J Syst Evol ›› 2008, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (5): 785-792.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1002.2008.07149

• Research Articles • Previous Articles    

The botanical identification of Shancigu in Chinese ancient literature

Qi-Zhong BING,Ben-Gang ZHANG   

  1. Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100094, China
  • Received:2007-11-02 Published:2008-09-18

Abstract: The medicinal herbs which were traditionally used as "Shancigu" are derived from a variety of different plants, resulting in current use of herbal medicine in the name confusing of medicinal material "Shancigu". According to ancient and modern literature in the graphic, and geographical distribution, originated plant species of "Shancigu" have been studied. Simultaneously, we clarified the original plant of "Shancigu" recorded in several ancient literatures through modern taxonomic researches. We concluded that "Shancigu" should come from originally Cremastra appendiculata (D. Don) Makino in Ben Cao Shi Yi (Tang Dynasty), and, afterwards, two other species, i.e., Tulipa edulis (Miq.) Baker and C. appendiculata, were used under one Chinese name "Shancigu" in other ancient literatures, i.e., Da Guan Ben Cao (Song Dynasty) and Compendium of Materia Medica (Ming Dynasty). In modern publications, more species, such as two species of Pleione, were also recorded under the name of "Shancigu", but none of them is the original plant of "Shancigu".

Key words: botanical identification, Chinese ancient literature, Cremastra appendiculata, Shancigu, Tulipa edulis