1. Osyris quadripartita Salzmann ex Decaisne, Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., sér. 2. 6: 65. 1836.
沙针 sha zhen
Osyris arborea Wallich ex A. Candolle; O. arborea var. rotundifolia P. C. Tam; O. arborea var. stipitata Lecomte [“tipitata”]; O. lanceolata Hochstetter & Steudel ex A. Candolle, nom. illeg. superfl.; O. wightiana Wallich ex Wight.
Plants 2-5 m tall. Branches slender, 3-angled when young. Leaf blade grayish green, 1.2-6 × 0.6-2 cm, leathery, sometimes rugose on both surfaces, with dense glands, base gradually narrowed or obtuse, apex acute to cuspidate or rounded. Male inflorescences 2-4(-13)-flowered; peduncle to 11 mm. Female inflorescences 1-3-flowered; bracts minute, caducous. Male flowers: pedicel 4-8 mm; perianth ca. 4 mm in diam., lobes 3, yellow or green, sometimes flushed brown, ca. 1.5 mm. Stamens 3, filaments very short, disk fleshy; sterile ovary very small, at center of disk. Female flowers usually solitary, sometimes to 4 in subumbel; pedicel to 25 mm, enlarged at apex; bracteoles 2, linear-spatulate, ca. as long as ovary, soon caducous, disk and stamens as in male but stamens sterile. Bisexual flowers similar to female but with fertile stamens; stigmas 3. Drupe orange to red when ripe, drying pale blackish, subglobose or pear-shaped, 4.5-10 mm in diam. Fl. Apr-Jun, fr. Oct.
Thickets; 600-2700 m. Guangxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; Africa, S Europe].
This is a very widespread and variable species with several widely used synonyms. Plants with stipitate fruits have been described as Osyris arborea var. stipitata, but there are collections with shorter stipes that link that form to the typical, sessile-fruited form.