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Hibiscus aridicola

Description from Flora of China

Hibiscus aridicola var. glabratus K. M. Feng.

Shrubs deciduous, erect, 1-2 m tall; most parts densely yellow stellate tomentose, hairs of 2 sizes, more scalelike on veins. Branchlets terete or angular. Stipules filiform, 5-8 mm; petiole 1-6 cm; leaf blade ovate or orbicular-ovate, not lobed, 5-8 × 5-10 cm, thickly or thinly leathery, base truncate or cordate, margin dentate, apex acute to obtuse. Flowers solitary, subterminal. Pedicel 2.5-6 cm, articulate at end. Epicalyx lobes 6, linear-spatulate to oblanceolate, 8-12 × 2-4.5 mm, stellate scaly, apex rounded. Calyx cup-shaped, 2-2.2 × ca. 2 cm, lobes joined for more than 1/2 length, triangular-acuminate, 2.5-3 cm, abaxially densely yellow to brown stellate floccose interspersed with larger, paler stellate scales, adaxially sparsely villous near margins, barbate at base. Corolla white, sometimes tinged yellow in center, ± reflexed; petals obovate, 4-4.5 × ca. 4 cm. Staminal column 2-2.5 cm; anthers very dense, brick-red. Style exserted from filament tube by ca. 1 cm, curved, branches 5, not spreading, sometimes sparsely ciliate toward apex. Capsule ovoid, ca. 2.3 cm. Seeds reniform, woolly, hairs white, ca. 5 mm. Fl. Oct-Nov.

Hibiscus aridicola var. glabratus, with thinner textured leaf blades and glabrous styles, seems better regarded as just a shade form. G. Forrest 16931 is a distinctive form possibly worthy of formal recognition: it is much more robust, with a darker indumentum, leaf blades to 20 × 20 cm with irregularly coarsely dentate margins, pedicels to 9 cm, and very distinctive epicalyx lobes that are broadly spatulate, to 20 × 14 mm, and irregularly 3-lobed.

● Scrub, slopes, hot and dry river valleys; 1300-2100 m. SW Sichuan, NW Yunnan.


 

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