Xylosma controversa Clos, Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., sr. 4 8: 231 231 (1857)

Species name meaning 'debatable or controverse'.

Synonyms

Description
Shrubs or small trees, evergreen, 4-10 m tall; young stems often spiny, bark gray-brown; branchlets terete, glabrous or puberulous. Stipules subulate or triangular, minute, ca. 0.2 mm, glabrous, in dried material dark brown or blackish, caducous or persistent for some time; petiole 5-10 mm, glabrous or pubescent; leaf blade elliptic to oblong-elliptic, 5-10(-18) x 3-7 cm, thickly papery to leathery, both surfaces glabrous, or abaxially spreading pubescent, midvein raised abaxially, impressed or flat adaxially, lateral veins 5 or 6(or 7) pairs, arched-ascending, especially basal pairs, conspicuous on both sides, base acute to slightly attenuate, margin serrate, apex acute or acuminate, acumen 5-10 mm. Inflorescence axillary, paniculate, often with very short branches and then racemelike, lax; rachis 1.5-5 cm, puberulous to pubescent with spreading yellowish hairs, sometimes glabrescent. Pedicels 2-3 mm, puberulous to pubescent; bracts ovate to lanceolate, 1-3 mm, both surfaces pubescent, persistent or caducous. Flowers numerous, greenish white, 3-4 mm in diam. Sepals 4, ovate-orbicular, (1-)2-2.5(-3) mm, often unequal in size, outside pubescent with short semispreading hairs, or nearly glabrous, inside densely hairy, hairs semispreading, white, long; sepal margin ciliate. Staminate flowers: stamens with filaments ca. 2 mm, anthers ellipsoid, ca. 0.5 mm; disk glands small, close set. Pistillate flowers: ovary ovoid-globose, ca. 2 mm; disk annular or few lobed; placentas 2, each with 2 or 3 ovules; styles 2(or ?3), usually completely joined to form a single style column (0.5-)1(-1.5) mm. Fruit reported as red, drying black, globose, 3-5 mm in diam. Seeds 2-8, mid to darker brown when dried, ovoid, flattened at least on one side by mutual compression, 4-5 mm, completely enclosed in a thin sheath, sheath without dark streaks. [from Flora of China]

Ecology
Evergreen broad-leaved forests, forest margins; low elevations.

Uses

Distribution
From India and Nepal to southern China and Hainan, into Indochina up to Malaysia.

Local names
China: Nan ling zuo mu.