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Distylium racemosum3.jpg
D. racemosum in Japan
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Hamamelidaceae
Genus: Distylium
Siebold & Zucc.

See text

Distylium (winter-hazel) is a genus of about 18 species of evergreen shrubs and trees in the witch hazel family, Hamamelidaceae, native to eastern and southeastern Asia.

Fossil record[edit]

Researchers have recognized Distylium fossil pollen among the middle Miocene Sarmatian palynoflora from the Lavanttal Basin of Austria. The sediment containing the fossil pollen had accumulated in a lowland wetland environment with various vegetation units of mixed evergreen/deciduous broadleaved/conifer forests surrounding the wetland basin. Key relatives of the fossil taxa found with Distylium are presently confined to humid warm temperate environments, suggesting a subtropical climate during the middle Miocene in Austria.[1] Distylium macrofossils of the Lower and Middle Miocene, are known from the lignite mines of the Kaltennortheim Formation in the Rhön Mountains, cental Germany, where it is associated with typical elements of the Mastixioid floras that attest to an optimal warm humid phase of the Miocene.[2]

Selected species


  1. ^ Combined LM and SEM study of the middle Miocene (Sarmatian) palynoflora from the Lavanttal Basin, Austria: part III. Magnoliophyta 1 – Magnoliales to Fabales, Friðgeir Grímsson, Barbara Meller, Johannes M. Bouchal & Reinhard Zetter, Grana 2015, Vol 54, No. 2,85-128.
  2. ^ The floral change in the tertiary of the Rhön mountains (Germany) by Dieter Hans Mai - Acta Paleobotanica 47(1): 135-143, 2007.