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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 7 | Lauraceae | Litsea

12. Litsea pungens Hemsley, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 26: 384. 1891.

木姜子 mu jiang zi

Litsea kangdingensis H. S. Kung.

Deciduous small trees, 3-10 m tall. Young branchlets pubescent. Leaves alternate, often clustered at apex of branchlet; petiole 1-2 cm, pubescent when young; leaf blade lanceolate or obovate-lanceolate, 4-15 × 2-5.5 cm, sericeous-pubescent abaxially when young and becoming glabrous or pilose along midrib, pinninerved, lateral veins 5-7 pairs, base cuneate, apex shortly acute. Umbel axillary, 8-12-flowered, flowering before leaves; peduncle 5-8 mm, glabrous. Pedicel 5-6 mm, sericeous-pubescent. Perianth segments 6, yellow, obovate. Male flowers: fertile stamens 9; filaments pubescent at base, of 3rd whorls each with 2 yellow rounded glands at base; rudimentary pistil small, glabrous. Fruit globose, 7-10 mm in diam., blue-black at maturity; fruiting pedicel 1-2.5 cm, slightly thickened at apex. Fl. Mar-May, fr. Jul-Sep.

● Streamsides, weed-tree forests or forest margins on sunny slopes; 800-2300 m. Gansu, N Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, S Shanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan, S Zhejiang.

The fruit contains aromatic oil (dry fruit 2%-6%, fresh fruit 3%-4%); its main ingredients are citral (60%-90%) and geraniol (5%-19%). The fruit is used in food and cosmetics and is also widely used as a component of high-grade spices, vitamin A, and ionone. The seeds contain ca. 48% of oil, which may be used in industry and for making soap.


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