Cornus capitata Wallich
- genus Cornus L.
Trees or shrubs, evergreen, 3-18 m tall. Bark brown or blackish gray; young branches grayish green, pubescent with white appressed trichomes; old branches grayish brown, nearly glabrous. Flower buds globose, exposed, subtended by four small green, linear-lanceolate bracts; leaf buds exposed. Leaf blade grayish green on both surfaces, narrowly elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, 5-12 cm long, 2-3.5 cm wide, thinly leathery to leathery, abaxially densely pubescent with thick white appressed trichomes, scabrous, axils of veins often pitted or rarely with a cluster of trichomes, veins 3 or 4, base cuneate to broadly cuneate, apex acuminate to shortly caudate. Cymes globose, ca. 1.2 cm in diameter, 50-100-flowered; bracts white, obovate or broadly obovate, rarely orbicular, 3.5-6.2 cm long, 1.5-5 cm wide. Calyx tube ca. 1.2 mm, hardly lobed to conspicuously 4-lobed; lobes rounded. Petals oblong, 3-4 mm. Styles cylindrical, ca. 1.5 mm, densely pubescent with white trichomes. Infructescences compressed or subglobose, 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter, pubescent with small white trichomes, purple red at maturity; peduncle 4-7 cm, stout.
Cornus capitata is close relative of Cornus elliptica, but differs from the latter in its peduncles thick, 2-3 cm (vs. slender, 5-8 cm), infructescences compressed globose (vs. globose).
The chromosomal number of Cornus capitata is 2n = 22 (Sandhu and Mann, 1988).
Ecology and Distribution
Flowering from May to July; fruiting from September to November.
Cornus capitata is occurring in Guizhou, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan of China, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal.
The phylogenetic relationships of Cornus has been inferred using nuclear gene 26S rDNA (Fan and Xiang, 2001). Results suggest the dwarf dogwood (subg. Arctocrania) and the big-bracted dogwood (subg. Cynoxylon and subg. Syncarpea) clades are sisters (Cornus capitata belong to subg. Syncarpea), which are, in turn, sister to the cornelian cherries (subg. Cornus and subg. Afrocrania). This red-fruited clade is sister to the blue- or white-fruited dogwoods (subg. Mesomora, subg. Kraniopsis, and subg. Yinquania).
Growing in evergreen and mixed forests; 1000-3200 m.
The ripe, sweet fruit of Cornus capitata is edible, the bark is used medicinally, and the branches and leaves are used for tannin.
- Benthamia capitata (Wallich) Nakai (synonym)
- Benthamia fragifera Lindley (synonym)
- Benthamidia capitata (Wallich) H. Hara (synonym)
- Cornus capitata subsp. brevipedunculata (W. P. Fang & Y. T. Hsieh) Q. Y. Xiang (synonym)
- Cornus capitata subsp. emeiensis (W. P. Fang & Y. T. Hsieh) Q. Y. Xiang (synonym)
- Cynoxylon capitatum (Wallich) Nakai (synonym)
- Cynoxylon glabriusculum Pojarkova (synonym)
- Cynoxylon yunnanense Pojarkova (synonym)
- Dendrobenthamia capitata (Wallich ex Roxburgh) Hutchinson (synonym)
- Dendrobenthamia capitata var. emeiensis (W. P. Fang & Y. T. Hsieh) W. P. Fang & W. K. Hu (synonym)
- Dendrobenthamia emeiensis W. P. Fang & Y. T. Hsieh (synonym)
- Dendrobenthamia tonkinensis var. brevipedunculata (W. P. Fang & Y. T. Hsieh) W. P. Fang & W. K. Hu (synonym)