J Syst Evol ›› 2006, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (1): 100-107.DOI: 10.1360/aps040117

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The botanical identification of Fentiao’er Cai and Feijin Cao in Chinese ancient literature

WANG Jin-Xiu   

  1. (State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, The Chinese Academy of Sciences,
    Beijing 100093, China)
  • Received:2004-09-29 Published:2006-01-18

Abstract: In the majority of modern Chinese botanical literature, either Fentiao’er Cai, a Chinese name first appearing in Chiu Huang Pên Ts’ao, or Feijin Cao, a Chinese name first appearing in Chi-wu-ming-shi-t’u-K’ao, or both, have been used as the Chinese generic name of Aletris (Liliaceae). A comprehensive analysis of the descriptions, accompanying figures, morphology and geographical distribution of Fentiao’er Cai and Feijin Cao given in ancient Chinese literature and modern taxonomic literature has shown that Fentiao’er Cai should be Scorzonera albicaulis (Compositae), not Aletris japonica Lamb. (=A. spicata) as first proposed by Japanese botanists and then followed by most of the Chinese researchers, and that Feijin Cao should be Aletris scopulorum, not A. spicata.

Key words: Fentiao’er Cai (Scorzonera albicaulis), Feijin Cao (Aletris scopulorum), botanical identification, Chinese ancient literature