Myrica rubra

Botanical Name :Myrica rubra
Family: Myricaceae
Genus: Myrica
Species: M. rubra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Common Names:Yangmei(Chinese), Yamamomo(Japanese),Chinese Bayberry, Japanese Bayberry, Red Bayberry, or Chinese strawberry tree.

Habitat: Myrica rubra is native to eastern Asia, mainly in China, where it has been grown for at least 2000 years. Chinese cultivation is concentrated south of the Yangtze River, where it is of considerable economic importance. Its niche is forests on mountain slopes and valleys at altitudes of 100-1500 m. It is native to Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Zhejiang. Also naturalized in Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines.

Description:
It is a small to medium-sized  evergreen tree growing up to 10–20 m (33–66 ft) high, with smooth gray bark and a uniform spherical to hemispherical crown. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. It tolerates poor acidic soils. The root system is 5–60 cm (2.0–24 in) deep, with no obvious taproot.

click & see the pictures

The fruit is spherical, 1.5–2.5 cm (0.59–0.98 in) in diameter, with a knobby surface. The surface color is typically a deep, brilliant red, but may vary from white to purple. The flesh color is similar to surface color, or somewhat lighter. The flesh is sweet and very tart. At the center is a single seed, with a diameter about half that of the whole fruit….click & see the pictures..

In Japan, it is the prefectural flower of K?chi and the prefectural tree of Tokushima. The plant’s name appears in many old Japanese poems.

Edible Uses:Itis a subtropical tree grown for its sweet,crimson to dark purple-red, edible fruit…..click & see
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Medicinal Uses:
Various species of Myrica have been studied scientifically for horticultural characteristics or phytochemicals implicated with health benefits. Dating to 1951, the horticultural literature includes studies on

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* nitrogen-fixing ability of the root nodules system.
* presence of Frankia bacteria having nitrogen-fixing properties in root nodules.
* microbial characteristics of the subcanopy soil.
* niche characteristics in the forest environment.
* growth of pollen tubes.

The medical literature is diverse, with studies of phytochemicals from bark, leaves and fruit. Significant progress has been reported on polyphenols, particularly ellagic acid, tannins and anthocyanins, antioxidant activity, anti-cancer and anti-viral properties. An extract from fruit called myricerone blocks a receptor for the peptide, endothelin, an important mediator of blood vessel constriction, indicating potential for drug development.

Other Uses:
The tree is used as ornaments for parks and streets. It is also a traditional tree used in composing Classical East Asian Gardens.

Agricultural:
Some cultivars with large fruit, up to 4 cm in diameter, have been developed. Besides fresh consumption, the fruits may be dried, canned, soaked in baijiu (Chinese liquor), or fermented into alcoholic beverages. Dried fruits are often prepared in the manner of dry huamei (Prunus mume with flavorings such as licorice). The juice has been commercialised under the brand name “Yumberry” under which name it is trade-marked in the EU.

Other uses include:
* bottled pasteurized juice or juice blends
* dye prepared from the bark

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is  always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrica_rubra
http://chinesefoodlover.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/yangmeiwenzhou.jpg
http://berrydoctor.com/broadcast/2008/yumberry1.htm
http://www.fruitipedia.com/bayberry.htm

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