Flora of China
  FOC Vol.4 (1999)              | Family List  Saururaceae  PDF     | Link Font:+ Big | - Small
   Saururaceae  E. Meyer
三白草科   san bai cao ke
Authors:Xia Nianhe (夏念和) ; Anthony R. Brach

  • Xia Nianhe -- Herbarium, Department of Taxonomy, South China Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wushan, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510650, People’s Republic of China.
  • Anthony R. Brach -- 2 Missouri Botanical Garden, c/o Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138-2020, U.S.A.


    Herbs perennial, aromatic. Stems erect, ascending, or prostrate, obviously jointed. Leaves alternate, simple; stipules interpetiolately connate or adnate to petiole, forming a sheath. Inflorescence a dense spike or raceme, sometimes resembling a single flower when large involucral petaloid bracts are present at base; bracts evident or inconspicuous. Flowers bisexual; perianth absent. Stamens usually 3, 6, or 8, free or adnate to ovary base; anthers 2-loculed, longitudinally dehiscent. Pistils (2 or)3- or 4-carpelled; carpels distinct or connate, if distinct: each carpel with 2-4 ovules, if connate: ovary 1-loculed, placentation parietal, each placenta with 6-13 ovules; styles free. Fruit a schizocarp or apically dehiscent capsule. Seed 1 or many; endosperm scanty; perisperm abundant; embryo minute.

    Four genera and ca. six species: E and S Asia, North America; three genera and four species (one endemic) in China.

    Saururaceous taxa have been extensively compared in studies of floral vasculature (H. X. Liang & S. C. Tucker, Amer. J. Bot. 77: 607-623. 1990), organogenesis (H. X. Liang, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 32: 425-432. 1994), pollen morphology (H. X. Liang, Acta Bot. Yunnan. 14: 401-404. 1992), and stem anatomy (S. Carlquist & al., I. A. W. A. Bull, n.s., 16(2): 133-150. 1995). Phylogenetic relationships of Saururaceae and its sister clade Piperaceae have been discussed by S. C. Tucker, (Syst. Bot. 18: 614-641. 1993).

    Tseng Yung-chien. 1982. Saururaceae. In: Tseng Yung-chien, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 20(1): 4-11.

    1Herbs prostrate, ± stoloniferous; stamens shorter than styles; petioles nearly as long as or longer than leaf blades3  Gymnotheca    裸蒴属
    +Herbs erect or ascending, rhizomatous; stamens longer than styles; petioles shorter than leaf blades.(2)
    2(1)Inflorescence a raceme, without involucral petal-like bracts; stamens 6 or 8, rarely 3, filaments ca. as long as or slightly longer than anthers; fruit a schizocarp; leaf blade ovate to ovate-lanceolate1  Saururus    三白草属
    +Inflorescence a dense spike, with 4 rarely 6 or 8, involucral petal-like bracts at base; stamens 3, rarely 4, filaments ca. 3 × as long as anthers; fruit a dehiscent capsule; leaf blade broadly ovate or ovate-cordate2  Houttuynia    蕺菜属
       Lower Taxon
  • Gymnotheca  Decaisne  裸蒴属
  • Houttuynia  Thunberg  蕺菜属
  • Saururus  Linnaeus  三白草属