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

19. Diospyros japonica Siebold & Zuccarini, Abh. Math.-Phys. Cl. Königl. Bayer. Akad. Wiss. 4, 3: 136. 1846.

山柿 shan shi

Diospyros glaucifolia Metcalf; D. glaucifolia var. brevipes S. Lee; D. glaucifolia var. pubescens Ling.

Trees to 17 m tall, deciduous. Trunk to 50 cm d.b.h. Branchlets dark brown to blackish brown, glabrous. Winter buds ovate, 4--5 mm, glabrous. Petiole 1.2--2.5 cm; leaf blade elliptic to lanceolate, 7.5--17.5 X 3.5--7.5 cm, thinly leathery, glabrous or sparsely appressed pubescent, abaxially glaucous, base rounded to truncate, apex acuminate, lateral veins 7 or 8 per side, reticulate veinlets dense, dark, and not raised. Male flowers in cymes; pedicel ca. 1 mm; calyx lobes 4; corolla urn-shaped, lobes 4; stamens 16. Female flowers solitary or in clusters of 2 or 3; calyx lobes 4, sparsely pubescent; corolla yellowish, urn-shaped, ca. 7 mm, tube ca. 5 mm; style 4-parted; stigma emarginate. Fruiting pedicel 2--3 mm. Fruiting calyx 1.3--1.6 cm in diam., divided to below middle, ± spreading, outside sparsely pubescent; lobes 4, triangular-ovate, (4--)6--8 X ca. 6 mm, appressed to fruit, margin sometimes revolute. Berries orange-yellow, becoming red, globose to depressed globose, 1.5--2(--3) cm in diam., 8-locular, glaucous. Seeds oblong, strongly compressed, 9--12 X 4.5--6.5 X 2--3 mm. Fl. Apr-Jul, fr. Sep-Nov.

Slopes, mixed forests or by streams in ravines; 600--1300 m. Anhui, Fujian, NW Guangdong, NE Guangxi, NW Guizhou, SW Hunan. Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan?, Zhejiang [Japan].

The ripe fruit of some forms of Diospyros japonica is edible and has a good flavor, particularly those forms sometimes included within Diospyros glaucifolia var. brevipes. Diospyros japonica has been suggested as rootstock for D. kaki. Unripe fruit yields persimmon lacquer; the fruiting calyx is medicinal, and the wood is used for furniture, etc.

Japanese specimens correspond more closely with Diospyros glaucifolia var. brevipes but vary sufficiently to obscure the differences in petiole length and shape of the leaf blade used to separate this from D. glaucifolia var. glaucifolia. Diospyros glaucifolia var. pubescens was based on specimens from Fujian with densely appressed pubescence along veins on the abaxial surface of leaf blade, but the leaf indumentum of this species varies even among the syntypes: Ling 3137 is densely pubescent while Wang 1012 is only sparsely pubescent. These specimens are insufficiently different to be recognized as a distinct variety.


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