis
33 (31) Petals of male flowers with margin conspicuously thickened; sepals abaxially hispidulous or pubescent.   27 S. dolichopoda
+ Petals of male flowers with margin not thickened; sepals abaxially not glabrous   (34)
34 (33) Branches and leaves without red juice; sepals green; petals yellow or orange   (35)
+ Branches and leaves with red juice; sepals and petals purple   (36)
35 (34) Endocarp bearing columnar ornamentation, each row of 18-20; leaves more than 10 cm.   28 S. mashanica
+ Endocarp bearing columnar ornamentation, each row of 20-25; leaves usually less than 10 cm.   29 S. micrantha
36 (34) Umbellet pedicels transparent when dry; sepals of male flowers with margin membranous; petiole rarely less than 2 × as long as leaf blade.   30 S. longipes
+ Umbellet pedicels not transparent when dry; sepals of male flowers with margin not membranous; petiole subequal to or slightly longer than leaf blade.   31 S. dielsiana

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