Prunus Mume Armeniaca Mume Seeds Mei Hua
梅花 mei hua
Trees, rarely shrubs, 4–10 m tall. Bark grayish to tinged with green, smooth. First year branchlets green, smooth, glabrous or densely incanous. Winter buds purplish brown, ovoid, 3–6 mm, glabrous, apex acute. Petiole 1–2 cm, densely incanous or pubescent when young, often with nectaries; leaf blade ovate, ovate-elliptic, elliptic, obovate, or obovate-oblanceolate, 4–8 × 2.5–5 cm, grayish green, both surfaces pubescent when young, gradually glabrescent or only abaxially pubescent in vein axils with age, base broadly cuneate to rounded, margin usually acutely serrulate, apex caudate. Flowers solitary or 2 in a fascicle, opening before leaves, 2–2.5 cm in diam., strongly fragrant. Pedicel 1–10 mm, glabrous. Hypanthium usually reddish brown but green to greenish purple for some cultivated varieties, broadly campanulate, 2.5–4 mm, outside glabrous or sometimes pubescent. Sepals ovate to suborbicular, 3–5 mm, apex obtuse. Petals white or pink, obovate, 0.9–1.4 × 0.8–1.2 cm. Stamens shorter to slightly longer than petals. Ovary densely pubescent. Style shorter to slightly longer than stamens. Drupe yellow to greenish white, subglobose, 2–3 cm in diam., pubescent; mesocarp sour, adnate to endocarp; endocarp ellipsoid to subglobose, slightly compressed on both sides, ventral suture somewhat obtuse, distinctly longitudinally furrowed on ventral and dorsal sides, surface pitted, base cuneate, obtuse, or rounded, apex obtuse and abruptly mucronulate. Fl. winter to spring, fr. May–Jun (or Jul–Aug in N China).
Forested slopes, sparse forests, stream sides, slopes along trails, mountains, also commonly cultivated; 1700--3100 m. Native in W Sichuan and W Yunnan; cultivated throughout most of China particularly in areas S of the Chang Jiang [Japan, Korea, N Laos, N Vietnam].
In addition to the varieties listed below, there are many cultivated varieties selected for their flowers or fruit.
1 Branchlets and petioles densely incanous. 10d var. pubicaulina
+ Branchlets glabrous, petioles pubescent when young but glabrescent. (2)
2 (1) Leaf blade obovate to obovate- oblanceolate; pedicel to 1 cm. 10c var. cernua
+ Leaf blade ovate, ovate-elliptic, or elliptic; pedicel usually not over 0.5 cm. (3)
3 (2) Leaf blade thin; endocarp ellipsoid, base cuneate. 10a var. mume
+ Leaf blade thick; endocarp subglobose, base obtuse to rounded. 10b var. pallescens
Armeniaca mume var. cernua (Franchet) T. T. Yü & L. T. Lu
Armeniaca mume var. mume
Armeniaca mume var. pallescens (Franchet) T. T. Yü & L. T. Lu
Armeniaca mume var. pubicaulina C. Z. Qiao & H. M. Shen
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