Chinese Sapphire Berry
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Chinese Sapphire Berry
P Native Photo: Shivani Negi
Common name: Chinese Sapphire Berry
Botanical name: Symplocos cochinchinensis subsp. cochinchinensis    Family: Symplocaceae (Saphire-berry family)
Synonyms: Symplocos congesta, Symplocos ferruginifolia, Symplocos javanica

Chinese Sapphire Berry is a shrub or small trees with branchlets, leaf-stalks, and leaf blade midveins rusty woolly. Leaf-stalks are 1-2 cm; leaf blade narrowly elliptic, elliptic, or obovate-elliptic, 9-27 x 3-10 cm, papery, below rusty to brownish velvet-hairy to woolly, base broadly wedge-shaped to almost rounded, margin almost entire to minutely toothed, tip tapering to pointed. Lateral veins are 7-14 pairs, below very prominent, strictly parallel, quite straight, curved upwards towards margin and nearly reaching it. Flower-spikes are 6-11 cm long, 3-5-branched from base, axis and bracts reddish brown woolly to velvet-hairy. Sepals are slightly fused at base, reddish brown woolly, about 2 mm. Stamens are 60-80. Disc annular to cylindrical, hairless. Drupes are flask-shaped to spherical, 5-7 x 4-5 mm, tip with persistent conic sepals. Chinese Sapphire Berry is found in East Himalaya to China and SE Asia, at altitudes of 800-1500 m. Flowering: August-September.

Identification credit: Sunit Singh, Shivani Negi Photographed in Rudarparyag, Uttarakhand.

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