torsdag 10 april 2014

Eranthis albiflora

Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Nat. II, 8: 191, 1885

China, Thibet oriental: Moupin [Baoxing], March 1869, David (P). China, Sichuan, Tianquan Xian, east side of mount Erlangshan 1700-2050 m, 26 April 1986, Naito et al, No 196 (PE).

Synonyms: Shibatheranthis albiflora (Franch.) Nakai

Illustrations: missing

Eranthis albiflora was described by Adrien Franchet in the year of 1885 from material collected in March 1869 by Armand David during his stay in Mouping (now Baoxing) in western Sichuan, China. Striking is the fact that the 1869 collection seems to be the only record of the species for the next 117 years. Next record is a specimen in Beijing (PE) collected by The Tohoku University China Expedition in the year of 1986. By this reason Eranthis albiflora is one the most unknown species in the genus. Present knowledge bases only on the original collection of David from 1869 (P) and the more recent collection by Naito et al from 1986 (PE). The diagnosis in Flora of China (Liangqian and Tamura 2001) is basically a translation of Franchet’s description from 1885 (Franchet 1885) and so are also the diagnosis in FRPS (1979). The 1986 collection made it possible to fill in information about the tuber which is missing in Franchet 1885 and FRPS 1979.
Eranthis albiflora makes a perennial with globose tuber, 10 cm tall with five to six bracts finely lobed and divided to the middle. In March small flowers (about 15 mm in diameter) appear with translucent white elliptic or oblong sepals encircle four or five funnel-formed bifid petals resembling them in Eranthis byunsanensis. The flower has ten stamens with linear filaments and orbicular anther followed later in spring by four to five follicles each with three to four seeds.

Eranthis albiflora, Sichuan, Erlang Shan (photo Eric Wahlsteen)

Either FoC 2001, FRPS 1979 or Franchet 1885 illustrate the species why pictures of the herbarium sheets have been the only source to recognize the species. On (P) a small drawing probably prepared by Franchet illustrates the parts of the flower, here reproduced after image processing.

Eranthis albiflora, Sichuan, Erlang Shan (photo Eric Wahlsteen)

Eranthis albiflora, narrow leaved form, Hailuogou, Sichuan, China (photo Eric Wahlsteen).

Eranthis albiflora, and narrow leaved form, Hailuogou, Sichuan, China (photo Eric Wahlsteen). 

Description. Rhizome tuberous globose circa 8 mm across, blackish brown with white roots. Basal leaves Leaf blade Involucre consists of five to six bracts. Bracts glabrous, tripartite with obovate-cuneate segments, parted to middle, unequally lobed. Each lobe is linear with acute to obtuse apex. Pedicel short. Flower white, 1.2-1.5 cm across, shortly stalked. Sepals white, elliptic or oblong, obtuse at apex.  Petals 4 or 5 obcordate-funnelform, emarginate outside, bifid inside; stalks long, subequaling blade. Filaments circa ten linear. Anthers orbicular. Style Follicles four or five, sessile, narrowly oblong, 8-10 × 2.5-3 mm. Persistent style 3-5 mm. Seed three or four, flat-globose, 1.8-2 mm across, slightly lucid. 

Distribution:  China: western Sichuan recorded from the counties of Baoxing and in Tianquan on the east side of Erlang Shan, 1700-2100 m.

Habitat. Recorded in grass at margin of mixed forests and on alpine meadows.

Phenology. Flowering March, fruiting May. 

Eranthis albiflora collected by David 1869 outside Baoxing, P. 

Eranthis albiflora collected 1986 by The Tohoku University China Expedition (PE)

Eranthis albiflora colleted by Potanin 1893 showing a great variation within species (LE).

Drawing on the herbarium sheet of David illustrates the parts of the flower. 

Distribution of Eranthis albiflora

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