3. Chimonanthus nitens Oliver, Hooker’s Icon. Pl. 16: t. 1600. 1887.
山蜡梅 shan la mei
Calycanthus nitens (Oliver) Rehder; Chimonanthus nitens var. ovatus T. B. Chao & Z. Q. Li; Meratia nitens (Oliver) Rehder & E. H. Wilson.
Shrubs or trees, 1-6 m tall, evergreen. Branchlets quadrangular when young but becoming subterete, puberulous but glabrescent. Petiole 3-10 mm, glabrous or sometimes with short hirsute pubescence; leaf blade elliptic, elliptic-lanceolate, broadly elliptic, or ovate-lanceolate, 2-13 × 1.5-5.5 cm, papery to subleathery, both surfaces green to occasionally very pale green and subscabrous, abaxially glabrous or sometimes with a minute short hirsute pubescence, adaxially shiny and with inconspicuous glandular trichomes, secondary veins abaxially convex and adaxially flattened, reticulate veins obscure, base obtuse to cuneate, apex acuminate, long acuminate, or shortly caudate. Flowers solitary, 0.7-1 cm in diam. Tepals 20-24, yellow to yellowish white, rounded, ovate, obovate, ovate-lanceolate, or oblong, 3-15 × 2.5-10 mm, outside pubescent, inside glabrous. Stamens ca. 2 mm; filaments short, pubescent; anthers ovate, incumbent, longer than filaments; staminodes ca. 1.5 cm, base and base of style with scattered hirsute pubescence. Pseudocarp grayish brown at maturity, urceolate to subcampanulate, 2-5 × 1-2.5 cm, velutinous, apex constricted. Achenes ellipsoid, 1-1.3 cm. Fl. Oct-Jan, fr. Apr-Aug. 2n = 22*.
● Sparse woodlands in mountains, montane limestone areas; 200-2500 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Yunnan, Zhejiang.
Chimonanthus nitens is a good horticultural plant because of its beautiful yellow flowers and evergreen leaves. Its roots are used medicinally, and the dried young leaves are commonly used as tea in Jiangxi and Zhejiang.