Grewia biloba G. Don
Synonyms: G. parviflora var. glabrescens Rehd. & Wils.
This species is mainly represented in cultivation by the following variety:
var. parviflora (Bge.) Hand.-Mazz. G. parviflora Bge. – A deciduous shrub 6 to 8 ft high, with the young shoots and leaves furnished with starlike down. Leaves alternate, ovate, or sometimes three-lobed, rounded, slightly heart-shaped, or tapered at the base, pointed at the apex, 2 to 5 in. long, half to two-thirds as wide, rough to the touch above, downy beneath. Flowers creamy yellow, with numerous yellow stamens; about 1⁄2 in. across; produced during July and August, in small axillary umbels of about six flowers on the shoots of the year. Fruits roundish, orange or red, 1⁄4 in. wide.
Native of N. China and Korea; introduced in 1888. It is of little value in gardens, and not very hardy with us, probably needing a hotter summer than ours. The finest specimen I have seen in Europe was in the collection of the late Mr de Vilmorin, at Les Barres in France. When I saw it, it was 7 ft high and 10 ft through, flowering freely in July. It flowers a month later in England.
G. biloba in its typical state is a native of E. China and Formosa. It differs from the above variety in its longer and relatively narrower leaves, which are glabrous above and less downy beneath, but the distinction is not very well marked and intermediate states occur.
G. optiva Drummond ex Burret G. oppositifolia Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don, not DC. – This species is sometimes seen in cultivation but is not so hardy as G. biloba. It is widely cultivated along the foothills of the Himalaya, in the Salt Range of the Punjab and farther west, the foliage being stacked for winter fodder, the drupes eaten and the wood used in carpentry. It is believed to be wild in Garwhal and Kumaon and perhaps also in Nepal. It is very distinct from G. biloba in bearing the flowers in a short inflorescence on the opposite side of the shoot to that where the leaf-stalk is attached. Flowers yellowish; fruits black.