2. Cyrilla Garden ex Linnaeus, Syst. Nat. ed. 12. 2: 182. 1767; Mant. Pl. 1: 5, 50. 1767.
[For Dominico Cirillo, 1739-1799, Italian physician and professor of natural history, University of Naples]
Shrubs or trees, deciduous or semi-evergreen, usually much-branched from base. Leaves: petiole present; blade with prominent midrib and clearly visible lateral veins on both surfaces. Inflorescences clustered at distal ends of branchlets of previous season, produced after shoot growth of current season begins, 6-18 cm; bract persistent. Pedicels: bracteoles persistent, 2. Flowers: sepals lanceolate-ovate, apex acute to acuminate; petals ovate to ovate-lanceolate, base not clawed, apex acute; stamens 5; filaments terete, somewhat expanded basally; ovary 2-3(-4)-locular; ovules 1-3 per locule; stigma 2-3(-4)-lobed. Fruits berrylike, unwinged, ovoid to subglobose. Seeds usually absent, sometimes 1-4.
Species 1: e, sc United States, s Mexico, West Indies, Central America, n South America.
Several species or varieties of Cyrilla have been distinguished on the basis of local variation in leaf and inflorescence size; most recent floristic treatments follow J. L. Thomas (1960) and recognize a single variable species.
SELECTED REFERENCE Dute, R. R. et al. 2004. Floral anatomy and pollination biology of Cyrilla racemiflora (Cyrillaceae). SouthE. Naturalist 3: 309-326.