Overview

Comprehensive Description

General Description

Trees 3-17 m tall. Bark dark gray or yellowish gray, smooth; branches ± horizontal; branches of current year purplish, later greenish, glabrous or pubescent; older branches greenish, with conspicuous semicircular leaf scars and rounded lenticels; winter buds purplish, ovoid or conical, 3-8 mm, glabrous, with several alternate overlapping scales. Leaf blade broadly ovate or broadly elliptic-ovate, 5-13 cm long, 3-9 cm wide, abaxially light or grayish green, sparsely pubescent with appressed trichomes, papillate, veins 6 or 7, abaxially raised and slightly purplish, base subrounded, apex acute or acuminate. Corymbose cymes terminal, 5-14 cm in diameter, pubescent with appressed trichomes. Flowers 8-9 mm in diameter; buds nearly orbicular, shortly pedicellate. Calyx teeth ca. 0.5 mm, taller than disk. Petals oblong-lanceolate, 3-4.5 mm long, 1-1.6 mm wide. Stamens longer than petals; filaments whitish, 4-5 mm. Style 2-3 mm, glabrous. Fruit purplish red or bluish black, globose, 6-7 mm in diameter; stones globose, 5-6 mm in diameer, inconspicuously 8-ribbed.
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Distribution

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Cornus controversa Hemsl.:
Burma (Asia)
Bhutan (Asia)
India (Asia)
Japan (Asia)
Nepal (Asia)
South Korea (Asia)
China (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shan-  dong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, N India, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, ?Sikkim].
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Cornus controversa is occurring in Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang of China, Bhutan, N India, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal.
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Himalaya (Nepal to Bhutan), N. Assam, east to China, Korea and Japan.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees 3–13(–20) m tall. Bark dark gray or yellowish gray, smooth; branches ± horizontal; branches of current year purplish, later greenish, glabrous or pubescent; older branches greenish, with conspicuous semicircular leaf scars and rounded lenticels; winter buds purplish, ovoid or conical, 3–8 mm, glabrous, with several alternate overlapping scales. Leaf blade broadly ovate or broadly elliptic-ovate, 5–13 × 3–9 cm, abaxially light or grayish green, sparsely pubescent with appressed trichomes, papillate, veins 6 or 7(–9), abaxially raised and slightly purplish, base subrounded, apex acute or acuminate. Corymbose cymes terminal, 5–14 cm in diam., pubescent with appressed trichomes. Flowers 8–9 mm in diam.; buds nearly orbicular, shortly pedicellate. Calyx teeth ca. 0.5 mm, taller than disk. Petals oblong-lanceolate, 3–4.5 × 1–1.6 mm. Stamens longer than petals; filaments whitish, 4–5 mm. Style 2–3 mm, glabrous. Fruit purplish red or bluish black, globose, 6–7 mm in diam.; stones globose, 5–6 mm in diam., inconspicuously 8-ribbed. Fl. May–Jun, fr. Jul–Sep. 2n = 20.
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Elevation Range

1500 m
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Ecology

Habitat

Broad-leaved or mixed broad-leaved and coniferous forests; 200–2600 m.
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Growing in broad-leaved or mixed broad-leaved and coniferous forests; 200-2600 m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering from May to June; fruiting from July to September.
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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

The phylogenetic relationships of Cornus has been inferred using nuclear gene 26S rDNA (Fan and Xiang, 2001). The 26S rDNA sequence data suggested that Cornus controversa is closely related to C. walteri.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

The chromosomal number of Cornus controversa is 2n = 20 (Oginuma et al., 1994).
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Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Swida controversa

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cornus controversa

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 12
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Swida controversa

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 33
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

An oil is extracted from the fruits of Cornus controversa for used in the lubricating and soap industry. The large, conspicuous, white inflorescences, layered branching pattern, and pagodalike shape of the tree make it a good garden ornamental. The leaves are used in folk remedies to relieve pain and to reduce swelling.
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Wikipedia

Cornus controversa

Cornus controversa (wedding cake tree), syn. Swida controversa, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Cornus of the dogwood family Cornaceae, native to China, the Himalayas and Japan. It is a deciduous tree growing to 50 ft (15 m), with multiple tiered branches. Flat panicles of white flowers appear in summer, followed by globose black fruit. The leaves turn a rich red-purple in autumn. It is cultivated in gardens and parks in temperate regions.[1][2]

The variety C. controversa 'Variegata' has leaves with cream margins, which turn yellow in autumn, and grows to a lesser size than its parent - typically 25 ft (8 m). It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[3]

  1. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  2. ^ http://apps.kew.org/trees/?page_id=81
  3. ^ http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=534
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Notes

Comments

An oil used in the lubricating and soap industry is extracted from the fruit. The large, conspicuous, white inflorescences, layered branching pattern, and pagodalike shape of the tree make it a good garden ornamental. The leaves are used in folk remedies to relieve pain and to reduce swelling. 

 The synonym Cornus obovata Thunberg is an invalid name.

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