The classification of the Umbilicariaceae has been arranged in at least three different
systems according to former lichenologists. According both to Frey (1933)and to Imshaug
(1957) all the species in this family belong to the genus Umbilicaria. But Scholander
(1934) accepted four genera: Umbilicaria, Omphalodiscus, Gyrophora, and Actinogyra;
while Llano (1950) recognized five genera: Lasallia, Agyrophora, Omphalodiscus, Umbilicaria,
and Actinogyra: these genera being based on apothecial characters and phylogeny. Savicz
(1950), after a study of the opinions of Frey and of Scholander, and of other lichenologists
and also his own conclusions on the Soviet material, grouped the latter species into two
genera, Umbilicaria and Gyrophora, reducing some genera of the Llano-Scholander system
to subgeneric status under the genus Gyrophora. Thus, the classification of this family is
still in a confused state. Pending a thorough restudy of the systematics of the Umbilica riaceae, the treatment of the Chinese species in this work is provisionally according to Llano's
monograph, partly because of its covering both Eastern and Western species.
In the present note three species of Umbilicariaceae are described from Northern and
(1) Umbilicaria esculenta (Miyoshi) Minks-Western Tianmu-shan, Chekiang;
and Hwang-shan, Anhwei, alt. 1387 m and 1943 m. This species is the famous “Shi-er.”
it is usually regarded as a Japanese endemic species in foreign literature, however, for many
centuries it has been used as a delicacy in China. “Shi-er” is renowned for its sterility,
nevertheless, the author is fortunate enough to find a fertile specimen among those bought
in Hwang-shan. It is dotted with dozens of black apothecia. They are up to 1800μ
in diameter; proper margin indistinct; gyri concentric, parallel or somewhat radial; asci
immature; paraphyses, free, flexuous, septa indistinct, branched, apices not enlarged; 2μ
in diameter, about 54μ tall. The apothecia are sessile instead of adnate as in “iwa-take,
the Japanese “Shi-er,” described by Miyoshi. The morphology of “Shi-er” agrees well with
Llano's descriptions of the Japanese specimen, except in the following three respects: (a)
“Shi-er” is 5 cm. bigger than the Japanese specimen, up to 18 cm in diameter; (b)it is
also thicker (480μ), but it is. much thinner in young thalli (133-181μ); (c) its
upper cortex is pseudoparenchymatous, instead of palisadeplechtenchymatous as it is in the
Japanese specimen described by Llano.(1950). Frey (1929, p. 225) stated that the cells
of the lower cortex were in vertical rows, but this is not observed in the six specimens
examined by the author, and it is not very evident in his own drawing (Fig. 4c) either.
Therefore, the author thinks it is better to call it pseudoparenchymatous, namely paraplec tenchymatous.
(2) Umbilicaria hypococcina (Jatta) Llano-Wutai-shan, Shansi, same
locality from which M. S. Clemens collected this species in 1913. Many black, adnate,
roundish, plane apothecia are scattered on the surface of every thallus. They are 460-790μ
in diameter, with a distinct proper margin. The gyri are parallel or concentric. Just as they
were previously described, these apparently mature apothecia are without spores. The
author's specimens agree well with Llano's description except in the following two respects:
(a) the upper cortex is twice as thick as in the specimen examined by Llano; (b) an outer
pseudoparenchymatous layer and an inner prosoplectenchymatous layer are discernible in the
So far as the author knows, since Jatta first described it in 1902, this species is never
been reported from any locality outside China; therefore, it is probably endemic to China.
The species “Gyrophora hypocrocina” recorded in Symbolae Sinicae is not another
species, but the specific name was wrongly spelled,
(3) Lasallia pustulata (L.) Merat-Hwang-shan, Anhwei, alt. 1387 m., 1682 m.
and 1943 m. This Chinese lichen is smaller than European and American conspesific
individuals, being. 20-55 mm. in diameter. In size, it approaches Merrill's “Umbilicaria
fokiensis,” which the author does not regard as a valid species. Though smaller in size,
the thalli of this Chinese lichen are much thicker (128-224μ). The upper cortex is
pseudoparenchymatous, not “paraplechtenchymatous” (......”fails to reveal any definite
structure” according to Llano, 1950, p, 16), and what the author observes is in accordance
with Galloe's drawings (1950, P1. 70, figs. 443, 445)and Frey's drawing (1931, p. 108.
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