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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 19 | Acanthaceae | Lepidagathis

4. Lepidagathis inaequalis C. B. Clarke ex Elmer, Leafl. Philipp. Bot. 5: 1695. 1913.

卵叶鳞花草 luan ye lin hua cao

Herbs 10-20 cm tall, decumbent, not conspicuously woody, isophyllous. Stems 4-angled, sulcate, glabrous or 2-fariously pubescent. Petiole 3-15 mm; leaf blade broadly ovate to subcircular, 1-4(-6) × 0.65-2.5(-3) cm, 1.6-2 × as long as wide, sparsely pubescent especially along midvein, secondary veins 3-5 on each side of midvein, base abruptly rounded to truncate and decurrent onto petiole, margin entire or shallowly sinuate, apex acute to acuminate. Spikes elongate, 1.2-2 cm, secund; bracts lanceolate, 3-5 × 1-1.4 mm, abaxially and marginally pubescent with gland-tipped trichomes (glands sometimes restricted to distal portion of margin), 1(or 3)-veined, apex aristate; bracteoles similar to bracts or smaller. Calyx ca. 6 mm, pubescent with gland-tipped and non-glandular trichomes; posterior lobe oblong-lanceolate, ca. 6.2 × 1.1 mm, 3-veined; lateral lobes lanceolate, ca. 5.8 × 0.7 mm; anterior lobes connate at base for ca. 50% of their length, distinct segments lanceolate and ca. 3.2 mm. Corolla white, ca. 8 mm, outside pubescent; lower lip ca. 3 mm, lobes ca. 2 × 2 mm. Capsule ca. 5 mm, distally pubescent. Seeds not seen. Fl. and fr. Sep.

Evergreen broad-leaved forests, shaded roadsides; below 100 m. Taiwan [Japan, Philippines].

Corollas of Lepidagathis inaequalis have been reported as 4-5 mm and glabrous outside (e.g., C. F. Hsieh & T. C. Huang, Fl. Taiwan, ed. 2, 4: 671. 1998). Those of Kao 704 (CAS) are ca. 8 mm and pubescent outside.

Lepidagathis inaequalis is similar to L. formosensis, if they are indeed distinct. Some plants from Taiwan with glandular bracts and calyces (e.g., Hsieh 787 at CAS) appear somewhat intermediate between them in leaf shape. Plants treated as L. inaequalis have glandular bracts and calyces, decumbent stems, and usually smaller leaf blades that are broadly ovate to subcircular and abruptly constricted basally (truncate to rounded). In L. formosensis, bracts and calyces are often non-glandular, stems are erect, and leaf blades are usually larger, ovate to elliptic to obovate, and gradually attenuate-tapered at the base. Among the limited specimens studied, those of L. inaequalis are isophyllous, whereas most of those of L. formosensis are anisophyllous.


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