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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 13 | Thymelaeaceae | Daphne

14. Daphne genkwa Siebold & Zuccarini, Fl. Jap. 1: 137. 1835.

芫花 yuan hua

Daphne fortunei Lindley; D. genkwa var. fortunei (Lind ley) Franchet; D. genkwa f. taitoensis Hamaya; Wikstroemia genkwa (Siebold & Zuccarini) Domke.

Shrubs deciduous, 0.3-1 m tall. Branches many, yellowish green or purplish brown, densely yellowish sericeous. Leaves opposite, subopposite, or alternate; petiole almost absent to 2 mm, gray pubescent; leaf blade ovate, ovate-lanceolate, or elliptic-oblong, 3-4(-6) × (0.5-)1-2 cm, papery, abaxially sericeous, base broadly cuneate or rounded, apex acute or shortly acuminate; lateral veins 5-7 pairs. Inflorescences mostly lateral, produced before leaves, less often terminal on long shoots or axillary, 3-7(-15)-flowered; peduncle usually very short, better developed on later inflorescences. Flowers not fragrant; pedicel short, grayish yellow pubescent. Calyx bluish purple, lilac, or lavender; tube cylindric, 6-11 mm, slender, exterior sericeous; lobes 4, ovate or oblong, 5-6(-10) × ca. 4 mm, abaxially puberulous, apex rounded. Stamens 8, lower whorl inserted at middle of calyx tube, upper whorl below throat; filaments short; anthers ovoid-ellipsoid, ca. 1 mm, upper ones partly exserted from calyx tube; disk annular. Ovary obovoid, ca. 2 mm, densely yellow pubescent; style short or absent; stigma capitate. Drupe white to reddish, black when dry, ellipsoid, ca. 4 mm, enclosed in persistent calyx. Fl. Mar-May, fr. Jun-Jul.

Forests, shrubby slopes; 300-1000 m. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Zhejiang [Korea].

Daphne genkwa is a popular garden plant that can usually be easily identified by the precocious inflorescences of distinctively colored flowers (the "lilac daphne"), produced on very reduced lateral shoots such that they superficially appear to be axillary. However, it seems that there is sometimes a second flush of flowers produced later in the season, after the leaves, when the inflorescences are often pedunculate and sometimes axillary as well as clearly terminal, sometimes on long shoots. The leaf arrangement is very variable. The species is valued horticulturally, while the dried flower buds are used medicinally.


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