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Neolitsea levinei

Description from Flora of China

Benzoin levinei (Merrill) Chun ex H. Liu; Neolitsea chinensis (Gamble) Chun; N. lanuginosa Gamble var. chinensis Gamble.

Trees, up to 22 m tall. Young branchlets and petioles covered with dense yellow-brown pubescence. Leaves 4- or 5-verticillate; petiole 1.5-2 cm; leaf blade oblong-lanceolate to oblong-oblanceolate or elliptic, 15-31 × 4.5-9 cm, glabrate and mostly glaucous abaxially, densely yellow-brown villous when young, shiny and glabrous adaxially, triplinerved, lateral veins 3 or 4 pairs, transverse veins conspicuous abaxially, base acute, apex shortly acute or abruptly acute. Umbels lateral, 5-flowered; peduncle ca. 2 mm. Pedicel ca. 3 mm, with dense pubescence. Perianth segments 4, ovate. Male flowers: fertile stamens 6; filaments glabrous, of 3rd whorls each with 2 stipitate ellipsoid glands at base; rudimentary pistil ovoid. Fruit ellipsoid or globose, 12-18 × 8-15 mm, black at maturity; fruiting pedicel 7-10 mm, densely pubescent. Fl. Mar-Apr, fr. Aug-Oct.

Neolitsea levinei var. tibetica H. P. Tsui (Acta Bot. Yunnan. 16: 35. 1994) was described from SE Xizang (Mêdog) but could not be treated here because no material was seen by the present authors. Judging from the description in the protologue, it almost certainly belongs in Cinnamomum, rather than in Neolitsea, and is perhaps a synonym of C. iners (species no. 41).

The roots are used medicinally.

● Roadsides, watersides, dense forests in valleys; 300-1300 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan.


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