Aspidistra elegans Aver. & Tillich – Nordic J. Bot. 34(2): 143. (2016).
L.Averyanov LA–VN 432a (LE). First collected in central Laos, Vientiane province, Vang Vieng district, Phol Xai village, about 8 km to the west of Vang Vieng town, Phar Poon Mt, around point 18°56′11.5′′N, 102°20′05.0′′E, dry broad-leaved primary and secondary evergreen forest on very steep rocky slopes and on vertical cliffs of remnant highly eroded rocky limestone mountains composed by solid crystalline limestone at elevation 300–900 m a.s.l., 15 Mar 2013, N. T. Hiep, L. Averyanov, N. S. Khang, P. V. The, S. Lorphengsy LA-VN 432. The type specimen was prepared from cultivated plants on 6 May 2015.
Laos: Vientiane province (Vang Vieng district).
Flowers in cultivation in April–May.
Terrestrial perennial herb with short, plagiotropic, epigeous, few-branching rhizome. Rhizome thick, stout, (0.5)1.0–2.5(3.5) cm long, (4)5–6(7) mm in diameter, densely covered by imbricate, partially disintegrated, dull, light brownish, papyraceous bracts (1.0)2.0–4.5(6.0) cm long, (4)5–6(8) mm wide. Shoots densely clustering, ascending to erect, stout, short, simple, 0.5–1.5(2.0) cm tall, (6)8–10(12) mm in diameter, densely nodal, with few thick, underground roots at the base. Cataphylls convolute, tubular, narrowly triangular to lanceolate (being flattened), light greenish to dull violet, herbaceous, later scarious, papyraceous, pale yellowish, longitudinally nerved, recurved, (1)2–6(8) cm long, (4)5–10(12) mm wide. Leaves on individual shoots (2)3–4(5), petiolate. Petiole stiff, erect, almost straight, (5)8–12(14) cm long. Leaf blade almost horizontal, oblique ovate to elliptic, cordate at base and shortly attenuate at apex, (10)12– 18(22) cm long, (5)6–8(9) cm wide, irregularly broadly undulate along margin, dark uniformly green on both sides, with (5)7–9 prominent veins radiating from the leaf base. Flowers solitary, arising from basal part of shoot, pedunculate, odorless, widely opening, (1.6)1.8–2.0(2.2) cm across. Peduncle arising horizontally, ascending to suberect, dirty dull purple–brownish, terete, (0.8)1.0–3.5(4.0) cm long, (1.4)1.6–2.0(2.2) mm in diameter, with (3)4–6(7) sterile distant bracts; bracts broadly triangular ovate, concave, thin, white, speckled and veined with purple–brownish, scarious, papyraceous, blunt to obtuse, (5)6–10(12) mm long, (3)4–6(8) mm wide (being flattened). Perigone tube campanulate to cupulate, or almost hemispheric, pure white on both surfaces, fleshy, smooth and glossy, (7)8–10(11) mm long and wide, with 6 free lobes at apex. Perigone lobes subequal, more or less flat and smooth, glossy, adaxially dull dark violet, with black–violet venation, abaxially white to dull dirty greenish with dirty violet tint near margins, 3-veined, grooved along veins, ovate to almost semi-circular, well recurved, (5.5)6.0–7.0(7.5) mm long and wide, rounded at apex; sepals (outer perigone lobes) slightly wider and shallowly auriculate at the base. Stamens 6, almost sessile, inserted on tube wall near the middle or slightly higher; anthers bean-shaped, (1.8)2.0(2.2) mm long, (1.4)1.5–1.6(1.8) mm wide; pollen sacs introrse; pollen light dull yellow. Pistil pure white, mushroom-shaped; style fleshy, cylindrical, (5.5)6.0–7.0(8.0) mm tall, (1.6)1.8–2.0(2.2) mm in diameter at the base, slightly broadening to the base and apex; stigma umbrella-like, 5.5–6.5 mm in diameter, entire, almost circular, convex, with shallow broad irregular lobes, fleshy, its upper surface irregularly bossed. Ovary inconspicuous, very indistinct, white. Fruits dirty green, rugose, globular, 1.0–1.5 cm in diameter.
Averyanov L.V. & Tillich H.J. (2016) Nordic J. Bot. 34(2): 111–143.