Epimedium acuminatum Franch.

Zhang, Yanjun, Dang, Haishan, Li, Shengyu, Li, Jianqiang & Wang, Ying, 2015, Five new synonyms in Epimedium (Berberidaceae) from China, PhytoKeys 49, pp. 1-12 : 2-3

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Epimedium acuminatum Franch.


Epimedium acuminatum Franch.

Epimedium acuminatum Franch., Bull. Soc. Bot. France, 33: 109. 1886. Type: China. Guizhou, 1858, Perny s. n. (holotype, P!).

Epimedium chlorandrum Stearn, Kew Bull., 52(3): 660. 1997, Syn. nov. Type: China. Sichuan: Baoxing, cult. England. Hampshire: Kilmeston, Blackthorn Nursery, Apr. 1996, Ogisu 94003 (holotype, K!).


Herbs 25-80 cm tall. Rhizome compact, sometimes long-creeping, 2-5 mm in diam. Leaves basal and cauline, usually trifoliolate or occasionally unifoliolate; leaflets of trifoliolate leaves narrowly ovate to lanceolate, 3-18 × 1.5-7 cm, apex long acuminate, base cordate with lobes rounded or acute, those of the lateral leaflets very unequal; unifoliolate leaves ovate or broadly ovate, 8.7-20 × 6.8-11.5 cm, apex acuminate, base cordate with lobes equal, rounded or rarely acute; leaves leathery when mature, margin spinous-serrate with the spines 1-2 mm long, adaxially deep green, glossy, abaxially glaucous, papillose, with dense or sparse short appressed stout bristle-like hairs and sometimes densely sericeous. Flowering stem usually bearing 2 opposite trifoliolate leaves, less often with 3 whorled trifoliolate leaves or 2 opposite unifoliolate leaves, rarely with 2 opposite leaves with one trifoliolate and the other unifoliolate or 3 whorled unifoliolate leaves. Inflorescence compound with lower peduncles 2-5-flowered, loose few- or many-(10-55)-flowered, glabrous or occasionally glandular hairy; pedicels 1-4 cm. Flowers 3-5 cm in diam., yellow, rose-purple, pale violet, or white. Outer sepals blunt, outer pair ovate-oblong, ca. 3 × 2 mm, inner pair broadly obovate, ca. 4.5 × 4 mm. Inner sepals ovate-elliptic, 8-12 × 3-7 mm, apex acute. Petals much longer than inner sepals, horn-shaped, tapering from the swollen but lamina-less base, curving outwards, 1.5-2.5 cm. Stamens 3-4 mm; anthers yellow or green, ca. 2.5 mm, pollen yellow or green. Capsules ca. 2 cm.

Distribution and habitat.

Epimedium acuminatum is widely distributed in Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, and northern Yunnan. It usually occurs in forests, thickets, bamboo forests, and weedy slopes ranging from 270 to 2400 m in elevation.


Epimedium acuminatum flowers from April to May, and fruits from May to June.

IUCN Red List category.

Although Epimedium acuminatum has a relatively wide distribution in China; it should be designated as Vulnerable (VU) ( IUCN 2013), because of exploitation for medicinal use, especially in Guizhou.


Epimedium acuminatum is one of the most widespread species in the genus, and exhibits much variation in morphology; therefore, it is not surprising that there are several synonyms associated with it. Léveillé (1909) published Epimedium komarovii H. Lév. upon only contrasting it with Epimedium sagittatum Maxim., Stearn (1938) found that it was not distinct from Epimedium acuminatum and reduced it into synonymy. Epimedium simplicifolium T.S. Ying was described by Ying (1975), only separating it from Epimedium acuminatum in having unifoliolate, sericeous leaves. Upon extensive specimen examination, however, Zhang et al. (2011) found that the diagnostic characters of Epimedium simplicifolium were within the range of morphological variations of Epimedium acuminatum and placed Epimedium simplicifolium into synonymy.

Epimedium chlorandrum was described by Stearn (1997) as having the inner sepals being slightly ascending, and not closely appressed to the petals, and the anthers and pollen as being green. However, observations from the type locality of Epimedium chlorandrum show that the diagnostic character of the inner sepals as not closely appressed to the petals is not stable, and Epimedium acuminatum is also found having inner sepals being slightly ascending, with green anthers and pollen. There is no difference in morphology for the two species, thus, Epimedium chlorandrum is here treated as a new synonym of Epimedium acuminatum . Additionally, extensive specimen examination and field investigation demonstrate that it is incorrect for Stearn (1997) to recognize the color of anther and pollen as diagnostic features in Epimedium because, besides Epimedium acuminatum , other Epimedium species (e.g. Epimedium sagittatum , Epimedium sutchuenense Franch., Epimedium elongatum Kom., and Epimedium leptorrhizum Stearn) with yellow anthers and pollen are also found with green anthers and pollen.

Specimens examined.

China. Chongqing: fuling, Fuling Med. Pl. Exped. 337 (SM), 358 (SM), Y.L. Cao & F.D. Pu 1291 (CDBI); Hechuan, Hechuan Med. Pl. Exped. 193 (SM), T.H. Tu 5434 (PE); Jiangjin, Jiangjin Med. Pl. Exped. 237 (SM), Sichuan Econ. Pl. Exped. Jiang 30 (KUN, SM); Mt. Jinyun, Z. He et al. 1003 (SZ), T.C. Pan & G.F. Wu 105 (PE); Nanchuan, C.H. Hsiung 90021 (HIB, HWA, PE, SZ), 90058 (HIB, HWA, PE, SZ), 90331 (HWA, PE, SZ), 91045 (HWA, KUN, PE, SZ), C.L. Li N1 (IMD), N4 (IMD), N6 (IMD), F.T. Wang 10554 (PE), G.F. Li 60306 (HIB, KUN, PE, SZ), 60324 (HIB, KUN, PE, SZ), 60358 (HIB, PE, SZ), 60411 (HIB, KUN, PE, SZ), 60514 (HIB, KUN, PE, SZ), 60923 (HIB, KUN, PE, SZ), 61022 (PE, SZ), 61255 (HIB, KUN, SZ), 61470 (PE, SZ), L. Lin & B.L. Li 58 (IMD), Mt. Jinfo Exped. 202 (PE), N.L. Chü 1057 (PE, SZ), S.C. Chen & K.Y. Lang 2104 (PE), 2164 (PE), 2192 (PE), S.X. Tan 172 (PE), Sichuan Veg. Exped. 165 (PE, SM), 273 (CDBI, PE, SM), T.H. Tu 2763 (PE), 3116 (PE), W.P. Fang 802 (PE), Z.D. Chen et al. 960108 (PE), Z.H. Wan & C.Y. Chu 177 (IMD), Z. Xia 33 (CDBI), Z.Y. Liu 15500 (PE), 15574 (PE); Wulong, B.L. Guo 523 (IMD), S.Z. Zhu 1562 (SM). Guizhou: Anlong, Guizhou Exped. 2469 (PE, HGAS), B.L. Guo A70 (IMD), A73 (IMD); Anshun, Anshun Med. Pl. Exped. 146 (GZTM); Bijie, X. Yang s.n. (GZTM); Chishui, B.L. Guo A77 (IMD), Y.M. Wang 87-273 (GZTM); Dafang, B.L. Guo 601 (IMD), D.L. Yu & C.L. Liu 191-5 (GZTM), Dafang Exped. 108 (HGAS), Y.J. Zhang 402 (HIB); Daozhen, Anon. 85-463 (GZTM), 85-185 (GZTM), 85-2069 (GZTM), 85-60013 (GZTM), J.M. Yuan 31 (HGAS); Dushan, Libo Exped. 1688 (HGAS); Fuquan, J.Y. Li 59-2 (GZTM), 59-4 (GZTM); Guanling, Guanling Exped. 146 (GZTM); Guiding, B.L. Guo A90 (IMD); Guiyang, Anon. 20 (HGAS), B. Gu s.n. (GZTM), C. Sun 96003 (GZTM), G.Z. Fan 6-1 (GZTM), 6-2 (GZTM), 6-3 (GZTM), 6-4 (GZTM), 6-5 (GZTM), L. Lin & B.L. Li 10 (IMD), M.Z. Yang 810061 (HGAS), 810079 (HGAS), 810138 (HGAS), P. Zhao 762 (HGAS), 807 (HGAS), S. Guizhou Exped. 42 (HGAS, KUN, PE), S.Y. Xiao & X.W. Li 86079 (GZTM), S.Z. He 90001 (GZTM); Hezhang, Hezhang Exped. 135 (GZTM); Huishui, G.M. Qin 37 (GZTM); Jiangkou, L.X. Yang 203 (GZTM); Kaili, S.Z. He 90010 (GZTM), 90011 (GZTM); Kaiyang, Kaiyang Med. Exped. 166 (GZTM), S.Z. He 90018 (GZTM); Liuzhi, B.L. Guo A79 (IMD), P. Su 156 (GZTM); Longli, M.X. wan 403031 (GZTM); Luodian, Y.J. Zhang 426 (HIB), 427 (HIB), 428 (HIB); Nayong, C.J. Li 86-010 (GZTM); Panxian, Z.X. Pan s.n. (GZTM); Qianxi, Z.X. Wang & H.P. Xiang 7 (GZTM); Shiqian, S.H. Xu 196 (GZTM); Shuicheng, G.Z. Fan 9-10 (GZTM), 9-11 (GZTM); Songtao, B.L. Guo A75 (IMD); Suiyang, G.Z. Fan et al. 9106 (GZTM), 9107 (GZTM), S.F. Li s.n. (GZTM), S.Z. He & B. Gu 96410 (GZTM, PE), Y.J. Chen 86-007 (GZTM); Tongzi, B.L. Guo A13 (IMD), X.P. Wang & P. Zhao 870212 (HGAS), X.J. Zhang & Y.Q. Xu 97 (HIB), Y.J. Zhang 422 (HIB), Y. Tsiang 4994 (PE); Wuchuan, Wuchuan Med. Exped. 870112 (GZTM), Y.J. Zhang 164 (HIB), 166 (HIB); Xifeng, S.Z. He 90012 (GZTM), T.H. Yang 146 (GZTM); Xishui, Anon. 279 (HGAS), B.L. Guo A88 (IMD), G.Z. Fan 9105 (GZTM), 9106 (GZTM), 9107 (GZTM), 9108 (GZTM), 9109 (GZTM), 9114 (GZTM); Xingyi, B.L. Guo A95 (IMD), T.X. Chen & L. Chen 106 (GZTM); Yinjiang, X. Tang 172 (GZTM), 173 (GZTM), Z.S. Zhang et al. 401131 (PE, HGAS); Zhenfeng, S.Z. He 9101 (GZTM); Zhenning, S.Z. He & Y. Huang 9107 (GZTM), Zhenning Exped. 156 (GZTM); Zheng’an, J.M. Yuan 3 (HGAS), 4 (HGAS), 5 (HGAS), 6 (HGAS), Q.H. Chen & T.L. Xu 9411 (HGAS); Ziyun, B.L. Guo A67 (IMD), A84 (IMD), S.Z. He s.n. (GZTM); Zunyi, P.C. Tsoong 355 (KUN, PE). Sichuan: Baoxing, Baoxing Med. Pl. Exped. 78-123 (SM), Y.J. Zhang 386 (HIB), 387 (HIB), 388 (HIB), 389 (HIB); Changning, Anon. 199 (SM); Chongzhou, Anon. 590 (SM); Dujiangyan, T.N. Liou 10060 (PE); Gaoxian, Anon. 317 (SM); Gongxian, Anon. 165 (SM); Guang’an, Sichuan Econ. P1. Exp. Nan 127 (PE); Gulin, C.Y. Pan & J.H. Chen 4470 (SM), Gulin Exped. 589 (SM); Hongya, B.L. Guo & K.W. Bao 97004 (IMD), Hongya Exped. 952 (SM), Sichuan Econ. Pl. Exped. Le 13 (KUN), W.K. Bao 2298 (CDBI), Y.J. Zhang 390 (HIB); Jiajiang, Sichuan Econ. Pl. Exped. Le 8164 (PE, SM); Jiang’an, Anon. 117 (SM), K.Y. Lang 3002 (PE), 3061 (PE), 3069 (PE); Junlian, Anon. 536 (SM); Leibo, M.Y. He & C.M. Tan 116965 (SZ); Lushan, G.Y. Zhong 1988-14 (SM), 1988-16 (SM), Lushan Med. Pl. Exped. 78-398 (SM), Y.J. Zhang 383 (HIB), 384 (HIB), 385 (HIB); Mabian, D.Y. Hong et al. P.B84046 (PE), Mabian Exped. 168 (SM); Meigu, Sichuan Econ. Pl. Exped. Nan 6001 (PE), Z.W. Yao 3794 (PE); Mingshan, Mingshan Exped. 16 (SM); Mt. Omei, B.L. Guo 88091 (IMD), Bio. Dep., Sichuan Univ. 54207 (HIB), C.H. Hsiung et al. 30469 (PE), 33481 (PE), C.H. Li 97-301 (PE), C.S. Cheng 377 (KUN), C.Y. Chu 331 (IMD), D.Z. Fu 84262 (PE), F.T. Wang 23329 (PE), G.Y. Zhong 1988-25 (SM), H.G. Xu 89463 (IMD), 89464 (IMD), J.L. Hao 548 (IMD), K.H. Yang 54343 (KUN, PE, SZ), 54207 (KUN, PE, SZ), L.W. Wang & Z.Y. Zhang 824 (PE), L.Z. Hu & P.Q. Duan 57-166 (SZ), No. 236-Sichuan Exped. 201 (PE), Mt. Omei Exped. 176 (SM), P. Luo et al. 1859 (SZ), S.L. Sun 111 (HWA, KUN, SZ), 1405 (KUN, SZ), 1566 (SZ), 1615 (SZ), 2489 (KUN, SZ), S.S. Chien 5499 (SZ), S.X. Wang 401 (CDBI, PE), S.Y. Chen et al. 3033 (SM, SZ), 3080 (SM, SZ), S.Z. Guo 403 (PE), Sichuan Econ. Pl. Exped. Le 210 (PE), Sichuan Med. Pl. Exped. 12121 (IMD), Sichuan Veg. Exped. 477 (CDBI, PE), Sino-Russia Exped. 1996 (PE), 2169 (PE), T.H. Tu 42 (PE, SZ), 1902 (PE), T.T. Yu 312 (PE), W.C. Cheng 10151 (KUN), 10174 (KUN, SZ), W.P. Fang 2138 (SZ), 14692 (HWA, KUN, SZ), 15803 (SZ), 15985 (SZ), 16038 (SZ), 16134 (SZ), 16411 (SZ), 16242 (SZ), 16793 (SZ), 18299 (HWA, SZ), 18338 (SZ), 18400 (SZ), 18583 (SZ), T.C. Lee 4391 (SZ), 4424 (KUN, SZ), X.B. Peng 6108 (PE), Y.H. Tao 53876 (SZ), 53927 (SZ), 838 (PE), Y.J. Zhang 398 (HIB), 399 (HIB), 412 (HIB), 414 (HIB), 444(HIB), Y.X. Xiao 48108 (SZ), 48742 (SZ), Y.Y. Wang et al. 604012 (GZTM), 604013 (GZTM), 604014 (GZTM); Pingshan, B.L. Guo 617 (IMD), Bio. Dep., Sichuan Univ. 110147 (SZ); Qionglai, Anon. 233 (SM); Tianquan, D.Y. Peng 47070 (CDBI), 47073 (CDBI); Xingwen, Sichuan Econ. Pl. Exped. Yi 1256 (KUN, PE), Xingwen Exped. 77-162 (SM); Xu’yong, B.L. Guo 602 (IMD), L.S. Chen s.n. (IMD), G.Y. Zhong 1988-29 (SM), M.F. Zhong & S.G. Tang 138 (SM), Xu’yong Exped. 86 (SM), Y.J. Zhang 401 (HIB); Ya’an, G.H. Tang 65-7 (SM), Y.J. Zhang 308 (HIB), Y.Y. Wang et al. 604008 (GZTM), Ya’an Exped. 78-34 (SM), 554 (SM); Yongjing, B.L. Guo 615 (IMD), Yongjing Exped. 78-8 (SM). Yunnan: Weixin, P. Huo 1076 (KUN); Yiliang, Z.Y. Wu 60 (KUN).














Epimedium acuminatum Franch.

Zhang, Yanjun, Dang, Haishan, Li, Shengyu, Li, Jianqiang & Wang, Ying 2015

Epimedium chlorandrum

Stearn 1997