, rarely annual
usually short, woody. Stem alternate or dichotomously branched, green or glaucous, base
with or without fibrous
. Leaves entire, petioles
membranous, herbaceous or coriaceous
, usually with parallel venation
, base usually tapering into petiole. Cauline leaves often sessile, clasping
or perfoliate. Inflorescence loose
, umbels compound
; bracts several, conspicuous
, often similar to uppermost leaves; rays few to many; bracteoles several, conspicuous. Calyx teeth obsolete
. Petals yellow, greenish-yellow, tinged purple or purple, oblong
, apex narrowly inflexed
conic, low-conic or discoid
; styles short, often reflexed
. Fruit oblong to ovoid-oblong or ellipsoid
, slightly laterally compressed
, mericarps subpentagonal (rarely rounded
) in cross
; vittae 1-3(-6) in each furrow, 2-6(-8) on commissure
, sometimes obscure. Seed face
. Carpophore 2-cleft to base.
About 180 species: widespread in the N temperate zone, one species (B. mundtii Chamisso & Schlechtendal) in S Africa; introduced in Australasia; 42 species (22 endemic) in China.
This distinctive genus is easily recognized by the simple leaves and conspicuous bracts and bracteoles. Species within Bupleurum are, however, notoriously difficult to identify on account of wide morphological variation within a species, often spread across wide geographic distributions. Many Bupleurum species are difficult to characterize, as is evident by complex classifications where all possible taxonomic ranks have been used. Several taxa are recorded only from a few collections , and it is likely that future work will reduce the number of species. The roots of several species of Bupleurum are famous for their use as the traditional Chinese medicine "chai hu" for treatment of coughs, fevers, and influenza. Almost all of the species are recorded in the literature as regional substitutes for "chai hu" or for other local medicinal purposes. However, caution should be applied as a very few species are toxic (e.g. , B. longiradiatum) and can result in toxic strike if misused as such substitutes.
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 736 meters (0 to 2,415 feet).
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- (Auct.) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Brongniart, 1843
- Subclass: Asteridae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Magnoliopsida () - Brongniart, 1843 - Dicotyledons
- Infraphylum: Angiospermae () - Auct.
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina () - (Auct.) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Publishing author : L. Publication : Sp. Pl. 1: 238 1753 [1 May 1753]
Members of the genus Bupleurum
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 9 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
B. americanum (American Thoroughwax) · B. chinense (Chai Hu) · B. fruticosum (Shrubby Hares Ear) · B. griffithii 'Decor' (Thoroughwax) · B. lancifolium (Lance-Leaf Thorowax) · B. longifolium (Thoroughwax) · B. odontites (Narrow-Leaf Thorowax) · B. rotundifolium (Hare's Ear) · B. rotundifolium 'Green Gold' (Hares Ear)
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 12, 2007:
- GBIF-Spain, Departamento de Biolog. Veg. II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense, Madrid: MAF
- UK National Biodiversity Network, Botanical Society of the British Isles - Vascular Plants Database
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 5944566
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 2927116
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:839434-1
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 839434-1
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 644397
- Sheh Meng-lan, Mark F. Watson "Bupleurum". in Flora of China Vol. 14 Page 60. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- Mean = 70.110 meters (230.020 feet), Standard Deviation = 86.660 based on 1,765 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]