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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 11 | Euphorbiaceae | Bridelia

4. Bridelia tomentosa Blume, Bijdr. 597. 1826.

土蜜树 tu mi shu

Bridelia tomentosa var. chinensis Müller Argoviensis.

Erect shrubs or treelets, usually 2-5(-12) m tall, monoecious or dioecious; branches slender and elongate, "whip-like," often overhanging, pubescent when young, glabrescent, older branches with some spines. Stipules ovate to linear-lanceolate, 2-7 mm, usually caducous, pubescent; petiole 3-5.5 mm, pubescent; leaf blade elliptic, lanceolate-elliptic, or obovate-elliptic, 3-9(-14) × 1.5-5(-6) cm, (thinly) papery, abaxially light greenish and usually pubescent, adaxially scabrous, base obtuse, rarely broadly cuneate or rounded, apex acute to obtuse; lateral veins 7-12(-15) pairs. Flowers axillary, yellow-green, up to 10(-20)-fascicled, sessile. Male flowers: sepals triangular, 0.8-1.2 × 0.5-1 mm; petals spatulate or obovate, entire or 3-5-toothed, ca. 1 × 0.8 mm; disk shallowly cup-shaped, 1-1.2 mm in diam.; staminal column ca. 0.7 mm; free filaments ca. 0.5 mm; rudimentary ovary conical. Female flowers usually 3-5-fascicled, subsessile; sepals triangular, 1-1.5 × 0.8-1.2 mm, glabrous to pubescent outside; petals as in male, shorter than sepals; disk pulvinate and urceolate, enclosing ovary for ca. 0.6 mm; ovary globose to ovoid, ca. 1 mm in diam.; styles 2, bipartite, lobes linear. Drupes subglobose, 4-7 × ca. 5 mm, 2-celled. Seeds semiovoid, 3-4 × 2-3 mm, brown-red, rugulate, adaxial surface compressed with longitudinal groove, abaxial surface slightly elevated with longitudinal stripes. Fl. and fr. almost throughout year.

Deciduous to evergreen primary or secondary forests or thickets; near sea level to 1000(-1500) m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan, Yunnan [Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, E India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam; N Australia].

Since indumentum density varies widely, no varieties should be recognized based on this character (see Forster, Austrobaileya 5: 416. 1999). Merrill identified Clutia monoica Loureiro as this species and published the combination Bridelia monoica (Loureiro) Merrill, but Loureiro’s plant is not this species. The name "Bridelia chinensis Müller Argoviensis" also belongs here but was never validly published.

The leaves are used as medicine for traumatic injury; the roots are used to treat epidemic influenza and neurasthenia. The bark yields up to 8% tannin.


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