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

24a. Diospyros kaki var. kaki

Young branchlets densely brown pubescent to glabrous, obscurely lenticellate. Petiole glabrous or glabrescent; leaf blade adaxially glabrous or glabrescent, abaxially ± pubescent. Calyx lobes ovate. Male corolla 6--9 mm. Fruiting calyx outside glabrescent to glabrous. Berries 3.5--8.5 cm in diam., ± glabrous at maturity.

Primary or secondary forests, in scrub on mountain slopes, or cultivated. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [widely cultivated outside of China, particularly Japan, naturalized in some areas].

Diospyros kaki is native to the Chang Jiang valley but now very widely cultivated, and it is often impossible to know if a given plant is native or escaped from cultivation. The species was described from material cultivated in Japan.

Propagation is mainly by grafting on Diospyros japonica, D. lotus, D. oleifera, or D. rhombifolia. There are many cultivars among which some of the famous ones are 'Damopenshi', 'Huojinshi' (cultivated in C China and N China), 'Gudangshi', 'Shuishi', and 'Niuzinshi' (cultivated in S China). The ripe fruit is prescribed as a stomachic. The persistent calyx (shidi) is used to treat hiccups. The juice extracted from unripe fruit is employed in hypertension and as a preservative of construction materials.


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