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Glochidion J. R. et G. Forst.


Description from Flora of China

Agyneia Linnaeus; Bradleia Banks ex Gaertner ["Bradleja"].

Trees or shrubs, monoecious, rarely dioecious; indumentum of simple hairs, often absent. Leaves alternate, distichous, or spiral; stipules thick, mostly persistent; petiole short; leaf blade simple, margin entire, venation pinnate. Flowers axillary or supra-axillary, fascicled or in short cymes or umbels, proximal axils with male flowers, distal axils usually with female flowers, usually distinctly pedicellate. Male flowers: pedicels slender or almost absent; sepals 5 or 6, imbricate; petals absent; disk absent; stamens 3-8, connate into an oblong or ellipsoid column, shorter than sepals; anthers 2-locular, extrorse, linear, longitudinally dehiscent, connectives prolonged into an erect acumen; pistillode absent. Female flowers: pedicels stout and short or subsessile; sepals as in male, but slightly thicker; ovary globose, 3-15-locular; ovules 2 per locule; styles connate into a short, thick, cylindric column, apex lobed or toothed, rarely free. Fruit a capsule, globose or depressed globose, ± prominently longitudinally grooved, sunken at apex, dehiscent into 3-15 2-valved cocci when mature, rarely unlobed; exocarp leathery or papery; endocarp crustaceous; styles usually persistent. Seeds not strophiolate, hemispheric or laterally compressed; endosperm fleshy; cotyledon flattened.

Glochidion is noteworthy for its pollination mechanism, which involves a symbiotic relationship with moths of the genus Epicephala closely paralleling that found in Yucca (Kato et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 100: 5264-5267. 2003).

Glochidion cavaleriei H. Léveillé (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 12: 183. 1913) is a synonym for Illicium majus J. D. Hooker & Thomson in the Illiciaceae (see Fl. China 7).

After publication of the family treatment for the Flora of China, two species were newly recorded from China (see YAO Gang & ZHANG Dian-xiang. 2010. J. Trop. Subtrop. Bot. 18(4): 394-396, i.e., Glochidion multiloculare Voigt and G. moonii Thwaites).

About 200 species: chiefly in tropical Asia, the Pacific islands, and Malaysia, a few in tropical America and Africa; 28 species (seven endemic, one introduced) in China.

(Authors: Li Bingtao (李秉滔 Li Ping-tao); Michael G. Gilbert)

Lower Taxa


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Flora of China  
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