22. Cornus hongkongensis Hemsley, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 23: 345. 1888.
香港四照花 xiang gang si zhao hua
Trees or shrubs, evergreen, 3–15(–25) m tall. Bark gray, dark gray, or blackish brown, smooth; young branches green or purplish green, sparsely pubescent with brown appressed trichomes or rarely densely pubescent with brown trichomes or glabrous; old branches light gray, grayish green, or grayish brown, with lenticels or not. Winter flower buds globose to conical, exposed, subtended by four green bracts, bracts eventually expanded and petaloid; leaf buds subtending flower buds, with small triangular to lanceolate scales. Leaf blade elliptic, oblong-elliptic, or obovate-oblong, 6.2–13(–16) × 2.5–6.3(–7.5) cm, thinly to thickly leathery, abaxially light green or powder green, glabrous or sparsely pubescent with white or brown and white trichomes when young, often glabrous in age except sometimes pubescent in axils of veins, veins 3 or 4(or 5), base cuneate or broadly cuneate to rounded, apex shortly acuminate to caudate. Capitate cymes globose, 0.7–1.3(–2) cm in diam., 40–70-flowered; bracts yellowish or white, broadly elliptic, broadly ovate, or orbicular to obovate, 1.6–4 × 1.3–2(–4.2) cm, sparsely pubescent or glabrous. Calyx tube 0.7–1.3 mm, shallowly 4-lobed, rarely 5-lobed; lobes truncate to rounded. Petals elliptic, oblong-elliptic, ovate-elliptic, or ovate-lanceolate to ovate, 1.5–4.2 × 0.8–1.1 mm, sometimes slightly united at base. Style cylindrical, 0.5–1.5 mm, sparsely pubescent with white trichomes or glabrous. Compound fruit red or yellowish red at maturity, globose, 1.5–2.5 cm in diam., nearly glabrous or slightly pubescent with fine white trichomes; peduncle 4–8(–10) cm. Fl. Apr–Jun, fr. Oct–Dec.
Forests, valleys, slopes, streamsides, roadsides; 200–2500 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Laos, Vietnam].
Cornus hongkongensis is highly variable in vegetative morphology and was divided into several species on the basis of minor differences, such as pubescence and the shape and size of various parts. The variation overlaps, but is also more or less associated with geographic distribution. To recognize this pattern, Xiang (Bull. Bot. Res., Harbin 7(2): 33–52. 1987) recognized six subspecies within C. hongkongensis, which we follow here. This treatment needs to be reevaluated with further data from both the field and laboratory.