Eucommia


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Eucommia

 

the sole genus of plants of the family Eucommiaceae. The single species, Eucommia ulmoides, is native to China. A deciduous tree reaching 10–20 m in height, it has elongate or oblong-ovate serrated alternate leaves. Some shrub forms are known. The plants are mostly dioecious, with small regular flowers lacking a perianth. The ovary consists of two carpels but is single-valved. The fruit is closed, usually one-seeded, and winged. There are laticiferous cells in all parts of the plant except the wood and seeds; the cells contain gutta, the main component of gutta-percha.

Since early antiquity, Eucommia has been used as a medicinal plant to treat broken bones and various internal diseases; it has also been used as a tonic. In the USSR the plant is cultivated primarily in Transcaucasia, Krasnodar Krai, Moldavia, and Middle Asia mainly for the extraction of gutta-percha. It is also cultivated as an ornamental. The bark is used medicinally for the preparation of decoctions, fluid extracts, and tinctures that are used as antispasmodic and hypotensive agents to treat the early stages of hypertension.

REFERENCE

Kalantyr’, M. S. “Issledovaniia po razvedeniiu i vyrashchivaniiu evkommii v SSSR.” In Lesovodstvo i agrolesomelioratsiia. Moscow, 1959.

M. E. KIRPICHNIKOV

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