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Cryptocarya R. Br.

厚壳桂属

Description from Flora of China

Ravensara Sonnerat.

Trees or shrubs, evergreen. Bud scales few, leaflike. Leaves alternate, rarely subopposite, usually pinninerved, rarely triplinerved. Flowers bisexual, small, arranged into a subterminal and usually short panicle. Perianth tube turbinate or ovoid, persistent, contracted on top after caducous. Fertile stamens 9, inserted on throat of perianth tube; filaments of 1st and 2nd whorls glandless, those of 3rd whorl each with 2 glands at base; anthers 2-celled; cells of 1st and 2nd whorls introrse, those of 3rd whorl extrorse. Staminodes of innermost whorl, shortly stalked, glandless. Ovary sessile, enveloped by perianth tube; style sublinear; stigma small, inconspicuous, rarely peltate. Fruit drupelike, globose, ellipsoid, or oblong, wholly enveloped by fleshy or hard and dilated perianth tube but leaving a small mouth on top, smooth or many angled outside.

The Chinese species of the genus all belong to Cryptocarya subg. Cryptocarya, characterized by plants with 9 fertile stamens. The species with 3 or 6 stamens previously placed in Cryptocarya are now included in the genus Aspidostemon Rohwer & H. G. Richter.

Cryptocarya austrokweichouensis X. H. Song (J. Nanjing Inst. Forest. 1984(4): 49. 1984) was described from S Guizhou (Libo) but could not be treated here because no material was seen by the present authors.

Between 200 and 250 species: tropical and subtropical regions, absent from C Africa, center of diversity in Malaysia but reaching as far as Australia and Chile; 21 species (15 endemic) in China.

(Authors: Li Xiwen (李锡文 Li Hsi-wen), Li Jie (李捷); Henk van der Werff)

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