J Syst Evol ›› 1979, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (4): 54-60.
• Research Articles •
There are eleven species of Satyrium hitherto reported in China, among which,
after a detailed examination of herbarium specimens consisting of about 300 plants,
only four forms, represented by S. nepalense D. Don, S. ciliatum Ldl., S. setchuenicum
Kranzl. and S. yunnanense Rolfe, are susceptible of division. S. nepalense is a widespread species with its main distribution centre in indian region, whereas the other
three, with which the present paper deals, are largely distributed in our country.
S. ciliatum is characterized by its pink flowers with spurs about half as long as
the ovary. It is usually found in mountain meadows at an altitude between 19004100m. from Szechuan through Kweichow, Yunnan and Tibet, southwestward to
Sikkim and Bhutan. In all its flowers examined, both female and male organs are
perfect and many have produced capsules. It is, no doubt, the hermaphrodite form as
seen in the ordinary orchids.
S. setchuenicum closely resembles S. ciliatum in habit, distinguished mainly by
having flowers without or with short spurs. These two forms are sympatric. In our
herbarium, for instance, they are sometimes found on a same specimen or the different
sheets with the same field number, such as Y. Tsiang 11454, R. C. Ching 24184, T. P.
Wang 9497, etc. A detailed comparison shows that in S. setchuenicum the anther and
pollinia are abortive or even entirely absent, and the stigma is larger than the
rostellum which usually partly thickens and becomes some-what stigma-like, while in
S. ciliatum the male organ is well developed, and the thin rostellum is larger. Between
these two forms several intermediates are found. It is quite certain that they are different sexual forms belonging to one and the same species, and so called S. setchuenicum is but a female form of S. ciliatum.
Another sympatric form is S. yunnanense, characterized by its yellow flowers with
somewhat horizontally extended spurs. Its anther, pollinia and rostellum are very
similar to those of hermaphrodite form of S. ciliatum, but the ovary is narrower and
the stigma is usually smaller. It is interesting to note that in all specimens examined
consisting of 36 individuals, no fruit can be found, while in those of S. ciliatum, including both female and hermaphrodite forms, the lower flowers of the racemes are mostly
found to have produced fine seed-capsules. From these facts we may confidently
regard this species as the male form of S. ciliatum.
Thus, we have three separate sexual forms in S. ciliatum, to which eight specific
names previously recorded in China are here referred. Detailed discussion and description as well as a key to the chinese species are given as above. Its geographical distribution is mapped. The flowers of these three forms are illustrated. All the specimens
cited here, with a few exceptions, are deposited in the herbarium of Institute of Botany,
Chen Sing-Chi. Notes on bisexual and unisexual forms of Satyrium ciliatum Ldl.[J]. J Syst Evol, 1979, 17(4): 54-60.
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