Botanical Name: Daphniphyllum himalense
Synonyms: Goughia himalayensis.
Common Chinese name : Xi zang hu pi nan
Habitat: Daphniphyllum himalense is native to E. Asia – Central and Eastern Himalayas to Northern Burma. It grows in cool moist forests, shady ravines and valleys alongside streams, 1200 – 3000 metres. Forests; 1200-2500 m. SE Xizang (Mêdog), NW Yunnan (Gongshan) [Bhutan, NE India, N Myanmar, E Nepal].
Daphniphyllum himalense is an evergreen Tree growing to 6 m (19ft 8in). It’s branchlets are stout, white lenticellate, young branches dark brown. Petiole 2-5 mm; leaf blade oblong-lanceolate, oblong, or oblong-elliptic, 10-21 × 2.5-7 cm, chartaceous or thinly coriaceous, glaucous and finely papillate abaxially, green and shining adaxially in dried state, base cuneate or obtuse, apex acute or acuminate; lateral veins 10-14 pairs, prominent abaxially and slightly impressed adaxially. Male flowers: inflorescence 3-5 cm; pedicel 4-8 mm; calyx absent; stamens 8-12; filaments ca. 1 mm; anthers oblong, ca. 1 mm. Female flowers: inflorescence 4-6 cm; pedicel 7-13 mm; calyx absent; staminodes 5 around ovary; ovary ovoid, glaucous; style branches recurved. Infructescence 7.5-9.5 cm; drupe ellipsoidal, 12-14 × 7-9 mm, ± smooth, glaucous; style branches persistent. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). . The plant is not self-fertile. It is in flower during September to November.
Succeeds in any good soil, tolerating lime but perhaps not suitable for very chalky soils. A useful plant for moist shady positions. Dislikes cold drying winds. D. macropodum. Miq. is hardy at Kew and tolerates temperatures down to about -20°c. It is very closely related to this species and is perhaps no more than a sub-species of it. This species, however, is less hardy than D. macropodum. The flowers have a pungent aroma. They are produced in racemes on the previous year’s wood. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Edible Uses: The very closely related specis ,Daphniphyllum macropodum is said to have edible leaves. The leaves of Daphniphyllum himalense may also edible cooked and eaten.
Medicinal Uses: A paste of the wod is applied as a poultice to boils.
Other Uses: Wood – soft, close and even grained, very handsome. Used for turnery, carving etc. The wood of the roots is especially handsome, it is deep red in colou
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