4. Fissistigma glaucescens (Hance) Merrill, Philipp. J. Sci. 15: 132. 1919.
白叶瓜馥木 bai ye gua fu mu
Melodorum glaucescens Hance, J. Bot. 19: 112. 1881; Fissistigma obtusifolium Merrill.
Climbers to 6 m tall, most parts glabrous except for inflorescences. Petiole 4-12 mm, blackish and minutely transversely wrinkled when dried, pubescent when young, glabrescent; leaf blade oblong, oblong-elliptic, or sometimes obovate-oblong, 3-20 × 1.2-6 cm, thinly leathery, abaxially grayish green and glaucous when dry, secondary veins 10-15 on each side of midvein and adaxially very slightly prominent or flat, tertiary veins inconspicuously raised, base rounded, apex rounded to slightly retuse. Inflorescences terminal, thyrsoid, to 6 cm, sometimes continuing vegetatively and cymes apparently axillary, cymules 2- or 3-flowered, brownish tomentose; peduncle very short. Pedicel to 1.2 cm. Sepals broadly triangular, ca. 2 mm. Outer petals broadly ovate, ca. 6 mm, fulvous pubescent; inner petals ovate-oblong, ca. 5 mm, grayish white pubescent. Stamens oblong; connectives 3-angular. Carpels ca. 15, ellipsoid, fulvous pubescent; ovule 1 per carpel; styles elongate, glabrous; stigmas apically 2-cleft. Monocarp stipes ca. 3 mm; monocarps ca. 8 mm in diam., glabrous. Seed 1 per monocarp. Fl. Jan-Sep, fr. Mar-Dec.
Sparsely forested slopes, scrub, often in ravines; 100-1000 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan [Vietnam].
A fine strong bast fiber obtained from the inner bark of Fissistigma glaucescens is used to make rope, sacks, and paper; its roots are used as medicine for rheumatism and injury; and its leaves are used as yeast powder to start fermentation when making liquor in Guangdong and Hainan.