Potential ornamental plants in Symplocaceae from China

Y. Bai, J. Li, Q. Lei, C. Long, B. Liu
Trees and shrubs in Symplocaceae trees are mostly evergreen and many species are well-known for being used traditionally in many different ways in China. There are 42 species occurring in China. Most of them are widely distributed in subtropical regions. Some species can be cultivated as ornamental plants or having ornamental values. The southern, southwestern and southeastern regions of China have rich biodiversity and cultural diversity of Symplocaceae species. The data were collected in different seasons during 2009-2014, including literature investigation. In total, 250 informants were interviewed. Ethnobotanical and botanical approaches including free listing, use frequency, and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, Hunan and Yunnan in China. This study recorded the ornamental importance and potential resources of the family Symplocaceae in tropical and subtropical areas of China. Thirty shrub or tree species were recommended here as potential ornamentals. For each species, the field distribution, ornamental value, prediction for potential distributions and traditional management were recorded and analyzed. In addition to aesthetic values, the plants of Symplocaceae have traditionally been used for drinks, dyes, hard wood, edible fruit, medicine, valuable commercial resin or gum, and for extracting oil. We concluded that (1) China has advantage for developing and using Symplocaceae species; (2) local knowledge on ornamental Symplocaceae species is diversified and influenced by ethnic groups; and (3) different ethnic groups share the same mentality towards being sustainable and also meeting their needs through resource management.
Bai, Y., Li, J., Lei, Q., Long, C. and Liu, B. 2017. Potential ornamental plants in Symplocaceae from China. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1167:23-30
Symplocaceae, ornamental value, traditional management, development potential, ethnobotany

Acta Horticulturae