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Xylosma hawaiiense

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Kingdom Plantae
Order Malpighiales
Family Salicaceae
Species in this genus
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Xylosma ()<ref>Brenzel, Kathleen N. (1995). Sunset Western Garden Book (6 ed.). Sunset Publishing Corporation. pp. 606–607. ISBN 9780376038517. </ref> is a genus of flowering plants in the in the willow family, Salicaceae.<ref name="GRIN"/> It contains around 100 species of spiny evergreen shrubs and trees<ref name="Everett">Everett, Thomas H. (1982). The New York Botanical Garden Illustrated Encyclopedia of Horticulture. 10. Taylor & Francis. p. 3572. ISBN 9780824072407. http://books.google.com/?id=KeGzp-YXrPYC. </ref> commonly known as brushhollies, xylosmas, or, more ambiguously, "logwoods". The generic name is derived from the Greek words ξύλον (xylon), meaning "wood," and ὀσμή (osmé), meaning "smell,"<ref>Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. IV R-Z. Taylor & Francis US. p. 2857. ISBN 9780849326783. http://books.google.com/?id=zIOvJSJs-IkC. </ref> referring to the fragrant wood of some of the species.<ref name="Everett"/> The Takhtajan system places it in the family Flacourtiaceae,<ref>Takhtajan, Armen (2009). Flowering Plants (2 ed.). Springer. p. 226. ISBN 9781402096082. http://books.google.com/?id=oumyfO-NHuUC. </ref> which is considered defunct by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group.<ref name="GRIN"/>


The leaves are alternate, simple, entire or finely toothed, long. The flowers are small, yellowish, produced on racemes long, usually dioecious,<ref name="eFloras">"Xylosma G. Forster, Fl. Ins. Austr. 72. 1786.". Flora of China. eFloras.org. http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=135180. Retrieved 2010-02-03. </ref> and have a strong scent. The fruit is a small purple-black berry in diameter that contains 2 to 8 seeds.<ref name="Everett"/>


The genus is predominantly native to the tropics and subtropics,<ref name="Everett"/> from the Caribbean, Central America, northern South America, the Pacific Islands, southern Asia and northern Australasia. Two species – Shiny Xylosma (X. congestum) and X. japonicum – are found in warm-temperate eastern Asia (China, Korea and Japan).


Xylosma foliage is used as food by the caterpillars of some lepidoptera, such as the Rustic (Cupha erymanthis), which feeds on X. racemosa, and the Common Leopard (Phalanta phalantha), which feeds on X. longifolium and X. racemosa.


The main use for the genus is as hedge and topiary plants among gardeners in desert and chaparral climates. Shiny Xylosma is the species usually seen in garden hedges and in road landscaping, despite the fact it bears thorns. Other species cultivated for these purposes include X. bahamensis, X. flexuosa, and X. heterophyllum.<ref name="Everett"/> X. longifolium is sometimes grown in India for its edible fruits.<ref name="Mansfeld">Peter Hanelt; Institute of Genetics and Crop Plant Research, ed (2001). Mansfeld's Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops (Except Ornamentals). 3. Springer. pp. 1374. ISBN 9783540410171. http://books.google.com/?id=10IMFSavIMsC. </ref> In addition, a medicinal extract is made from its young leaves that acts as antispasmodic, narcotic, and sedative.<ref>Khare, C. P. (2007). Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary. Springer. p. 725. ISBN 9780387706375. http://books.google.com/?id=gMwLwbUwtfkC. </ref>

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