Osmoxylon lineare

Family : Araliaceae

Text © Pietro Puccio

 

English translation by Mario Beltramini

 

 

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Osmoxylon lineare is native to Philippines where lives as underwood in humid forests © Giuseppe Mazza

The species is native to Philippines (Luzon) where it lives as underwood in the humid forests.

The name of the genus is the combination of the Greek substantives “ὀσμή” (osmé) = scent and “ξύλον” (xylon) = wood; the name of the species is the Latin adjective “linearis” = linear, with reference to the linear lobes of the leaves.

Common names: green aralia, miagos bush (English).

The Osmoxylon lineare (Merr.) Philipson (1976) is a 1,5-3 m tall, erect, compact evergreen shrub, with pale grey stem.

The leaves, on a 4-6 cm long petiole, grouped at the apex of the branches, are palmate, coriaceous, of glossy intense green colour, divided almost up to the base in 4-7 lanceolate linear lobes, 15-20 cm long and 1-1,5 cm broad, with pointed apex and margins with spaced teeth. Terminal inflorescences in compound umbels with about 10 primary axes, 2-3 cm long, ending each one in three secondary axes, the central one, 0,5 cm long, ending in a spherical umbel of sterile flowers (false fruits), and the two lateral, 3-3,5 cm long, ending in a capitulum of about 1 cm of diameter formed by up to 20 hermaphroditic sessile flowers of white cream colour.

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Close-up of the inflorescence complex structure with false fruits and terminal capitula © Giuseppe Mazza

The about 3 mm long ovoid fruits, are purple blackish when ripe. It reproduces by seed, in sandy organic loam maintained humid at the temperature of 22-24 °C, and easily by cutting.

Species rare in cultivation, very decorative due to the elegant foliage and undemanding of cares, cultivable in the tropical and subtropical climate regions where temperatures close to the 0 °C are a short-lasting exception.

Utilizable as soil cover or for edges, requires well drained rich soils, slightly acidic or neutral, maintained preferably humid, even if, well rooted, resists to short drought periods; it adapts to an ample variety of light, from the full sun, if the humidity is high, to the shade.

Slow-growing, it well adapts to the cultivate in pot for the decoration of even little luminous ambients, with lowest temperatures not under the 15 °C, utilizing a substratum rich of organic substance with addition of coarse sand or agri-perlite for a 30% to improve the drainage, with regular watering, but allowing the loam to partially dry up before watering again. A particularly decorative variegated form does exist.

Synonyms: Boerlagiodendron lineare Merr. (1908).

 

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The photographic file of Giuseppe Mazza

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