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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Boraginaceae | Ehretia

1. Ehretia acuminata R. Brown, Prodr. 147. 1810.

厚壳树 hou ke shu

Description from Flora of China

Cordia thyrsiflora Siebold & Zuccarini; Ehretia acuminata var. grandifolia Pampanini; E. acuminata var. obovata (Lindley) I. M. Johnston; E. argyi H. Léveillé; E. kantonensis Masamune; E. serrata Roxburgh var. obovata Lindley; E. taiwaniana Nakai; E. thyrsiflora (Siebold & Zuccarini) Nakai.

Trees to 15 m tall; bark black-gray, laciniate; branches light brown, smooth; branchlets brown, glabrous, with distinct lenticels; axillary buds solitary, compressed. Petiole 1.5-2.5 cm, glabrous; leaf blade elliptic to obovate or oblong-obovate, 5-13 × 4-6 cm, glabrous or sparsely puberulent, base broadly cuneate, margin regularly serrate with teeth curved upward, apex acute, apiculate. Cymes paniculate, 8-15 × 5-8 cm, short pubescent or subglabrous. Flowers crowded, fragrant. Calyx 1.5-2 mm; lobes ovate, ciliate. Corolla white, campanulate, 3-4 mm; lobes spreading, oblong, longer than tube. Stamens exserted; filaments 2-3 mm, inserted on upper part of base, 0.5-1 mm; anthers ovate, ca. 1 mm. Style 1.4-2.5 mm, branches ca. 0.5 mm. Drupes yellow or orange, 3-4 mm in diam.; endocarp wrinkled, divided at maturity into 2 2-seeded pyrenes. 2n = 30, 32, 36.

Ehretia acuminata is a widespread species with much variation. Chinese and Japanese plants named as E. thyrsiflora are not specifically different from the Australian type, and the varieties recognized by Johnston (J. Arnold Arbor. 32: 21. 1951) show no geographical correlations. Attempts to subdivide the complex have not been successful, and it seems most appropriate to apply the specific epithet in a very wide sense.

Used for roadside plantings and the timber for building and furniture. The leaves and branchlets are used in Chinese medicine.

Hills, open forests, thickets on slopes; 100-1700 m. Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam; Australia]


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