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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Widespread distribution: occurs in Central Asia (not Kazakhstan), the Caucasus, Iran, and the Mediterranean. The list of countries of occurrence is incomplete.
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Anhui, Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [SW Asia, W Asia, S Europe, naturalized in countries around the Mediterranean]
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Distribution: Mediterranean region, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China and Japan.
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W. Asia to China and Korea, cultivated elsewhere.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Tree, 2-10 (-20) m tall. Stems pubescent or glabrous. Leaves petiolate, 45-110x 19-66 mm, elliptic or broadly lanceolate, acuminate, base sometimes rounded, margin usually undulate; pubescent on both sides or on the lower, pubescent on the veins. Petiole 4-10 mm, pubescent. Flowers sessile to very shortly pedicellate. Pedicels densely pubescent. Male flowers in 2-3-flowered cymes, female solitary and larger than the male. Male flowers: calyx c. 2.5 mm long, 4(-5) lobed; lobes triangular, obtuse to subacute, pubescent and ciliate, hairy inside. Corolla yellowish-brown red, c. 7 mm long, lobes rounded., ciliate, reflexed. Stamens 16, in 2 opposite rows; filaments very short; anthers 3 mm long, connective pilose; ovary rudimentary. Female flower: Calyx persistent; staminodes 8, in 1 row. Ovary glabrous below, apically hairy; styles 4(-6), persistent. Berry globose to ovoid, 13-22 mm in diameter, mealy-white when unripe, dark purple to black when ripe, glaucous. Seed c. 11 mm long, brown-black, laterally compressed.
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Elevation Range

1000 m
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Description

Trees, deciduous. Bark grayish black to grayish brown. Petiole 0.7--1.5 cm; leaf blade elliptic to ovate-oblong, 5--13 X 2.5--6 cm, submembranous, abaxially drying green or glaucous and with dark veinlets, base obtuse, broadly cuneate, or subrounded, apex acuminate to acute, lateral veins 7--10 per side, reticulate veinlets clearly defined, flat, and dark. Male flowers 1--3 together; pedicel to 6 mm; calyx lobes 4(or 5); corolla reddish to pale yellow, urn-shaped, ca. 4 mm, lobes 4; stamens 16. Female flowers subsessile, pale green to reddish; calyx lobes 4; corolla urn-shaped, ca. 6 mm, lobes 4 or rarely 5; staminodes 8; ovary 8-locular, glabrous except for apex; styles 4. Fruiting calyx lobes 4, ovate, apex obtuse. Berries pale yellow, becoming bluish black with a glaucous bloom, subglobose to ellipsoid, 1--2 cm in diam. Seeds brown, compressed, ca. 10 X 6 mm in diam. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Oct-Nov.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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500--2500 m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flower/Fruit

Fl. Per.: May June. Fr. Per.: Oct.-Nov.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Diospyros lotus

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


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Diospyros lotus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 16
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2007

Assessor/s
Participants of the FFI/IUCN SSC Central Asian regional tree Red Listing workshop, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (11-13 July 2006)

Reviewer/s
Newton, A. & Eastwood, A. (Global Tree Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
A widespread species with a large extent of occurrence. Population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population size criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., less than 10,000 mature individuals in conjunction with appropriate decline rates and subpopulation qualifiers). Population trend has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the threshold for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, it is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Management

These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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Wikipedia

Date-plum

Diospyros lotus, with common names Date-plum, Caucasian Persimmon, or Lilac Persimmon, is a widely cultivated species of the genus Diospyros, native to subtropical southwest Asia and southeast Europe. Its English name derives from the small fruit, which have a taste reminiscent of both plums and dates. It is among the oldest plants in cultivation.

Distribution and ecology[edit]

The species area extends from East Asia to the west of the Mediterranean, down to Spain. The Date-plum is native to southwest Asia and southeast Europe. It was known to the ancient Greeks as "the fruit of the gods" i.e. Dios pyros (lit. "the wheat of Zeus"), hence the scientific name of the genus. Its English name probably derives from Persian Khormaloo خرمالو literally "Date-Plum", referring to the taste of this fruit which is reminiscent of both plums and dates. This species is one candidate for the "lotus tree" mentioned in The Odyssey: it was so delicious that those who ate it forgot about returning home and wanted to stay and eat lotus with the lotus-eaters.[1]

The tree grows in the lower and middle mountain zones in the Caucasus. They usually grow up to 600 m above sea level. In Central Asia, it rises higher—up to 2000 m. They rarely grow in stands but often grows with the frame, ash, maple and other deciduous species. It is not demanding on the soil and can grow on rocky slopes but requires a well lit environment.

It is cultivated at the limits of its range, as well as in the U.S. and North Africa and also in Pakistan.

Biological description[edit]

This is a tree height of 15–30 m with sloughing of aging bark.

The leaves are shiny, leathery, oval shape with pointed ends, 5–15 cm long and 3–6 cm in width.

The flowers are small, greenish, appearing in June to July.

Fruits are berries with juicy flesh, yellow when ripe, 1–2 cm in diameter. Seeds with thin skin and a very hard endosperm.

Usage[edit]

Caucasian persimmon fruits are edible and contain lots of sugars, malic acid, and vitamins. They are used as fresh fruits or after frost, but usually dried. Drying and frost destroy their tartness.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Homer. "The Odyssey". Project Gutenberg. p. 76. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 


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Notes

Comments

Native of NE China, cultivated and naturalised elsewhere. Cultivated in the Hazara region, in Swat, Murree and Kurram at ±1500 m. Found as an escape in Hazara. Also recorded from Chitral and Baluchistan (Rech. f.,l.c.). Apparently wild in Poonch, Azad Kashmir (Stewart, l.c.). The ripe fruit is dried and eaten; it contains a high percentage of tannin.
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