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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 14 | Cornaceae | Cornus

22a. Cornus hongkongensis subsp. hongkongensis

香港四照花(原亚种) xiang gang si zhao hua (yuan ya zhong)

Benthamia japonica Siebold & Zuccarini var. sinensis Bentham, Hooker’s J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 4: 165. 1852; Benthamia hongkongensis (Hemsley) Nakai; Benthamidia hongkongensis (Hemsley) H. Hara; B. sinensis (Nakai) T. Yamazaki; Cynoxylon hongkongense (Hemsley) Nakai; Dendrobenthamia hongkongensis (Hemsley) Hutchinson; D. latibracteata W. P. Fang & Y. T. Hsieh; D. xanthocarpa C. Y. Wu.

Trees or shrubs, evergreen, 5–15(–25) m tall. Bark deep gray or deep brown; old branches gray or brown, glabrous, with conspicuous lenticels. Leaf blade elliptic to narrowly elliptic, rarely obovate-elliptic, 6–13 × 2.8–6.3 cm, leathery, pubescent on both surfaces when young with white and brown soft appressed trichomes, gradually glabrous and with scattered brown spots (hair scars) in age, veins 2 or 3(or 4). Inflorescences ca. 1 cm in diam., 50–70-flowered; bracts white, broadly elliptic to broadly elliptic-obovate, 2.8–4.1 × 1.7–3.5 cm, both surfaces nearly glabrous; peduncle 3.5–10 cm, pubescent with brown appressed trichomes. Flowers fragrant. Calyx tubular, 0.7–0.9 mm, with brown trichomes at base, pubescent. Petals light yellow, oblong-elliptic, 2.2–2.4 × 1–1.2 mm. Filaments 1.9–2.1 mm, slightly pubescent; anthers dark brown, ellipsoid. Style ca. 1 mm, pubescent with white trichomes. Compound fruit yellow or red at maturity, ca. 2.5 cm in diam., with thin white trichomes, peduncle 3.5–10 cm. Fl. May–Jun, fr. Nov–Dec.

Evergreen broad-leaved forests; 600–1800 m. Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan [Laos, Vietnam].

The wood is used for construction; the fruit is edible and used for making wine.

Dendrobenthamia xanthocarpa was based on a specimen from Yunnan with yellow infructescences. Other features are indistinguishable from Cornus hongkongensis. Red-fruited and yellow-fruited plants of C. hongkongensis grow side-by-side in Huping, Guangxi, with the red-fruited plants in more open areas and the yellow-fruited ones in shaded places. Dendrobenthamia xanthocarpa is likely another example of such variation in C. hongkongensis in Yunnan. The yellow-fruited plants are probably rare because the species often grows in open places in forests or at forest margins where there is abundant light.


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