J Syst Evol ›› 1983, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (2): 121-129.
• Research Articles •
The genus Burmannaia is one of the largest genera in the Burmanniaceae, of which
12 species have been recorded in China. It is mainly a tropical genus. The species
in China are all confined to the region south of Yangtze River. They are distributed
chiefly in the provinces Guangdong (9 species) and Yunnan (6 species). After having
studied the areas of all the species in China, we are able to classify them into following 4 area-types:
1. Area-type of Tropical Asia to Tropical Australia. The two non-saprophytic
species (Burmannia disticha, B. caelestis) and one saprophytic (B. championii) belong
to this area-type. It is an ancient type. The plants of this type mostly have a wide
ecological amplitude, for example, B. disticha may be found in tropical and subtropical
regions. The plants occur not only in evergreen forests, in bushs, but also in rather
arid herbosa and on the side of streams (Fig. 2).
2. Area-type of Tropical SE Asia. In the type are 3 saprophytic species i.e.
B. oblonga, B. wallichii and B. nepalensis.
3. Area-type of E. Asia. (Fig. 3) Burmannia in China with E. Asian distribution is poor in species. There are only 2 saprophytic species. B. cryptopetala is distri-buted in Haina (China), Kyushu and Honshu (Japan); B. itoana occurs in Taiwan
(China), Riukiu and Kyushu (Japan). They are known only on the islands of E. Asia.
Such a pattern of distribution may suggest connection of these islands once in the prehistoric time in spite of their present isolation.
4. Endemic area-type. (Fig. 4). Here are 3 saprophytic species and one variety
with green leaves. B. nana occurs only in E. Taiwan. One of the two new species
described by present author in this paper, B. fadouensis, is known from Xichou Xiao,
S. E. Yunnan, to Longzhou Xian of the province Gaunxi; the other one, B. pingbienensis occurs only in Pinbien Xian of S. E. Yunnan. The last species is endemic to China.
B. pusilla var. hongkongensis is non-saprophytic and known from the province Guangdong and its bordering islands. Both B. fadouensis and B. pingbienensis are characterized by the axillary bulbils, which enable them to adapt to rather arid and cold condi-tions in northern part of the tropical region.
Li Heng. A Preliminary Study on the Floristic Features of the Genus Burmannia in China. J Syst Evol, 1983, 21 (2): 121-129.
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