J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1964, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (4): -.

• Research Articles •    

Distribution and General Morphology in Kingdonia uniflora

Hu Zheng-hai, Li Kuang-min and C. L. Lee   

Abstract: Kingdonia uniflora Balfour f. et W. W. Smith is an endemic plant in China. From known records, its distribution is more or less continuous through north-western Yunnan, western Szechwan, southern Kansu and western Shensi. The plant occurs at an elevation of about 3000 meters in the humus of the virgin forest in mountainous areas where the humidity is relatively high and the temperature is low. It grows in the shade of forest and on acidic soil. Kingdonia is an herbaceous perennial with a slender, branching rhizome. The annual shoot bears 2–3 cataphylls, 6–12 scales, 1 foliage leaf, a solitary flower with a long pedicel, a terminal and several lateral buds, and 2–12 internodal roots. Some lack the floral organ. Occasionally a shoot develops 2–3 normal foliage leaves. The more or less round shaped foliage leaf is divided into 5 lobes and exhibits the typical open dichotomous venation. It has a long petiole and a sheath-like leaf base. The solitary flower carries 4–7 tepals, 8–13 staminodes, 3–8 normal stamens, and 4–9 apocarps, all spirally arranged on the bulging receptacle. The fruits are aggregated ackenes with one seed in each single fruit. The open dichotomously-veined foliage leaves as well as other primitive characteristics of Kingdonia uniflora have attracted interest of the morphologists and taxonomists in China and abroad. The morphological and ontogenetic studies of various organs of this plant are in progress. The present paper is introductory in nature.

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