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Garcinia

Description from Flora of China

Brindonia Thouars; Cambogia Linnaeus; Discostigma Hasskarl; Hebradendron Graham; Mangostana Gaertner; Oxycarpus Loureiro; Rhinostigma Miquel; Xanthochymus Roxburgh.

Trees or shrubs, usually with yellow latex. Terminal bud functional; buds usually lacking scales. Leaves opposite [or rarely whorled], very rarely stipulate, petiolate, entire, leathery to papery, usually glabrous; secondary veins usually prominent, numerous to few, oblique to perpendicular to midvein; tertiary veins reticulate, with adaxial brownish transvenous resin canals [or much branched] and abaxial linear [to punctiform or much branched] or intervenous translucent glands; petiole often with basal liguliform appendage. Plant functionally dioecious (sometimes apparently flowers bisexual or plant monoecious), flowers in terminal and/or axillary cymes (often thyrsiform), triads or fascicles, or paired or solitary. Sepals [2 or 3 or]4 or 5, decussate or imbricate (quincuncial), free [or very rarely completely connate in bud]. Petals [3 or]4 or 5[-8], fascicles each with many to few stamens with filaments almost free to completely united, or ± completely connate [or adnate to petals], with anthers 1, 2, 4 or many-celled, basifixed or variously united; fasciclodes (sterile stamen fascicles) 4 or 5, antisepalous and free or ± united or absent; pistillode present or absent. Female flowers: staminode fascicles as for staminate flowers but smaller or staminodes apparently free; fasciclodes free as in male flower but smaller or united in a ring at base of ovary or absent; stigmas free or ± united, peltate, 2-5-lobed or entire. Berry smooth or sulcate [or verrucose or rarely secondarily dehiscent], with leathery to thin exocarp and 1-5 or sometimes more seeds embedded in endocarpic pulp. Seeds large; hypocotyl massive.

The present authors were unable to place Garcinia qinzhouensis Y. X. Liang & Z. M. Wu (J. S. China Agric. Univ. 17(3): 56. 1996), described from Guangxi (Qinzhou), because of insufficient information.

The fruit of most species in this genus are edible, among them, those of Garcinia mangostana are famous. The seeds yield more than 15% oil. The yellow resin of some species is used as a medicine. Species like G. hanburyi J. D. Hooker provide medicinal resin and yellow dyes of the best quality. The timber of many species is used for building houses or making furniture.

About 450 species: tropical and S Africa, Madagascar, tropical Asia, NE Australia, W Polynesia, tropical America; 20 species (13 endemic, one introduced) in China.

(Authors: Li Xiwen (李锡文 Li Hsi-wen), Li Jie (李捷); Peter F. Stevens)

Lower Taxa


 

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