Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Xylosma hawaiensis
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Salicaceae
Subfamily: Salicoideae
Tribe: Saliceae
Genus: Xylosma
G.Forst., 1786[1]
Type species
Xylosma orbiculata
(J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.) G.Forst.[1]

About 100, see text


Xylosma /zˈlɒzmə/[3] is a genus of flowering plants in the family Salicaceae.[2] It contains around 100 species of evergreen shrubs and trees[4] commonly known as brushhollies, xylosmas, or, more ambiguously, "logwoods". The generic name is derived from the Greek words ξύλον (xylon), meaning "wood, tree", and ὀσμή (osmé), meaning "smell",[5] referring to the fragrant wood of some of the species.[4] The Takhtajan system places it in the family Flacourtiaceae,[6] which is considered defunct by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group.[2]


The leaves are alternate, simple, entire or finely toothed, 2–10 cm (0.79–3.94 in) long. The flowers are small, yellowish, produced on racemes 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) long, usually dioecious,[7] and have a strong scent. The fruit is a small purple-black berry 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) in diameter that contains 2 to 8 seeds.[4]


As of February 2023, Plants of the World Online accepted the following species:[8]


The genus is predominantly native to the tropics and subtropics,[4] from the Caribbean, Central America, northern South America, the Pacific Islands, southern Asia and northern Australasia. One species, X. congesta, is found in warm-temperate eastern Asia (China, Korea and Japan). Molecular phylogenetic analysis suggest that the genus Lasiochlamys from New Caledonia may be nested in Xylosma.[9]


Xylosma foliage is used as food by the caterpillars of some lepidoptera, such as the rustic (Cupha erymanthis), which feeds on X. congesta (syn. X. racemosa), and the common leopard (Phalanta phalantha), which feeds on X. longifolia and X. congesta.


The main use for the genus is as hedge and topiary plants among gardeners in desert and chaparral climates. Xylosma congesta 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. spiculifera (syn. X. heterophylla).[4] X. longifolia is sometimes grown in India for its edible fruits.[10] In addition, a medicinal extract is made from its young leaves that acts as antispasmodic, narcotic, and sedative.[11] 15 species of the genus have reported medicinal or veterinary use.[12]


  1. ^ a b "!Xylosma G. Forst". TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
  2. ^ a b c "Genus: Xylosma G. Forst". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2018-07-31. Retrieved 2023-08-31.
  3. ^ Brenzel, K. N. (1995). Sunset Western Garden Book (6 ed.). Sunset Publishing Corporation. pp. 606–07. ISBN 978-0-376-03851-7.
  4. ^ a b c d e Everett, T. H. (1982). The New York Botanical Garden Illustrated Encyclopedia of Horticulture. Vol. 10. Taylor & Francis. p. 3572. ISBN 978-0-8240-7240-7.
  5. ^ Quattrocchi, U. (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. Vol. IV R-Z. Taylor & Francis US. p. 2857. ISBN 978-0-8493-2678-3.
  6. ^ Takhtajan, A. (2009). Flowering Plants (2 ed.). Springer. p. 226. ISBN 978-1-4020-9608-2.
  7. ^ "Xylosma G. Forster, Fl. Ins. Austr. 72. 1786". Flora of China. eFloras.org. Retrieved 2010-02-03.
  8. ^ "Xylosma G.Forst". The International Plant Names Index. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  9. ^ Alford, M.A (2005). Systematics Studies in Flacourtiaceae. PhD Thesis, Cornell University, 2005.
  10. ^ P. Hanelt, ed. (2001). Mansfeld's Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops (Except Ornamentals). Vol. 3. Springer. p. 1374. ISBN 978-3-540-41017-1.
  11. ^ Khare, C. P. (2007). Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary. Springer. p. 725. ISBN 978-0-387-70637-5.
  12. ^ Duarte-Casar, Rodrigo; Romero-Benavides, Juan Carlos (January 2022). "Xylosma G. Forst. Genus: Medicinal and Veterinary Use, Phytochemical Composition, and Biological Activity". Plants. 11 (9): 1252. doi:10.3390/plants11091252. ISSN 2223-7747. PMC 9103172. PMID 35567253.
  • Media related to Xylosma at Wikimedia Commons
  • Data related to Xylosma at Wikispecies