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Litsea mollis

Description from Flora of China

Litsea euosma W. W. Smith; L. mollifolia Chun, nom. illeg. superfl.

Deciduous shrubs or small trees, up to 4 m tall. Young branchlets covered with pubescence. Leaves alternate or clustered at apex of branchlet; petiole 1-1.5 cm, covered with white pubescence; leaf blade oblong or elliptic, 4-12 × 2-4.8 cm, glaucous and with dense white pubescence abaxially, glabrous adaxially, pinninerved, lateral veins 6-9 pairs, base cuneate, apex abruptly acute. Umbels axillary, often 2- or 3-fascicled on short branchlets, male umbel 4-6-flowered, flowering before leaves or with leaves; peduncle ca. 6 mm, white pubescent. Male flowers: perianth segments 6, yellow, broadly obovate; fertile stamens 9; filaments pubescent, of 3rd whorls each with 2 yellow peltate-cordate glands at base; rudimentary pistil absent. Fruit globose, ca. 5 mm in diam., blue-black at maturity; fruiting pedicel 5-6 mm, sparsely pubescent. Fl. Mar-Apr, fr. Sep-Oct.

The fruit is processed for its aromatic oil (3%-5%). The seeds contain ca. 25% oil and are used as a main ingredient in soaps. The roots and fruit are also used medicinally.

Thickets or broad-leaved forests on mountain slopes; 600-2800 m. Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, E Xizang, Yunnan [N Thailand].


 

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