Aspidistra sichuanensis

Accepted name Aspidistra sichuanensis K. Y. Lang & Z. Y. Zhu. Acta Bot. Yunnanica, 6(4): 387, fig. 1. (1984).
Distribution China * Forests, bamboo forests, thickets; 500-1100 m. Guangxi (Jinxiu Yao Zu Zizhixian, Napo Xian, Xing’an Xian), Guizhou (Anlong Xian, Zunyi Xian), W Hunan (Yongshun Xian, Zhijiang Xian), Sichuan, Yunnan (Kunming Shi).

(from Flora of China)

Description Rhizome: creeping, terete, diameter 6 - 12 mm.

Leaves: solitary to ca. 70 cm; cataphylls undescribed; petiole 10 - 35 (- 40) cm; lamina sometimes with yellowish white spots, lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, 20 - 35 cm long x 4 - 8 cm wide.

Peduncle: 0.5 - 5 cm long; flowers solitary.

Perianth [Perigone]: subcampanulate; tube brown-purple inside, purple outside, 7 - 9 mm long x 0.9 - 1.5 cm diameter [see notes]; lobes (6 -) 8 recurved, purple-red, deltoid-lanceolate, 3 - 6 mm long x 2 - 3 mm wide, adaxially 4-keeled, keels densely papillose.

Stamens: (6 -) 8, inserted proximally in perianth tube, subsessile.

Pistil: Table-shaped; style columnar, short, developed at the top into a peltate, orbicular, stigma, 0.8 - 1.2 cm in diameter, slightly convex centrally, 4-ridged, (3 -) 4 (- 5)-lobed at margin, lobes emarginate at apex.

Fruit: berry tuberculate.

Phenology: flowers & fruits January - March.

2n = 38

(from Flora of China & personal observations)

References Flora of China
Comments The FoC gives the dimensions of the perigone tube as "7–9 x 0.9–1.5 cm", this should be 7 - 9 mm long x 0.9 - 1.5 cm diameter.

Image of Aspidistra sichuanensis from Li 2004 copied directly I think from Lang & Zhu 1984.

Image of Aspidistra sichuanensis from Lang et al 1999.


Image of Aspidistra sichuanensis from FoC.

Plants labelled as Aspidistra sichuanensis are available in the trade but most I think are another species.  Plants I am growing that I think are Aspidistra sichuanensis were imported from China labelled Aspidistra elatior and Aspidistra lurida.

This illustration of Aspidistra sichuanensis is from and is a re-drawing of the illustration in Lang & Zhu 1982.  It shows the stigma as an essentially flat structure with four indented lobes, rather like a four-leaved clover.  This is rather misleading.

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last updated 12/09/2008