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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Menispermaceae | Cocculus

Cocculus laurifolius DC.


Description from Flora of China

Cinnamomum esquirolii H. Léveillé.

Erect shrubs or small trees, rarely climbing, usually 1-5(-8) m. Branches striate; branchlets slightly angular, glabrous. Petiole usually less than 1 cm, glabrous; leaf blade elliptic, ovate, or long elliptic to lanceolate-elliptic, rarely oblanceolate, 4-15 × 1.5-5 cm, thinly leathery, both surfaces glabrous and glossy, base cuneate or acute, apex acute and attenuate, palmately 3-veined, basal pair of veins well-defined beyond middle of leaf blade, reticulate veins fine, raised on both surfaces. Inflorescences axillary, cymose or thyrsoid, 1-5 cm, glabrous. Male flowers: sepals 6, outer whorl subelliptic, 0.8-1 mm, inner whorl ovate-elliptic to broadly elliptic-rotund, ca. 1.3 mm; petals 6, obcordate, 0.2-0.4 mm, base not reflexed inward, apex 2-lobed; stamens 6, ca. 1 mm. Female flowers: sepals and petals as in male flower; staminodes 6, minute; carpels 3, glabrous. Drupes black, rotund, slightly flattened, 6-7 mm; endocarp bony, abaxially ornamented with branched ridges. Fl. spring to summer, fr. autumn.

Cocculus laurifolius is frost resistant and grown as a slow-growing ornamental tree in the S United States.

An alkaloid in the bark has a muscle-relaxing effect, similar to that of curare. The plant has also been used as a diuretic and as a vermifuge.

Shrublands, open forests. S Guizhou, NW Hunan, Taiwan, Xizang (Gyirong) [India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand].


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