We are following Christenhusz M.J.M., An Overview of Lardizabalaceae, Curtis's Botanical Magazine, Vol 29, Issue 3 September 2012 pp 235-267, who treats the genus Decaisnea as comprising two species. In some publications, such as the flora of China[
] and Qin, H.-N. (1997). A taxonomic revision of the Lardizabalaceae. Cathaya 8-9: 1-214., Decaisnea fargesii is treated as no more than a synonym for Decaisnea insignis[
Decaisnea insignis is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 3.50 metres tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
E. Asia - Himalayas in Bhutan, India and Myanmar.
Cloud forests and humid, montane forests, woods and thickets; at elevations from 2,000 - 3,000 metres[
Decaisnea insignis is not a very cold-hardy plant, being able to tolerate short periods with temperatures down to around -5 to -8°c when fully dormant.
Prefers a rich moist loamy soil and a sunny position sheltered from cold winds[
]. Succeeds in partial shade[
This species is not very hardy in Britain[
], it probably needs greenhouse protection in most parts of the country[
]. The flowers and young growth in spring are very frost-tender and can be damaged by late frosts[
]. The flowers are produced at the tips of the new upright growths in the spring[
Fruit - raw[
]. A yellow pod about 8cm long[
], it is filled with a white juicy pulp that is very sweet and pleasant to eat[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[
], it then usually germinates freely in early spring[
]. Sow stored seed in late winter in a greenhouse. This usually germinates well, within 1 - 3 months at 18°c[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on under protection for their first winter. Plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts.