Aralia cordata Thunb.
- genus Aralia L.
shi yong tu dang gui
Perennial herb 1.5-2 m tall, andromonoecious. Lower part of stem with stiff hairs. Rhizomes stout and horizontal. Leaves 60-100 cm long and wide, tripinnately to bipinnately ternate, stipulate; stipules 2-2.3 cm long, 0.7-1 cm wide, narrowly triangular, often becoming leaf-like and enlarged, especially for those on the lower part of the stem; upper leaves pinnate to bipinnate or trifoliolate; petioles 12-22 cm long, pubescent with soft and scabrous hairs; leaflets 5.5-22 cm long, 4-10.5 cm wide, papery, basal leaflets ovate, other leaflets ovate to narrowly so, acuminate to acute at apex, cordate, subcordate to rounded at base, often oblique on lateral leaflets, serrate to serrulate at margin; lateral veins 8-10 on each side, conspicuous on both surfaces, sparsely scabrous on adaxial surface, pilose along veins and veinlets on abaxial surface, petiolules 0-2 cm long, pilose. Inflorescence 30-65 cm long, a terminal panicle with the lower 2-5 primary branches subtended by leaves rather than bracts, pilose, consisting of 20-50 primary branches, mostly racemosely or sometimes panicunately arranged on a main axis, often 2-8 forming a circle on the upper half of the main inflorescence axis, each primary branch 3-22 cm long, consisting of 1-10 umbels; terminal umbels mostly 35-95-flowered, pedicels 9-14 mm long, pubescent, tip of pedicels enlarged and with a cluster of scabrous hairs; lateral umbels 18-35-flowered, pedicels 7-9 mm long; bracts of primary branches 4-9 mm long, 0.6-0.8 mm wide, linear, pilose; bracteoles 1.6-2 mm long, 0.1-0.2 mm wide, linear, pilose. Sepals 0.3-0.4 mm long, 0.2-0.3 mm wide, narrowly triangular. Petals 1.5-1.8 mm long, 0.9-1 mm wide, ovate, with a conspicuous vascular bundle in the middle. Stamens 5, 2.2-2.3 mm long, filaments 1.7-2 mm long, anthers 0.7-0.8 mm long, 0.4-0.5 mm wide, ovate. Ovary 5-locular, styles 0.6-0.8 mm long at anthesis, base of ovary slightly pilose with a few scattered hairs, the top part of the ovary conspicuously exposed and appearing like a stylopodium. Fruits 3.2-3.5 mm long and wide, globose, persistent styles 5-divided, connate at the base.
There are some reports for the chromosomal data of Aralia cordata. The counts of number are 2n = 18, 24, 48, 50 (Lee, 1970, 1972; Nishikawa, 1995; Probatova and Sokolovskaya, 1986; Peng et al., 1986; Sun et al., 1988). The base chromosome number of Aralia has been suggested to be x = 12 (Wen, 2002, 2004; Yi et al., 2004).
Ecology and Distribution
Flowering from July to September; fruiting in September and October.
Aralia cordata is occurring in Anhui (Huang Shan), Fujian (Chong’an), Guangxi (Longsheng, Ziyuan), Hubei (Enshi, Xuan’en), Jiangxi, Taiwan, Zhejiang of China and Japan.
Phylogenetic analyses employed seven molecular markers: the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of nuclear ribosomal DNA and six chloroplast markers including the ndhF gene, the rps16 intron, the rpl16 intron, the trnL-F spacer, the psbA_trnH spacer, and the atpB-rbcL spacer. The analyses suggest a close relationship between Aralia cordata and A. continentalis.
Based on the morphological variation, Wen (1993) provided a generic delimitation of Aralia, in which Aralia cordata belong to section Aralia.
Growing in shaded places in forests, grasslands on slopes; 1300-1600 m.
young shoots as vegetables.
- Aralia edulis Siebold & Zucc. (synonym)
- Aralia nutans Franch. & Sav. (synonym)