Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of plants, of the order Anonaceæ, type of tribe Unoneæ. It differs from
Asimina, the papaw of the United States, in its commonly moniliform fruit, and from others of its tribe in its corolla with flat open petals, and in having numerous ovules in a single series. The 25 species are natives of tropical Asia, except 4 or 5 which are African. They are trees or shrubby climbers, usually with large flowers solitary in or near the axils, their petals often 2 or 3 inches long, reaching 6 inches in U. longiflora, a shrub of Assam. Their young branches are often silky or velvety, with brown, gray, golden, or reddish hairs, or, in U. Desmos and U. discolor, are covered with white dots or tubercles. Many species yield an aromatic bark and fruit, used as a stimulant and febrifuge. U. discolor, cultivated in India, and native also in China and the Malay archipelago, is a small tree or shrub with polymorphous leaves, odorous yellow flowers with silky petals in several varieties, and purple moniliform fruit with fleshy joints, resembling small grapes; from the unripe fruit the Chinese make a purple dye. U. viridiflora, a gigantic climber of Indian forests, is remarkable for the bright-green color of its large flowers. For the former U. hamata, now Artabotrys odoratissima, see tail-grape; for the former U. (now Cananga) odorata, see Cananga. See also Uvariaand Xylopia, with which the species have been much confused.
“It is a new species of the unona, and has the stateliness of the Uvaria zeylanica of Aublet.”
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