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Acanthopanax leucorrhizus (Oliver) Harms

Modern name

Eleutherococcus leucorrhizus Oliv.


Eleutherococcus leucorrhizus Oliver

A deciduous shrub, probably 6 to 10 ft high, entirely devoid of down, sometimes unarmed, sometimes with small, slender, downward-pointing prickles at the joints. Leaves composed of three or five leaflets borne on a stalk 1 to 3 in. long; leaflets 2 to 4 in. long, 58 to 114 in. wide, lanceolate, slender-pointed, doubly toothed, tapering at the base to a stalk 18 to 38 in. long. Flowers produced in July in a terminal cluster of umbels, each umbel 112 to 2 in. across, spherical, borne on a stalk 2 to 4 in. long. Each flower is small, greenish, on a slender stalk 12 to 34 in. long. Fruits black, roundish oval, 14 in. long, crowded in umbels over 2 in. across. Bot. Mag., t. 8607.

Native of Central China; discovered by A. Henry; introduced by Wilson in 1901. This is one of the handsomest species in this genus; its habit is not so stiff as that of its near allies, and the large umbels of black fruit are effective. It has been confused with A. simonii (q.v.), but differs in being glabrous and in the arrangement and shape of the prickles; from A. henryi it differs in the same respects as well as in the toothing of the leaflets. The Chinese obtain a drug from the root.

var. scaberulus Harms & Rehd. – A deciduous bush 4 to 6 ft high; young shoots glabrous, usually unarmed except for some deflexed spines found occasionally at the joints. Leaves always composed of five leaflets, borne on a common stalk 112 to 312 in. long, which is either smooth or furnished with reflexed bristle-like spines. Leaflets oblanceolate to obovate, tapered at the base, slenderly pointed, doubly toothed; 112 to 212 in. long, 12 to 112 in. wide; upper surface rough to the touch with short stiff hairs; lower surface downy on the midrib and chief veins beneath. Flowers yellowish green, produced during July in globose umbels about 1 in. wide. Fruits black, globose to oval, 14 in. long.

Native of Hupeh and Szechwan, China; introduced for Messrs Veitch by Wilson in 1904 and again three years later for the Arnold Arboretum, Mass. From the glabrous type this variety differs in the smaller downy leaflets, in the often bristly leaf-stalks, and in the uniformly five-foliolate leaves. Another form in cultivation is:

var. fulvescens Harms & Rehd. – This has leaflets also downy beneath and rough above; but they are larger (up to 5 in. long by 214 in. wide), have no bristles on the leaf-stalks, the down beneath is yellowish, and, as in the type, the leaflets may be three to five to each leaf.

Acanthopanax leucorrhizus

Acanthopanax leucorrhizus



Other species in the genus