J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1959, Vol. 8 ›› Issue (1): -.

• Research Articles •    

Notes on Chinese Samydaceae

Wan-chang Ko   

Abstract: The Samydaceae, a tropical and subtropical family, includes 17 genera and about 400 species, the majority of which are found in the tropics. At the present time, two genera, Casearia and Homalium, with approximately 18 species, one variety and one form are known in this country. Most members of this family prefer the moist atmosphere of rain forests in southern latitudes, consequently they are more abundant and more luxuriant in the island of Hainan, where 11 species occur, amounting to about 60% of the known elements of this family so far accredited to our region. The number of species recorded for provinces on the mainland are: Kwangtung 9, Kwangsi 6, Yunnan 3, Fukien 2. Only one species has been definitely recorded for the island province of Taiwan and Hunan. The Chinese species are mostly shrubs, rarely medium sized trees, scattered individually so that they do not constitute dominant components in forest formations. In Hainan, a few species, such as Casearia membranacea Hance, Homalium hainanense Gagnep., while moderate in size, yield wood of fair quality which is suitable for railroad ties, house-building and ship-construction. The wood of Homalium stenophyllum Merr. and Chun is strong and tough, used locally for manufacturing agricultural implements. In the present review of the Chinese Samydaceae, in preparation for a Flora of Hainan, 7 new species have been proposed, 6 in Homalium, 1 in Casearia, namely C. yunnanensis. The new additions amount to an increase of 50% over previously known records. The specimens cited in this paper are deposited in the herbarium of Academia Sinica. South China Institute of Botany, Canton.

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