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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 15 | Ebenaceae | Diospyros

1. Diospyros cathayensis Steward, J. Arnold Arbor. 35: 86. 1954.

乌柿 wu shi

Diospyros cathayensis var. foochowensis (Metcalf & L. Chen) S. Lee; D. foochowensis Metcalf & L. Chen; D. sinensis Hemsley (1889), not Blume ex Naudin (1880).

Trees to 10 m tall, evergreen or nearly so. Trunk to 80 cm d.b.h. Branchlets brown, slender, pubescent, glabrescent, usually tipped with slender inconspicuous spines. Petiole 2--4 mm, puberulous; leaf blade elliptic, 4--9(--11) X 1.5--3.6 cm, thinly leathery, abaxially paler and ± pubescent along veins, adaxially dark green and lustrous, base cuneate to attenuate, apex acute to slightly blunt, lateral veins 10--12 per side, reticulate veinlets slender and raised on both surfaces. Male flowers in cymes, rarely solitary; pedicel 6--11 mm, pubescent; calyx deeply divided, densely pubescent; lobes 4, triangular, 1.5--3 mm; corolla pale yellow, urn-shaped, 5--7 mm, both surfaces pubescent, lobes 4, ovate, ca. 1 mm, and reflexed; stamens 16, villose. Female flowers solitary; calyx lobes 4, ovate, ca. 1 cm, puberulous; corolla white, tube ca. 5 mm, lobes 4; staminodes 6; ovary villose. Fruiting pedicel 2.5--4(--6) cm, slender. Fruiting calyx divided to near base, subglabrous; lobes lanceolate, (1--)1.2--2(--2.5) X 0.5--0.9(--1.1) cm, ± leathery, apex obtuse, veins several, subparallel, and prominent. Berries yellow, globose to ovoid, 1.5--3 cm, sparsely hairy. Seeds 4 or more, segmentiform, to 1.5 cm. Fl. Apr-May, fr. Aug-Oct.

* Forests in ravines, sometimes cultivated; 600--1500 m. S Anhui, Fujian, Guangxi, Guizhou, W Hubei, Hunan, C and E Sichuan, NE Yunnan

Collections from Fuzhou in Fujian Province show great variability in leaf size and shape. One collection has been described as a distinct species, Diospyros foochowensis, but the variation seems too continuous to justify formal recognition of any one variant.

The raised reticulate veination of the leaves, long slender pedicels and conspicuously veined, spreading, and papery calyx lobes of Diospyros cathayensis, D. armata and D. rhombifolia, are rather similar to the leaves, pedicels and sepals of species such as Diospyros reticulinervis, D. caloneura and D. tutcheri later in this account. This perhaps suggests a relationship with those species rather than the species immediately following in the present sequence.


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