Symplocos Paniculata (Asiatic Sweetleaf)
Symplocos paniculata is a large shrub or small tree. The bark on mature specimens has gray ridges and dark fissures. Growth habit is spreading, and low branching. Foliage is dark green, with no real fall color. Fragrant, cream-white flowers, 1/2 inch wide, are borne on 2 to 3 inch panicles in early spring, on last year's wood. Fruit is a bright turquoise or sapphire blue, 1/3 inch wide drupe, ripening in fall, devoured by birds. To insure cross pollination, several shrubs should be planted. Winter pruned, not fussy as long as the soil is well drained. Not bothered by pests. An exellent plant for the back of the border, as a screen or small tree. Native to China, Japan, Himalayas.
Shrubs or small trees, deciduous. Young branchlets glabrous or ± pilose; old branchlets glabrous. Petiole 3--7 mm; leaf blade ovate, elliptic-obovate, or broadly obovate, usually slightly rhomboid, 1.5--11 X 1--5.5 cm, membranous to thinly papery, abaxially glabrous or pubescent, adaxially glabrous or appressed hairy, base broadly cuneate to subcordate, margin sharply glandular dentate, apex acuminate to acute, lateral veins 4--10 pairs. Panicles terminal, consisting of a raceme of cymose corymbs, 2--10 cm; bracts early deciduous, usually linear, ca. 1(--3) mm, brown glandular. Pedicel 0--10 mm, slender, thickening in fruit, articulate at apex. Ovary obconic, 1--1.5 mm, glabrous or hairy, 2-locular, with 4 ovules per locule. Calyx lobes light yellow, ovate to semi-orbicular, 1--1.5 mm, sometimes abaxially hairy, margin ciliate. Corolla 3--6 mm. Stamens 25--60. Disc 5-glandular, glabrous or hairy. Drupes bluish, rarely white, ovate-globose, 3--8 mm. Fl. Apr-Jun, fr. Sep-Nov.
Slopes in mixed forests; 800--2500 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Xizang, Zhejiang [Bhutan, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam].