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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Ebenaceae | Diospyros

Diospyros balfouriana Diels


Description from Flora of China

Shrubs or small trees, 1.5--8 m tall. Branchlets reddish brown to brown black, glaucous. Winter buds narrowly ovate, 5--6 mm. Petiole (0.5--)1--1.6 cm, pubescent; leaf-blade elliptic, (2.5--)6.5--12.5 X (1--)2.5--3.6 cm, thinly leathery, abaxially villose but glabrescent, adaxially sparsely pubescent but denser on midrib, base cuneate, apex acuminate, lateral veins 6--9 per side and inconspicuous. Male flowers not seen. Female flowers solitary, subsessile. Calyx lobes 4, broadly ovate, subequal, 4.5--6 X 3.5--5 mm. Corolla green; tube ca. 1.5 mm, with 4 white villose ridges; lobes 4, subovate, ca. 3 mm. Staminodes 8. Ovary sparsely pubescent at apex. Styles 4, base sparsely pubescent, apex 2-cleft. Fruit subsessile. Fruiting calyx outside glabrous, inside near base sericeous. Berries blackish when dry, slightly glaucous. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Jul-Aug.

The protolog of Diospyros balfouriana describes the calyx lobes as distinctively unequal but the type specimen in E shows them to be equal.

The high altitude, small leaves and lines of hairs on the corolla suggest a possible affinity to Diospyros yunnanensis and D. dumetorum. There seems little to suggest an affinity to the D. kaki/D. lotus complex.

* Mixed forests; ca. 2000 m. Yunnan (Dali Xian).


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