Kadsura

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Kadsura

Description

Woody lianes, monoecious. Leaves alternate, exstipulate; lamina papyraceous to coriaceous, elliptic to ovate, apex acute or acuminate, base cuneate (especially when young), obtuse, truncate or subcordate, margins denticulate to entire, venation pinnate, brochido- dromous; petioles with groove on adaxial surface. Flowers unisexual, in axils of leaves or fugaceous bracts, generally solitary, occasionally with secondary flower growing in axil of prophyll, or in clusters of 2-4 growing from glomerules, occasionally cauliflorous. Fruit a subglobose aggregate of berries attached to ellipsoid or clavate receptacle; berries subglobose to obovoid or elongate-obovoid, ripening red or yellow; peduncle often enlarged in fruit. Seeds 1-5, smooth, hilum lateral or apical.

Distribution

from Sumatra and peninsular Malaysia extending to the Philippines and east as far as Ceram, although absent from the Lesser Sunda Islands with the exception of Bali: present from southern Japan in the north-east to Sulawesi and Java in the south-east, and eastern India and Sri Lanka in the west: present
There are about 22 species in the genus, with a southern Chinese and Indo-Chinese centre of distribution, extending from from southern Japan in the north-east to Sulawesi and Java in the south-east, and eastern India and Sri Lanka in the west. See A.C. Smith, Sargentia 7 (1947) 1-224. In Malesia 9 species, from Sumatra and peninsular Malaysia extending to the Philippines and east as far as Ceram, although absent from the Lesser Sunda Islands with the exception of Bali.

Morphology

The female flowers of Kadsura are characterised by receptacles that are obovoid, subclavate or ellipsoid (only slightly longer than wide) which do not become greatly elongated in the fruit, and by carpels with 'pseudostyles' that are either subulate or else expanded to form a subpeltate 'pseudostigma'. Although the difference in stigmatic crest structure is generally species specific, K. lanceolata King is highly variable. The great variation evident in the structure of the androecium was used by Smith (1947) as the basis of his sectional classification of the genus (discussed below). The most primitive androecial type in the genus consists of numerous essentially free stamens that are only fused by the base of the filaments. According to Smith (1947), three distinct evolutionary trends are evident: 1) development of several subulate appendages on the distal apex of the receptacle; 2) aggregation of the stamens to form a subglobose head in which the individual stamens bear their thecae dorso-laterally, so that the thecae of adjacent stamens are not in contact; and 3) a similar aggregation to the above, but with the thecae borne laterally and consequently in contact with the thecae of adjacent stamens.
A. Smith, A.C. in Sargentia 7. 1947

Taxonomy

The most comprehensive taxonomic revision of the genus is by A.C. Smith (1947), who accepted 22 species. As with Schisandra, Smith recognised several sections in Kadsura on the basis of differing androecial structure: 1) sect. Cosbaea (Lem.) A.C. Sm., in which the stamens are aggregated into a conical structure, sometimes surmounted by numerous subulate appendages; 2) sect. Sarcocarpon (Blume) A.C. Sm., in which the androecium is subclavate, with essentially sessile anthers closely appressed in a subglobose or ellipsoid head, and connectives that are as broad as thick, so that the thecae of adjacent stamens are not contiguous; and 3) sect. Kadsura (as "Eukadsura"), which is essentially the same as sect. Sarcocarpon, except that the connectives are considerably broader than they are thick, so that the thecae of adjacent stamens are contiguous. Section Cosbaea is also distinct in having its outermost perianth parts considerably smaller than the largest parts. Smith (1947) hypothesised that the most primitive section is Cosbaea, and that the other two sections have been derived by processes of shortening of the filaments and enlargement of the connectives. Y.-W. Law (1996) raised the sections of Kadsura to the subgeneric level.

Two of the Malesian species belong to section Kadsura, viz. K heteroclita (Roxb.) Craib and K philippinensis Elmer; the remaining seven Malesian species all belong to section Sarcocarpon.
B. Law, Y.-W. in Fl. Reipubl. Pop. Sin. 30/1. 1966, C. Smith, A.C. in Sargentia 7. 1947

Cytology

Only two species of Kadsura, K. japonica (L.) Dunal and K longi- pedunculata Finet & Gagnep., have been examined cytologically. Both are reported to have 2n = 28 (Whitaker 1933; Okada 1971,1975; Chen et al. 1993; Wu & Huang 1995). The generic base number is therefore taken to be x = 14.
D. Chen, R.-Y., et al. in Chromosome Atlas of Chinese Principal Economic Plants 1. 1993, E. Okada, H. in J. Jap. Bot. 46. 1971, F. Okada, H. in J. Sci. Hiroshima Univ. B (Bot.) 15. 1975, G. Whitaker, T.W. in J. Arnold Arbor. 14. 1933, H. Wu, Z. & C. Huang in Guihaia 15. 1995

Uses

Kadsura is of little economic value, although K scandens (Blume) Blume is used for various medicinal purposes and produces edible fruits (discussed under the species, below).

Citation

Norona - in Verh. Batav. Gen. 1790: art. 5: 3
A.C.Sm. - in Sargentia. 1947: 156
Saunders, Gard. Bull. Sing.: (in press)
Ridl. - in Fl. Malay Penins. 1922: 20
Backer & Bakh.f. - in Fl. Java. 1964: 99