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Celastrus paniculatus

Description from Flora of China

Celastrus dependens Wallich; C. euphlebiphyllus (Ha yata) Kanehira; C. multiflorus Roxburgh (1824), not Lamarck (1785); C. paniculatus subsp. multiflorus Ding Hou; C. paniculatus subsp. serratus (Blanco) Ding Hou; Diosma serrata Blanco; Euonymus euphlebiphyllus Hayata.

Large deciduous twining shrubs, stem up to 23 cm in diam.; bark pale brown, rough and cracked, exfoliating in small scales; branchlets pubescent or glabrous, with prominent elliptic lenticels; axillary buds small, 1-2 mm, triangular. Petiole 6-16 mm; leaf blade elliptic, oblong, rectangular, ovate, or obovate to suborbicular, 5-10 × 2.5-5 cm, glabrous, base cuneate, margin serrate, apex mucronate to acuminate; secondary veins 5-7 pairs, rarely abaxially pubescent at axil of veins. Thyrses terminal, 5-10 cm, 1- or 2-ramous; rachis and pedicels occasionally with short tomentum; pedicels 3-6 mm. Flowers greenish, 5-merous, dioecious, 2-3 × 1.2-1.8 mm; sepals free, imbricate, semiorbicular, ciliate; petals oblong to obovate-rectangular. Disk membranous, cupulate, slightly 5-lobed. Stamens ca. 3 mm, inserted on margin of disk. Ovary globose. Capsule 1-1.3 cm in diam., depressed, globose, 3-valved, bright yellow, 3-6-seeded. Seeds elliptic, 3.5-5.5 × 2-5 mm; aril orange-red. Fl. Apr-Jun, fr. Jun-Sep.

Seed oiliness in this species is more than 50%. It is used for making lamp oil and soap in Yunnan. Many pharmacological studies deal with its effects on the central nervous system and the tranquilizing property of the alkaloidal fractions of the oil.

The variable leaf blade shape led to the creation of three subspecies: Celastrus paniculatus subsp. paniculatus, C. paniculatus subsp. serratus (Blanco) Ding Hou (not in China), and C. paniculatus subsp. multiflorus (Roxburgh) Ding Hou. However, there are so many transi-tional blade forms that it is hard to distinguish between them; therefore, the subspecies are not recognized here.

Forest slopes; 200-2000 m. Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Taiwan, Yunnan [Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; Australia, Pacific islands (New Caledonia)].


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