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Euonymus gracillimus

Description from Flora of China

Deciduous shrubs, slender, to 4 m tall; branches terete, slender, twigs green to light green, slender, 4-angled. Petiole slender, 2-4 mm; leaf blade thinly leathery or thickly papery, elliptic or narrowly elliptic, 4-5 × 1.2-2 cm, base cuneate or attenuate, margin entire to crenulate or remotely serrate distally, apex acuminate or long acute; lateral veins not obvious, curving forward and webbing and disappearing before reaching margin. Peduncle 3-4 cm, slender, 1 or 2 × dichotomously branched, several flowered; pedicel 3-5 mm. Flowers 4-merous (not seen). Capsule rhombic, 4-angled and deeply grooved, brown or yellow-brown to red-brown, 8(-10) mm × 1.2(-1.4) cm. Seeds ellipsoid, dark brown; aril orange-red. Fl. unknown, fr. Aug-Nov.

This species is readily distinguished by its extreme slenderness, narrow leaves, and minute flowers on a filiform peduncle. It is rare in the wild. The original description lists a 5-merous flower; however, on the type specimen (K), it is difficult to examine the number because the specimen is just before the flower bud stage. All specimens corresponding with the description and the type have only 4-lobed fruits.

Euonymus gracillimus is based on material collected by Reeves without exact locality. It undoubtedly came from S China, where John Reeves resided in Guangzhou (Canton) and Macao from 1812-1813. Its relationship with E. nitidus, which has slightly larger leaves but the same fruit, needs further study.

● Forests, scrub; ca. 1200 m. Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan.


 

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