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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 14 | Cornaceae | Cornus

18. Cornus officinalis Siebold & Zuccarini, Fl. Jap. 1: 100. 1835.

山茱萸 shan zhu yu

Macrocarpium officinale (Siebold & Zuccarini) Nakai.

Trees or shrubs, 4–10 m tall; axis sympodial. Bark grayish brown; winter leaf buds terminal or axillary, solitary or associated with flower buds; flower buds terminal, pubescent with yellowish brown short trichomes. Leaf blade abaxially light green, ovate-lanceolate or ovate-elliptic, 5.5–10 × 2.5–4.5 cm, abaxially sparsely pubescent with short appressed trichomes, axils of lateral veins with dense light brown long soft trichomes, veins 6 or 7. Umbellate inflorescences terminal; bracts ovate, 5–8 mm, papery to leathery, pubescent; peduncle ca. 2 mm, thick, pubescent. Pedicels 0.5–1 cm, slender, densely pubescent with soft trichomes. Calyx teeth broadly triangular, ca. 0.6 mm. Petals reflexed, ligulate-lanceolate, 2.5–3.3 × 1–1.3 mm. Stamens ca. 1.8 mm; anthers ellipsoid. Ovary obovoid, ca. 1 mm, densely pubescent; style ca. 1.5 mm. Fruit red or purplish red, narrowly ellipsoid, 1.2–1.8 × 0.5–0.7 cm; stones narrowly ellipsoid, ca. 1.2 cm, with a few unequal ribs. Fl. Mar–Apr, fr. Sep–Oct.

Forests, forest margins, mountain slopes; 400–1500(–2100) m. Anhui, Gansu, Henan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Zhejiang [Japan, Korea].

The fruit, called “zhu yu” or “zao pi” in Chinese medicine, is prescribed as an astringent tonic for impotence, spermatorrhea, lumbago, vertigo, and night sweats.


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