This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(derivation unknown; probably named after a person). Syn., Morocorpus. Urticaceae. Upright shrubs, grown for their handsome foliage and ornamental yellow or red fruits, which are edible.
Leaves alternate, short-petioled, serrulate, 3-nerved at the base, rugose above, tomentose beneath; stipules bifid: flowers monoecious or dioecious in unisexual globose clusters arranged in small axillary cymes; staminate flowers with usually 4-parted perianth, with 4 short stamens; pistillate with urceolate or obovate perianth much contracted at the mouth, with very short usually 4-toothed limb, adnate to the ovary; stigma penicillate, on a short style or sessile: fruit subglobose consisting of numerous small 1-seeded fleshy drupelets. - Five or 6 species in China, S. Asia and Abyssinia. The two species in cultivation, neither of which is yet in trade, are spreading tender shrubs with handsome slender foliage, dark green above, whitish below, and small usually orange-red fruits resembling in shape a small mulberry and produced profusely along last year's branches. D. longifolia is a stove-plant; D. edulis is hardier, and at the Arnold Arboretum survives the winter outdoors. It is, however, killed back nearly to the ground, but sends up numerous shoots, and although it does not flower and fruit, it is an attractive bush on account of the striking contrast of the dark green lustrous upper and the white lower surface of the leaves.
Propagation is by seeds and by greenwood cuttings under glass.
Wedd. (Morocarpus edulis, Sieb. & Zucc). Shrub, to 6 ft.: branchlets appressed-pubescent, soon glabrous: leaves oblong-lanceolate to elliptic, acuminate, serrulate, rugose and smooth above, whitish tomentose below, 3-5 in. long: fruit orange-red, globose, about 1/3in. across, in small dichotomous cymes in June. China, Japan.
Wedd. (D. velutina, Gaud. Conocephalus niveus, Wight). Shrub, to 8 ft.: branchlets villous: leaves lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, serrulate, rugose and rough above, white-tomentose beneath, 4-7 in. long: fruit orange-yellow or red, 1/3in. across, in small dichotomous cymes. Subtropical Himalaya to Java. R.H. 1896, p. 321. G.C. III. 39:232, suppl.
Fig. 1230. Davallia bulla ta.