Key to the species of Aralia reported in India (as per A New Species of Aralia [Araliaceae, Sect.: Pentapanax (Seem.) J. Wen] from Jammu & Kashmir, North-west Himalaya, India- Prashant Keshav Pusalkar- September 2009 Taiwania 54(3):
(Key as proposed by Wen et al. (l.c.), with required modifications to incorporate the new species; distribution clockwise)
1. Leaves ternate-pinnate compound ……… 2
1. Leaves ternate, trifoliate or 1–4-pinnately compound … 3
2. Stem green to greenish-purple; leaflets narrowly ovate to less commonly ovate, (4–)8–21 cm long, 3–8.5 cm wide, acute to acuminate at apex, nearly glabrescent to slightly scabrous on adaxial surface, glabrescent to slightly puberulent on abaxial surface ….. A. cachemirica
[INDIA (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand), PAKISTAN, NEPAL].
2. Stem purple to dark purple; leaflets ovate, or occasionally narrowly so to elliptic, 3.5–11.5 cm long, 2.3–5.5 cm wide, sharply acuminate at
apex, adaxial surface pilose along veins to rarely glabrescent, abaxial surface pilose, or at least so along the veins and veinlets …… A. tibetana [INDIA (Sikkim), NEPAL, CHINA (Tibet), BHUTAN]
3. Stems unarmed; often epiphytes; leaves pinnately compound with 3–7 leaflets …… 4
3. Stems prickly; non epiphytes; leaves 2–4-pinnately compound …..… 9
4. Leaflets glaucous beneath, entire at margins, relatively small (2.5–5.5 cm long, 1.5–2.5 cm wide) …… A. parasitica [INDIA (Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland), CHINA, NEPAL, THAILAND].
4. Leaflets green beneath, toothed at margins, relatively large (7.5–15.5 x 4–9 cm) ….. 5
5. Flowers in racemes; inflorescence whitish green; leaflets bluntly serrate at margins …… 6
5. Flowers in umbels; inflorescence purplish-green; leaflets serrulate to ciliate at margins …… 7
6. Leaves with 3–5 leaflets; petiolules of lateral leaflets 1.5–3 cm long; those of lowermost leaflets of the pinnae conspicuously articulated
below the lamina; inflorescence glabrous; styles mostly united …. A . subcordata [INDIA (Meghalaya), CHINA].
6. Leaves with 5–7 leaflets; petiolules of lateral leaflets 0–1.3 cm long; those of lowermost leaflet of the pinna slightly articulated; inflorescence more or less pilose; styles mostly free ……. A. gigantea [INDIA (West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam,
Nagaland), NEPAL, CHINA, BHUTAN].
7. Leaves with usually 5 leaflets, sometimes 3–7; inflorescence without a main axis, primary inflorescence branches with terminal umbel and
1–6 umbels clustered umbellately below the terminal umbel ……. A. leschenaultii [INDIA (Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu), NEPAL, BHUTAN, CHINA, BANGLADESH, THAILAND, VIETNAM, SRI LANKA].
7. Leaves 3-foliolate; inflorescence with a main axis, umbels racemosely or corymbosely arranged on primary inflorescence branches …… 8
8. Herbaceous climber; stems hollow; leaflet apex acute or sub acute, margins serrulate, serrate to biserrate; inflorescence axis and pedicels
moderately pilose; umbels corymbosely arranged on panicle branches; fruits with stylopodium-like crown …… A. devendrae [INDIA (Jammu & Kashmir)].
8. Shrub, epiphytic or climbing; stems solid; leaflet apex acuminate, margins sharply ciliate; inflorescence axis and pedicels glabrous; umbels racemosely arranged on panicle branches; fruits without stylopodium-like crown …… A. kingdon-wardii [INDIA (West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam), CHINA, BHUTAN, MYANMAR].
9. Leaflets glabrous …..… 10
9. Leaflets more or less pubescent ….… 11
10. Leaves 3–4-pinnately compound; leaflet serrulate at margins, with more or less rounded teeth; fruits small, 3–3.5 mm in diameter ……. A. foliolosa [INDIA (West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram), CHINA, MYANMAR, BANGLADESH, THAILAND, VIETNAM] .
10. Leaves 2- or rarely 3-pinnately compound; leaflets biserrate and ciliate at margins; fruits large, 6–6.5 mm long, 5–5.5 mm wide ..…… A. malabarica [INDIA (Kerala, Tamil Nadu)].
11. Leaflets obovate to elliptic, pubescent with appressed hairs; bracts and bracteoles persistent; fruits small, 3.5–5 mm in diameter…… A. thomsonii [INDIA (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya), CHINA, MYANMAR, MALAYSIA, THAILAND, VIETNAM].
11. Leaflets lanceolate to narrowly ovate, glabrescent to pilose; bracts and bracteoles caduceus; fruits large, 5–6 mm in diameter …….. A. armata [INDIA (Orissa, West Bengal, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland),CHINA, MYANMAR, THAILAND].
Aralia page (Araliaceae) with images of species in efloraofindia : 2 posts by 1 author.
If you find any mis-identification, pl. let us know.
If anybody can send images of other species of this genera (for incorporation in the website), it will be really nice. Also, if anybody is interested to take up the activity of inserting images on efloraofindia pages from efloraofindia posts, pl. let us know.