Aralia montana

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Aralia montana


Shrub or small tree, frequently unbranched, with prickly stems, occasionally attaining a height of 12 m. Leaves to 1 m or more long, forming large crowns at the ends of the branches, bipinnate, with a pair of simple or occasionally pinnate leaflets at each division of the rachis, usually with some prickles, especially on the petiole, or unarmed, the rachis constricted at the joints; Inflorescence a large terminal panicle, peduncle and branches tomentose, prickles, if any, confined to the peduncle and main rachis, small usually persistent linear or ovate bracts c. 1.5 cm long subtending the branches and also spaced along the peduncle; Flowers hermaphrodite; Fruit spheroidal, up to c. 4 by 4 mm, strongly 5-ribbed when dry, surmounted by the reflexed styles.


Asia-Tropical: Borneo present (Sabah present, Sarawak present); Jawa (Jawa present); Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia present); Sulawesi (Sulawesi present); Sumatera (Sumatera present), Lesser Sunda Is present, Sumba present
Malesia: Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Borneo (Sarawak, Sabah), Celebes, Lesser Sunda Is. (Sumba).


This species is considered to include all West Malesian examples with pedicelled flowers and pubescent leaves. This broad concept is contrary to former treatments which have recognized several species (A. thomsonii, A. armata). The alliance with A. chinensis L. and A. decaisneana Hance is also very close. The application of names to this and other Javanese species has been very confused. The position is ably discussed by Valeton (in K. & V., Bijdr.) and by van Steenis (l.c.). In most specimens the lower leaf surface and the pedicels are densely tomentose, but there are specimens in which the leaf is only sparsely hairy and the pedicels may be glabrous. A. armata appears to be within the range of variation of the complex although this plant is very spiny, its leaves and inflorescences always being provided with numerous short spines. The leaflets also are thinner and smoother and, like the pedicels, are less densely pubescent (see Ngoc-Sanh Bui, Adan- sonia 9, 1969, 461). However, A. armata (if distinct) has been collected only very rarely in the Malay Peninsula and only in the extreme north. The most aberrant specimens are those with glabrous umbellules which are mostly from Sumatra but also from Java: they may indicate that A. foliolosa Seem. should also be included in this complex.


Hui-Lin Li 1942 – In: Sargentia: 106
Clarke 1879 – In: Fl. Br. Ind.: 723
K. & V. 1900 – In: Bijdr.: 51
King 1898 – In: J. As. Soc. Beng.: 44
Ridl. 1922 – In: Fl. Mal. Pen.: 873
Hui-Lin Li 1942 – In: Sargentia: 112
Bakh.f. 1950 – In: Blumea: 367
Miq. 1856 – In: Fl. Ind. Bat.: 750
ex de Vriese 1857: Pl. Ind. Bat. Or.: 84
Steen. 1948 – In: Bull. Bot. Gard. Btzg: 391
Bl. 1863 – In: Ann. Mus. Bot. Lugd.-Bat.: 9
Clarke 1879 – In: Fl. Br. Ind.: 723
Boerl. 1890 – In: Handl.: 646
King 1898 – In: J. As. Soc. Beng.: 44
ex G. Don 1834 – In: Gen. Syst.: 386
Philipson 1977 – In: Gard. Bull. Sing.: 100
Ridl. 1922 – In: Fl. Mal. Pen.: 873
Bakh.f. & Ooststr. 1948 – In: Back., Bekn. Fl. Java, (em. ed.), 7: fam. 159, p. 17
Back. & Bakh.f. 1965 – In: Fl. Java: 170
Bl. 1916 – In: Atlas: f. 672
Koord. 1912 – In: Exk. Fl. Java: 718