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Meliosma veitchiorum Hemsl.

Modern name

Meliosma veitchiorum Hemsl.

A deciduous tree 30 to 50 ft high, with very stout, rigid, erect branches. Leaves pinnate, 112 to 212 ft long, with about nine or eleven leaflets, which are each 312 to 7 in. long, about half as much wide, of ovate or oblong outline, occasionally rather heart-shaped at the base, glabrous except on the midrib beneath, margins entire or sparsely toothed. Panicles as much as 18 in. long, and 12 in. wide at the base, more open and less densely furnished with flowers than either of the simple-leaved species before mentioned; flowers creamy white, 14 in. across. Fruits rich violet, globose, 58 in. wide.

Native of W. China at elevations of 5,000 to 7,500 ft, whence it was introduced by Wilson in 1901. It is in cultivation in several places including Kew, and is noteworthy for its fine pinnate foliage with red petioles, and curiously stout, rigid branchlets. It is evidently a perfectly hardy tree and has flowered in several places and borne fruit in recent years. There is an example at Kew near the Ferneries measuring 30 × 214 ft (1967). Growing in a damper and more shaded position, this species has attained at Nymans in Sussex the size of 48 × 312 ft (1968); this fine tree is almost as tall as any that Wilson saw growing wild in China.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

The well-known specimen at Nymans in Sussex now measures 56 × 414 ft (1985). The example at Kew near the Ferneries remains healthy but has grown little since it was moved some ten yards into its present position early in the 1970s.



Other species in the genus