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Liparis gigantea

Description from Flora of China

Liparis macrantha Rolfe (1895), not J. D. Hooker (1889).

Herbs, terrestrial or lithophytic. Stem green, cylindric, 8-20 cm, ca. 1 cm in diam., thick, fleshy, with many nodes, lower part covered with several membranous sheaths. Leaves 3-6; petiole sheathlike, 2-5 cm, amplexicaul, not articulate; blade elliptic, ovate-elliptic, or ovate-oblong, often slightly oblique, 9-17 × 3.5-9 cm, membranous or herbaceous, base oblique and contracted into petiole, apex acuminate, shortly caudate, or subacute. Inflorescence subterminal, 18-45 cm; rachis 6-16 cm, several to 20-flowered, very narrowly winged; floral bracts ovate, 1-2 mm. Flowers deep purplish red; pedicel and ovary 1.6-1.8 cm. Dorsal sepal linear-lanceolate, 16-20 × 2.5-3 mm, 3-veined, apex obtuse; lateral sepals ovate-lanceolate, 15-17 × 4-5 mm, 5-veined, apex obtuse. Petals linear or narrowly linear, 16-18 × ca. 0.8 mm, 1-veined; lip obovate-elliptic or broadly obovate-oblong, 9-15 × 12-18 mm, base abruptly contracted and with a pair of backward spreading auricles, margin conspicuously denticulate, apex truncate and sometimes mucronulate; disk with 2 calli near base; calli triangular, 0.8-1 mm tall. Column 6-8 mm, with narrow wings on both sides; anther cap ca. 2 mm. Capsule obovoid-oblong, ca. 2.8 × 1 cm; fruiting pedicel 6-9 mm. Fl. Feb-May, fr. Nov.

Chinese records of Liparis nigra Seidenfaden (e.g., in FRPS 18: 73. 1999) should be referred to L. gigantea, whereas true L. nigra is distributed in Thailand. X. H. Jin (Taxon 54: 191. 2005) regarded the two taxa as conspecific and proposed the name L. nigra (1970) for conservation against the senior L. gigantea, but the Nomenclature Committee for Vascular Plants did not recommend conservation (Brummitt, Taxon 56: 590. 2007). It is not certain that L. nigra is the same as the Chinese taxon, and this group of large-flowered Liparis requires critical revision.

● Broad-leaved evergreen forests, shaded and damp places, soil-covered rocks; 500-1700 m. E and N Guangdong, Guangxi, SW Guizhou, Hainan, Taiwan, SE Xizang, C and SE Yunnan.


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