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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats, Cultivated, Native of Himalaya"
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General Description

Trees or shrubs, evergreen, 3-18 m tall. Bark brown or blackish gray; young branches grayish green, pubescent with white appressed trichomes; old branches grayish brown, nearly glabrous. Flower buds globose, exposed, subtended by four small green, linear-lanceolate bracts; leaf buds exposed. Leaf blade grayish green on both surfaces, narrowly elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, 5-12 cm long, 2-3.5 cm wide, thinly leathery to leathery, abaxially densely pubescent with thick white appressed trichomes, scabrous, axils of veins often pitted or rarely with a cluster of trichomes, veins 3 or 4, base cuneate to broadly cuneate, apex acuminate to shortly caudate. Cymes globose, ca. 1.2 cm in diameter, 50-100-flowered; bracts white, obovate or broadly obovate, rarely orbicular, 3.5-6.2 cm long, 1.5-5 cm wide. Calyx tube ca. 1.2 mm, hardly lobed to conspicuously 4-lobed; lobes rounded. Petals oblong, 3-4 mm. Styles cylindrical, ca. 1.5 mm, densely pubescent with white trichomes. Infructescences compressed or subglobose, 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter, pubescent with small white trichomes, purple red at maturity; peduncle 4-7 cm, stout.
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© Wen, Jun

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Distribution

Tamil Nadu: Nilgiri
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Cornus capitata Wall.:
Burma (Asia)
Bhutan (Asia)
India (Asia)
Nepal (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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Guizhou, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal].
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Cornus capitata is occurring in Guizhou, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan of China, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal.
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Distribution: The Himalayan region, from Kulu to Bhutan, Khasi and Naga Hills.
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Himalaya (Punjab to Bhutan), Assam, N. Burma, N. Indo-China, W. & C. China.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Tree, branches with prominent petiole scars. Stems and branches sparsely puberulous. Leaves at the end of branches arising from closely set internodes, opposite and decussate, 4-7.5 cm long, 1.3-3 cm broad, elliptic to oblong-elliptic, apex acute to acuminate; petiole c. 1 cm long; leaf surfaces and petiole pubescent to tomentose; hairs white, appressed, medifixed. Heads 1-1.5 cm in diameter, subtended by 4 obovate bracts. Bracts c. 2.5 cm long, 1.5-2 cm broad, puberulent, yellow-white, apex acute. Calyx teeth rounded. Petals 2 mm, oblong, inflexed. Calyx and corolla puberulous. Anthers less than 1 mm, filaments shorter than the petals. Style c. 1 mm long, sparsely hairy. Fruit a head of coalesed drupes, succulent when ripe.
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Description

Trees or shrubs, evergreen, 3–15(–20) m tall. Bark brown or blackish gray; young branches grayish green, pubescent with white appressed trichomes; old branches grayish brown, nearly glabrous. Flower buds globose, exposed, subtended by four small green, linear-lanceolate bracts; leaf buds exposed. Leaf blade grayish green on both surfaces, narrowly elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, 5–12 × 2–3.5(–4) cm, thinly leathery to leathery, abaxially densely pubescent with thick white appressed trichomes, scabrous, axils of veins often pitted or rarely with a cluster of trichomes, veins 3 or 4, base cuneate to broadly cuneate, apex acuminate to shortly caudate. Cymes globose, ca. 1.2 cm in diam., 50–100-flowered; bracts white, obovate or broadly obovate, rarely orbicular, 3.5–6.2 × 1.5–5 cm. Calyx tube ca. 1.2 mm, hardly lobed to conspicuously 4-lobed; lobes rounded. Petals oblong, 3–4 mm. Styles cylindrical, ca. 1.5 mm, densely pubescent with white trichomes. Infructescences compressed or subglobose, 1.5–2.5 cm in diam., pubescent with small white trichomes, purple red at maturity; peduncle (1.5–) 4–5(–8) cm, stout. Fl. May–Jul, fr. Sep–Nov.
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Elevation Range

2100-3400 m
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Shrub
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Cornus capitata is close relative of Cornus elliptica, but differs from the latter in its peduncles thick, 2-3 cm (vs. slender, 5-8 cm), infructescences compressed globose (vs. globose).
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Ecology

Habitat

Evergreen and mixed forests; 1000–3200 m.
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Growing in evergreen and mixed forests; 1000-3200 m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering from May to July; fruiting from September to November.
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Flower/Fruit

Fl.Per.: May July.
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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). Results suggest the dwarf dogwood (subg. Arctocrania) and the big-bracted dogwood (subg. Cynoxylon and subg. Syncarpea) clades are sisters (Cornus capitata belong to subg. Syncarpea), which are, in turn, sister to the cornelian cherries (subg. Cornus and subg. Afrocrania). This red-fruited clade is sister to the blue- or white-fruited dogwoods (subg. Mesomora, subg. Kraniopsis, and subg. Yinquania).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

The chromosomal number of Cornus capitata is 2n = 22 (Sandhu and Mann, 1988).
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Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Cornus capitata

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 capitata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

The ripe, sweet fruit of Cornus capitata is edible, the bark is used medicinally, and the branches and leaves are used for tannin.
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Wikipedia

Cornus capitata

Cornus capitata is a species of dogwood known by the common names Bentham's cornel, evergreen dogwood, Himalayan flowering dogwood, and Himalayan strawberry-tree.[1] It is native to the low-elevation woodlands of the Himalayas in China, India, and surrounding nations and it is naturalized in parts of Australia and New Zealand. It is grown elsewhere as an ornamental. This is an evergreen tree growing to 12 meters in height and width. The leaves are gray-green and pale and fuzzy underneath, and several centimeters long. It flowers during the summer in white blooms. The infructescence is a small aggregate of several individual fruits fused into a red body 2 or 3 centimeters across. It is edible but sometimes bitter. There are several varieties and hybrids.

The species is naturalised in the states of New South Wales and Victoria in Australia.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Cornus capitata". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
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Notes

Comments

The ripe, sweet fruit is edible, the bark is used medicinally, and the branches and leaves are used for tannin.  

At the eastern edge of its range in W Guizhou, Cornus capitata comes into contact with C. elliptica and the distinction between the two is somewhat obscured. Intermediates with leaves like C. elliptica but infructescences like C. capitata, or vice versa, are found. Additionally, there are some sparsely pubescent individuals with fine, white trichomes and leaves smooth to the touch abaxially (unlike either C. capitata or C. elliptica, both of which are densely pubescent with coarse trichomes and scabrous) and compressed globose infructescences (like C. capitata) borne on slender peduncles (like C. elliptica). These plants may represent hybrids between the two species in their region of contact, or incomplete infraspecific differentiation. The two taxa are distinguished primarily by the peduncle (stout vs. slender) and shape of the infructescence (compressed globose vs. globose) and whether the axils of the veins are pitted or not. However, as discussed above, a comparison of allozymes from a few specimens of the two taxa showed significantly different profiles. Additional molecular analyses should help to clarify the origin of this variation.

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Comments

Lambert (Indian For. Bull. 80.1933) reports this species from the Muzaffarabad district of Kashmir, but I have not seen any authentic specimen from our area. The record needs confirmation. The strawberry-like fruit is edible.
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