J Syst Evol ›› 1999, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (3): 209-219.

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Notulae de Ranunculaceis sinensibus (ⅩⅩⅢ)

WANG Wen-Tsai, LI Liang-Qian, WANG Zheng   

  • Published:1999-05-10

Abstract: (1) In this paper, differences among the five genera constituting the tribe Cimi cifugeae of the family Ranunculaceae are discussed. Beesia, the first genus, with compound cymes and flowers bearing neither petals nor staminodes, is different from the other four genera with simple or compound racemes and flowers bearing either petals or staminodes, and may occupy a primitive position within the tribe. As to the other four genera, Souliea is characterized by the stem without basal leaf but with 2~5 sheath-like cataphylls, the sepals being deciduous but not caducous, moderate in size and petaloid, the petals being much smaller than sepals, but pink in color and more or less petaloid, the pollen grains being pan tocolpate or pantoporate, the carpels being 1~3 per flower, when mature forming dry linear follicles conspicuously reticulate on the surface and dehiscent along the ventral suture, and the seeds being reticulate-foveolate on the surface. These diagnostic characters indicate clear ly that Souliea might have deviated from the lineage formed by the next three genera, i. e. Anemopsis, Cimicifuga, and Actaea, which have their own well-recognizable diagnostic characters. Anemopsis is characterized by the normally developed basal leaf, the racemose inflorescence with sparse and few long pedicellate flowers, the sepals 7~10 in number, mod erate in size, and petaloid, the petals slightly smaller than sepals, the tricolpate pollen grains, the carpels 2~4 per flower, stalked, when mature forming dry oblong follicles with transverse veins on the surface, and the seeds with scaly membranous wings. Cimicifuga is distinguished by the normally developed basal leaf, the caducous, small, often sepaloid sepa ls, the organs of the second floral whorl sometimes with empty sterile anthers being stamin odes not petals, the tricolpate pollen grains, the carpels 1~8 per flower, when mature form ing dry oblong or ovoid follicles with transverse veins on the surface, and the seeds usually with scaly membranous wings. The last genus Actaea is different by the basal leaf trans formed into a small scale, the caducous, small, often sepaloid sepals, the organs of the sec ond floral whorl being clawed petals, the pollen grains with 3(4~6) colpi, carpel 1 per flow er, when mature forming a fleshy indehiscent berry smooth on the surface and without any veins, the seeds roughish or slightly rugose, neither foveolate nor winged on the surface, and the advanced most asymmetric karyotype. According to the diagnostic characters given above, we believe that Beesia, Souliea, Anemopsis, Cimicifuga, and Actaea do represent five independent genera, and the treatment of the tribe Cimicifugeae including these five genera in it by Hutchinson (1923), Janchen (1949) and some other authors, has precisely shown the taxonomic diversity within the tribe. We are therefore unable to accept the treatment published by Compton et al. (1998) to lump the two genera, Souliea and Cimicifuga, into the genus Actaea. (2) Compton et al. (1998, 1997) found out that the Chinese plants previously identified by various authors as Cimicifuga foetida L., in which the terminal and lateral racemes of the compound raceme flower more or less simultaneously, differ from the true C. foetida L. in northern Asia, in which the terminal raceme of the compound raceme flowers before the lateral ones, and thus restored the species name Cimicifuga mairei Lévl. , which was formerly reduced to the synonymy of C. foetida L. , for the Chinese plants. After examining the specimens collected from Siberia and from Southwest China we failed to find out any other differences in both vegetative and reproductive organs between the plants of the two regions, and we consider that it is better to treat the populations in Southwest and Central China as a geographical variety of Cimicifuga foetida L. A new combination, Cimicifuga foetida L. var. mairei (Lévl.) W. T. Wang & Zh. Wang, is thus made. (3) 3 species of Delphinium, 1 species and 1 variety of Clematis are described as new.

Key words: Beesia, Souliea, Anemopsis, Cimicifuga, Actaea, Delphinium, Clematis,