Oriental Raisin Tree Hovenia Dulcis Seeds Bei Zhi Ju
北枳椇 Bei Zhi Ju
Description from Flora of China
Hovenia dulcis var. glabra Makino; H. dulcis var. latifolia Nakai ex Y. Kimura.
Trees, rarely shrubs, deciduous, to 10 m tall. Branchlets brown or black-purple, glabrous, with inconspicuous lenticels. Petiole 2-4.5 cm, glabrous; leaf blade ovate, broadly oblong, or elliptic-ovate, 7-17 × 4-11 cm, papery or thickly membranous, both surfaces glabrous or abaxially pilose on major veins, base truncate, rarely cordate or subrounded, margin irregularly serrate or coarsely serrate, rarely shallowly serrate, apex shortly acuminate or acuminate. Flowers yellow-green, 6-8 mm in diam., in terminal, or rarely axillary, asymmetrical cymose panicles; rachis and pedicels glabrous. Sepals ovate-triangular, 2.2-2.5 × 1.6-2 mm, glabrous. Petals clawed, obovate-spatulate, 2.4-2.6 × 1.8-2.1 mm. Disk sparsely pilose. Ovary globose; style shortly 3-fid, 2-2.2 mm, glabrous. Fruit a 3-seeded nut, black at maturity, subglobose, 6.5-7.5 mm in diam., glabrous; peduncles and pedicels becoming fleshy and juicy at fruit maturity. Seeds deep brown or black-purple, 5-5.5 mm in diam. Fl. May-Jul, fr. Aug-Oct.
The fleshy rachis of the infructescence is sweet and edible and is used for making wine and candy. The timber is fine and hard and is used for building construction and fine furniture.
Secondary forests, also cultivated in gardens; 200-1400 m. Anhui, Gansu, Hebei, Henan, NW Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, N Sichuan [Japan, Korea, Thailand].
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