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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 598. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
Contributor Text: I.C. Hedge & A. Paton
General/Distribution: A ± cosmopolitan genus of c. 350 currently recognized species (probably an inflated total). Clearly isolated from all other Labiate genera by the combination of the entire 2-lipped calyx closed in fruit, the form of the corolla, the unilocular anterior anthers, the peg-like gynophore and the bent embryo with the radicle adpressed to the cotyledons.
Comment/Acknowledgements: Two major taxonomic groups can be recognized** on inflorescence

[* arched or vaulted, shaped like a testudo or shell of a tortoise

** one of us (A.P.) has recently published a global account of the infra-generic categories of the genus (Kew Bull. 45: 399-450.1990)].


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Suffruticose shrubby or herbaceous perennials, with an indumentum of simple eglandular and glandular hairs, varied in habit: caespitose, chasmo-phytic, shrubby, scrambling, prostrate to erect herbs. Not aromatic. Leaves undivided, linear to broadly ovate, entire to serrate, at least lower petiolate. Inflorescence condensed or lax, spike-like or racemose; flowers solitary in axils of upper leaves, bract-like leaves or small flat bracts, or subtended by large thin-textured cucullate bracts, secund or borne in four-sided inflorescences. Pedicels terete or flattened. Calyx bilabiate with entire broad, rounded lips; upper lip folded midway along its length producing a somewhat erect sail-like structure called a scutellum which is sometimes membranous- inflated or is absent; fruiting calyx dorso-ventrally compressed, somewhat enlarged, closed at mouth, upper lip usually deciduous, lower persisting; if scutellum absent upper lip of testudinate* shape. Corolla bilabiate, showy, of various colours or combinations of colours, white, yellow, pink, purple or violet, ± sigmoid, erect or spreading; tube long, clearly exserted beyond calyx, often slender somewhat wider above, exannulate within; lips short, upper plicate; lower lip broad large, glabrous, lateral lobes often attached to upper lip. Stamens 4, included under upper lip of corolla, didynamous, anterior longer than posterior; thecae bearded or ciliate, anterior pair unilocular with an aborted theca, posterior bilocular with converging thecae. Style with 2 unequal branches. Nutlets ovoid, tuberculate, borne on a peg-like gynophore, papillose or smooth, glabrous or with a prominent indumentum of spreading or adpressed hairs.

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1.Leaves linear, entire - margined, revolute, with clusters of younger leaves in axils
Scutellaria linearis
1.Leaves oblong - lanceolate, ovate to orbicular, entire to serrate, without younger leaves in leaf axils
2.Inflorescence elongated; flowers secund, in arils of upper leaves, leaf-like bracts or small flat bracts; nutlets glabrous or with spreading or adpressed hairs
3.Stems scrambling, up to 1.5 m long; flowers mostly in lateral inflorescences arising from leaf-awls [Kashmir & Hazara only]
4.Stems with retrorse hairs, acutely quadrangular; leaves with few strigillose broad-based hairs; corolla 20 mm or more; nutlets tuberculate, pale brown, with a prominent median band
Scutellaria scandens
4.Stems with antrorse hairs, quadrangular; leaves densely hairy, corolla less than 20 mm; nutlets smooth, grey-black
Scutellaria repens
3.Stems not scrambling, less than 0.75 m; flowers mostly in terminal inflorescences [throughout our are]
5.Flowers in axils of upper oblong-lanceolate leaves; nutlets prominently tuberculate, orange-brown plant of wet places
Scutellaria galericulata
5.Flowers in axils of small bracts or leaflike bracts; nutlets minutely tuberculate, black; plants of dry or rocky places
6.Calyx with a scutellum at anthesis; herb with white or cream flowers
Scutellaria grossa
6.Calyx without a scutellum at anthesis; chasmophytes with violet-blue flowers
7.Stems with patent or crisped, usually antrorse eglandular hairs [Quetta and Sibi]
Scutellaria petiolata
7.Stems with a sparse, pruinose eglandular indumentum [Chitral and Dir]
Scutellaria nuristanica
2.Inflorescence four-sided, elongated or condensed; flowers subtended by large cucullate bracts; nutlets with adpressed hairs
8.Lowermost leaves brown, scale-like, orbicular, adpressed to stem; upper leaves ovate-elliptic entire; chasmophyte
Scutellaria stocksii
8.Leaves all herbaceous, elliptic to ovate, crenulate to serrate; not chasmophytes
9.Upper lip of calyx with a 6-8 mm high membranous-inflated scutellum in fruit; high alpine scree plant
Scutellaria heydei
9.Upper lip of fruiting calyx with a c. 3 mm high scutellum, not membranous-inflated
10.Leaf margins regularly crenulate; abaxial leaf surfaces with prominent raised venation and indumentum mainly restricted to veins
Scutellaria chamaedrifolia
10.Leaf margins irregularly crenulate to serrate; abaxial leaf surface not with prominent raised venation
11.Inflorescence ± lax; bracts not or scarecely overlapping each other, less than 7 mm long; corolla usually yellowish with a purplish lower lip
12.Plant with ± stiffly erect branches
Scutellaria multicaulis
12.Plant with ± spreading or prostrate branches
Scutellaria edelbergii
11.Inflorescence condensed; bracts mostly imbricate longer than 7 mm; corolla usually pale yellow with a violet or purple upper lip
13.Stems and leaves densely covered with long spreading hairs; abaxial leaf surface tomentose [Kurram valley and Waziristan]
Scutellaria kotkaiensis
13.Stem indumentum of crisped, antrorse or retrorse hairs, usually spreading above; leaf abaxial surface never tomentose
14.Upper stem leaves ovate-elliptic, sessile, crenulate to crenate, obtuse at apex; leaf indumentum sparse, mainly on veins of veins of abaxial surface
Scutellaria paulsenii
14.Upper stem leaves narrow ovate to triangular-ovate, crenate to serrate, acute; leaf indumentum of short dense hairs, abaxially not confined to veins
15.Leaves ovate or triangular, truncate to cuneate at base [Kashmir, Gilgit, Swat and Hazara]
Scutellaria prostrata
15.Leaves narrow ovate, cuneate at base [Quetta and Waziristan]
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