Aspidistra sinensis Aver. & Tillich – Nordic J. Bot. 34(2): 146. (2016).
China: Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Baise City, Jingxi County, Tongling Grand Canyon (south Gate) near Sino-Vietnamese border (Cao Bang province, Trung Khanh district) around point 23°01′82N, 106°65′71E, secondary broad-leaved evergreen forest on rocky karstic limestone at elevation 800–1000 m a.s.l., 22 Jul 2012, E. Arnautova s.n., garden no. 12659. The type specimen was prepared from cultivated plants 15 Oct 2014, L. Averyanov, P. Efimov, garden no. 12659a (holotype: LE).
Flowers in in June–July and October in cultivation.
Terrestrial perennial herb with very short, epigeous, simple or few-branching, plagiotropic rhizome. Rhizome thick, stout, (0.5)1.0–1.5(2.0) cm long, (4)5–6(7) mm in diameter, densely covered by imbricate, partially disintegrated, dull, brown, papyraceous bracts (6)8–15(20) mm long, (2)3–4(5) mm wide. Leafy shoot at apex of rhizome, ascending to erect, stout, short, simple, 0.5–0.8(1.0) cm tall, (3)4–5(8) mm in diameter, densely nodal, with few thick, whitish, underground roots at the base. Cataphylls conduplicate, distichous, narrowly triangular (being flattened), dull violet, herbaceous, later papyraceous, light brown, longitudinally veined, straight to recurved, (0.6)0.8–1.4(2.0) cm long, (2)3–4(5) mm wide. Leaves on individual shoots (2)3–4(6), shortly petiolate. Petiole stiff, erect or oblique, almost straight, (2.0)2.5–3.5(4.0) cm long. Leaf blade leathery, almost horizontal, obliquely narrowly ovate to elliptic, rounded or subcordate at base and shortly attenuate at apex, (14)16–20(25) cm long, (5)6–10(12) cm wide, irregularly broadly undulate along margin, dark glossy green on both sides, with many small yellow spots and numerous indistinct veins radiating from the leaf base. Flowers solitary, arising from basal part of shoot, shortly pedunculate, odorless, about 1 cm across. Peduncle arising horizontally, white, heavily spotted with purple, (3.5)4.0–5.0(6.0) mm long, (1.6)1.8–2.0(2.2) mm in diameter, with 3–4(5) sterile imbricate bracts; bracts broadly triangular ovate, concave, thin, white, spotted and speckled with purple, scarious, papyraceous, blunt to obtuse, (4)5–10(12) mm long, (4)5–8(10) mm wide (being flattened). Perigone tube cupulate, outside white, spotted and speckled with purple, inside dark purple–brown, white at the base, fleshy, smooth and glossy, (6.0)6.5–8.0(9.0) mm long, (5.5)6.0–7.0(7.5) mm wide, with (6)7 free lobes at apex. Perigone lobes subequal, slightly concave, finely rough, glossy, dark purple–brown on both surfaces, narrowly ovate to ovate, straight and erect, cucullate, (4.5)5.5–7.0(7.5) mm long, (3.5)4.0–4.5(5.0) mm wide, rounded at apex; petals (inner perigone lobes) slightly wider and shallowly auriculate at the base. Stamens (6)7, almost sessile, inserted on tube wall just below the middle; anthers narrowly ovoid to oblong, (1.8)2.5–3.8(4.2) mm long, (1.0)1.2–1.5(1.6) mm wide; pollen sacs introrse; pollen light dull yellow. Pistil white in lower half, purple and obconoid in apical half; style fleshy, cylindrical, broadening to the apex, (6.5)7.0–9.0(9.5) mm tall, (2.2)2.5–3.0(3.2) mm in diameter; stigma shortly obconoid, truncate, 5.5–6.5 mm in diameter, circular in outline, shallowly irregularly lobed, fleshy, papillose, whitish, flushed with purple in center. Ovary inconspicuous, very indistinct, white. Fruits unknown.
Averyanov L.V. & Tillich H.J. (2016) – Nordic J. Bot. 34(2): 141–147.