Resurrection of the Genus Heptapleurum for the Asian Clade of Species Previously Included in Schefflera (Araliaceae)
The polyphyly of the pantropical genus Schefflera J. R. Forst. & G. Forst. (Araliaceae) is now well established, and consequently the genus has had to be restricted to its type (S. digitata J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.) and seven closely related Pacific Island species. Taxonomic transfers of the members of four other, unrelated clades have mostly been completed, including those from Africa and Madagascar, the Neotropics, and Oceania. Here we treat the final and largest group, from Asia, reinstating the genus Heptapleurum Gaertn. for the 317 species that belong to the Asian clade of Schefflera. This synopsis provides 256 new combinations for 246 species and 10 varieties, along with one replacement name, and types are designated for five generic and infrageneric names. With the completion of these transfers, Heptapleurum is now the largest genus in Araliaceae.