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Viburnum tinus

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Viburnum tinus (Laurustinus,<ref name=BSBI07>Template:Cite web</ref> laurustinus viburnum, or laurestine) is a species of flowering plant in the family Adoxaceae, native to the Mediterranean area of Europe and North Africa. Laurus signifies the leaves' similarities to bay laurel.

Description

Flower and leaves
It is a shrub (rarely a small tree) reaching Template:Convert tall and Template:Convert broad,<ref name=RHSAZ>Template:Cite book</ref> with a dense, rounded crown. The leaves are evergreen, persisting 2–3 years, ovate to elliptic, borne in opposite pairs, 4–10 cm long and 2–4 cm broad, with an entire margin. The flowers are small, white or light pink, produced from reddish-pink buds in dense cymes 5–10 cm diameter in the winter. The fragrant flowers are bisexual and pentamerous. The flowering period is from October to June. Pollination is by insects. The fruit is a dark blue-black drupe 5–7 mm long.

There are three subspecies:

  • Viburnum tinus subsp. tinus. Mediterranean region.
  • Viburnum tinus subsp. rigidum (syn. V. rigidum). Canary Islands.
  • Viburnum tinus subsp. subcordatum. Azores.

Leaves have domatia where predatory and microbivorous mites can be housed.<ref>Plants, mites and mutualism: leaf domatia and the abundance and reproduction of mites on Viburnum tinus (Caprifoliaceae). Raul Grostal and Dennis J. O'Dowd, Oecologia, April 1994, Volume 97, Issue 3, pages 308-315, Template:Doi</ref>

Habitat

It grows mainly in the Mediterranean maquis and in oak forests. It prefers shady, moist areas, at an altitude of Template:Convert above sea level. Template:Cn

Cultivation

Other uses

V. tinus has medicinal properties. The active ingredients are viburnin (a substance or more probably a mixture of compounds) and tannins. Tannins can cause stomach upset. The leaves when infused have antipyretic properties. The fruits have been used as purgatives against constipation. The tincture has been used lately in herbal medicine as a remedy for depression. The plant also contains iridoid glucosides.<ref>Iridoid glucosides from Viburnum tinus. Lamberto Tomassini, M. Francesca Cometa, Sebastiano Foddai and Marcello Nicoletti, Phytochemistry, January 1995, Volume 38, Issue 2, Pages 423–425, Template:Doi</ref>

Pests

In south-east Britain Viburnum tinus is the principal host of the viburnum beetle (Pyrrhalta viburni), the country's "number one pest species" according to the Royal Horticultural Society.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

References

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  • Flora Europaea: Viburnum tinus
  • Eriksson, O., et al. 1979. Flora of Macaronesia: checklist of vascular plants
  • Pignatti S. - Flora d'Italia – Edagricole – 1982, Vol. II, pag. 639

External links

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Gallery

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