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Casearia membranacea

Description from Flora of China

Casearia aequilateralis Merrill.

Trees or shrubs, 4-18 m tall; terminal buds glabrous or hairy, twig tips and branchlets usually glabrous. Stipules ovate, small, ca. 1 mm, abaxially sparsely appressed hairy, ciliate, apex acute, early caducous; petiole 6-12 mm, pubescent at first, soon glabrous or subglabrous; leaf blade variable in size, shape, and texture, often elliptic or oblong, sometimes ovate-oblong or obovate, 5-12(-14) × 2.5-5(-6) cm, papery, sometimes thinly so, or slightly leathery, both surfaces glabrous, lateral veins 5-7(-10) pairs, arching upward, base mostly acute to obtuse, sometimes cuneate, attenuate, nearly rounded or asymmetric, margin serrulate, crenulate or nearly entire, apex broadly acute to rounded, contracting gradually or more usually abruptly to a short acumen to 1 cm. Pedicels 5-6 mm in flower, to ca. 9 mm in fruit, articulate at base, usually glabrous, rarely sparsely puberulous; bracts broadly ovate or triangular, ca. 2 mm, abaxially hairy, at least along median line. Flowers few to many in axillary glomerules, small. Sepals 5, broadly elliptic, obovate, or obovate-oblong, ca. 2.5 mm, both sides usually glabrous, outside rarely sparsely puberulous. Stamens 8-10; filaments usually glabrous, rarely puberulous, 1-2 mm; anthers ovoid-ellipsoid. Disk lobes oblong or triangular, ca. 1/2 as long as anthers, adaxially glabrous, apex densely hairy, hairs white or reddish, long. Ovary conic, glabrous, rarely puberulous; style short; stigma capitate. Capsule 1-1.5(-4) cm, ellipsoid to oblong, leathery, in dried material usually strongly angled or ridged, pericarp sometimes veined but not vesicular-warty; seeds several, pale brown when dry, 4-5 mm, enveloped by a thin, fleshy, partly fimbriate, pale yellowish aril. Fl. Apr-Jan, fr. following May-Jan.

In FRPS (52(1): 78. 1999), the name Casearia virescens Pierre ex Gagnepain was misapplied to this species.

Casearia membranacea is easily confused with C. glomerata; see notes under that species.

Wang 39266, collected from Pingnan, Guangxi, has unusually large leaves (10-14 × 5-6 cm) and capsules (3-4 cm).

Forests in mountains; low elevations. Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan, Yunnan [Vietnam].


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