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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Lauraceae | Cinnamomum

Cinnamomum mollifolium H. W. Li


Description from Flora of China

Trees, 5-15 m tall. Bark gray-brown, finely and longitudinally striate. Branchlets slender, finely and longitudinally striate; old branchlets conspicuously compressed, very glabrous; young branchlets subterete, sparsely gray villous. Buds large, ovoid, up to 1 cm; bud scales clustered, broadly ovate to oblong, densely yellowish brown pubescent, margin ciliolate, apex emarginate and apiculate. Leaves alternate; petiole 1-2 cm, concave-convex, densely villous when young but very glabrous when mature; leaf blade ovate or oblong-ovate, sometimes obovate, (4.5-)7.5-12(-16) × 3.5-5(-8) cm, leathery, densely gray villous initially soon sparsely so abaxially, sparsely villous initially soon entirely glabrous adaxially, lateral veins 4-6 pairs, ascendant, evanescent within leaf margin, lateral veins and midrib elevated abaxially, impressed adaxially, transverse veins ± conspicuous abaxially, inconspicuous or slightly impressed adaxially, veinlets inconspicuous on both surfaces, base broadly cuneate to subrounded, sometimes unequal on sides, apex acute or shortly acuminate. Panicles axillary from base of young shoot upward, basal one always leafless, all slender, 7-11 cm, 12-16-flowered, branched on upper part; branches short, 0.6-1(-1.5) cm, terminal one bearing a 3-flowered cyme; peduncle slender, 4.5-6.5 cm, sparsely villous but soon glabrate. Pedicels slender, 2.5-5 mm, sparsely villous but soon glabrate. Flowers yellowish, small, ca. 2.5 mm. Perianth densely gray puberulent outside and inside; perianth tube obconical, ca. 1 mm; perianth lobes oblong or oblong-ovate, ca. 1.5 mm, subequal, obtuse or acute at apex, outer ones ca. 1.2 mm wide, inner ones ca. 1.3 mm wide. Fertile stamens 9, ca. 1.4 mm (of 1st and 2nd whorls) or ca. 1.6 mm (of 3rd whorl); filaments complanate, villous, those of 3rd whorl longer than anthers, each with 2 shortly stalked orbicular glands at base, others almost as long as anthers, glandless; anthers broadly ovate (of 1st and 2nd whorls) or oblong (of 3rd whorl), all 4-celled, villous abaxially; cells introrse (of 1st and 2nd whorls) or extrorse (of 3rd whorl). Staminodes 3, ca. 1 mm, villous, subulate-triangular at apex, stalked. Ovary subglobose, ca. 1 mm in diam.; style ca. 2.3 mm; stigma discoid, lobed. Fruit subglobose, slightly depressed and oblique, ca. 9 mm in diam. when dry; perianth cup in fruit up to 1 cm, sulcate outside, abruptly dilated into a disk, up to 9 mm in diam. at apex, truncate on margin. Fl. Mar-Apr, fr. Sep.

The leafy branchlets contain essential oil, which is used for medicine and light industry. The fruit kernel contains oil and fat, which have various uses.

● Roadsides, sparse or mixed forests; 1100-1300 m. S Yunnan.


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