Regularity: Regularly occurring
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Hovenia dulcis
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hovenia dulcis
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 11
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable
Hovenia dulcis, the oriental raisin tree, is a hardy tree found from Asia, over Eastern China (萬壽果) and Korea (헛개나무) to the Himalayas (up to altitudes of 2,000 m), growing preferably in a sunny position on moist sandy or loamy soils. The tree has been introduced as an ornamental tree to several countries, and the fruit is also edible. It is considered being one of the most pervasive invader in Brazilian subtropical forests.
Tree, rarely a shrub, deciduous, to 10–30 m tall. Branchlets brown or black-purple, glabrous, with inconspicuous lenticels. The glossy leaves are large and pointed. The trees bear clusters of small cream-coloured hermaphroditic flowers in July. The drupes appear at the ends of edible fleshy fruit stalks (rachis), which is a type of accessory fruit.
The fleshy rachis of the infructescence is sweet, fragrant and is edible raw or cooked. Dried, they look and taste like raisins. An extract of the seeds, bough and young leaves can be used as a substitute for honey and is used for making wine and candy.
The timber is fine and hard and is used for building construction and fine furniture.
In Thailand Hovenia dulcis is relatively rare, typically found in the stream-irrigated valleys of primary lower mountain evergreen forest located between 1,075 and 1,250 metres above sea level. However, it is one of 30 potential species identified as a substitute for Eucalyptus spp., commonly planted for reforestation, that would meet the demand for rapid growth while not disturbing the ecological balance.
In Thailand Hovenia dulcis grows at roughly the same rate as eucalyptus, reaching six metres in height within three years. One major asset is that the growth form of the tree allows other species to regenerate nearby. As well, the tree attracts several varieties of both birds and mammals which feed on the seeds and fruit. As well as promoting fauna diversity, this process assists in improving soil fertility through humification.
- Hovenia acerba - Lindl.
- Hovenia inequalis - DC.
- Cf. Dechoum M, T Castellani, S Zabra, M Rejmànek, N Peronni & J Tamashiro (2014) Community structure, succession and invasibility in a seasonal deciduous forest in southern Brazil. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Biological Invasions (Neobiota 2014), p. 8.
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- Lyn O'Brien Nabors (2001-06-01). Alternative Sweeteners 3e. CRC PressI Llc. ISBN 978-0-8247-0437-7.
- Hyun TK et al. Hovenia dulcis--an Asian traditional herb. Planta Med. 2010 Jul;76(10):943-9. PMID 20379955
- Kamol Sukin "Tropical Feast"
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- "The fruits, seeds and seedlings of Hovenia dulcis Thunb. (Rhamnaceae)." Nat. Hist. Bull.Siam Soc. 44:41–52 1996
- Anthony Julian Huxley; Mark Griffiths, Royal Horticultural Society (Great Britain) (1992-04-01). Dictionary of Gardening. ISBN 978-0-333-47494-5.
- Macoboy, Stirling (1986). What Tree is That?. ISBN 978-1-86302-131-9.
- Fang, Hsun-Lang; Lin, Hui-Yi; Chan, Ming-Che; Lin, Wei-Li and Lin, Wen-Chuan. "Treatment of chronic liver injuries in mice by oral administration of ethanolic extract of the fruit of Hovenia dulcis. American Journal of Chinese Medicine 35.4 (2007): 693-703.
- Koller, G.L. and Alexander, J.H. "The raisin tree: Its use, hardiness and size."Arnoldia 39.1 (Jan/Feb 1979): 6-15.
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