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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 8 | Symplocaceae

1. Symplocos Jacquin, Enum. Syst. Pl. 5, 24. 1760.

Sweetleaf [Greek symplokos, connected, twisted, entwined, evidently alluding to connation of stamens and their adnation to petals in type species, S. martinicensis Jacquin]

Shrubs or trees, glabrous or hairy (hairs simple, 1-celled, with transverse septa); new vegetative growth from axillary and/or pseudoterminal buds. Branches smooth at maturity, glabrous or white- or rufous-pubescent. Leaves often sweet tasting; blade with marginal teeth usually glandular, apex acute to acuminate, midvein abaxially prominent, adaxially raised, prominent, or impressed [rarely flat]. Flowers fragrant; sepals imbricate; petals imbricate, white or yellow [pink, reddish, or lavender]; filaments glabrous [hairy]; anthers rotund-ovate to spheric. Drupes usually blue, sometimes orange to brown [white], crowned by persistent calyx; endocarp 1[-5]-celled. x = 11.

Species 318 (2 in the flora): e, s United States, West Indies (Antilles), South America (Argentina, Brazil), Asia (China, India, Japan), Pacific Islands (Fiji), Australia; temperate, tropical, and subtropical areas.

1 Leaf midveins impressed adaxially, blade margins closely serrate, serrulate, or dentate; inflorescences paniculate, usually internodal; flowers appearing with leaves; corolla lobes 2.5-5 mm; styles 2-4 mm; drupes bright blue to bluish black.   1 Symplocos paniculata
+ Leaf midveins raised to prominent adaxially, blade margins usually obscurely crenulate-serrulate, teeth remote, sometimes nearly entire; inflorescences fasciculate, axillary; flowers appearing before leaves; corolla lobes 6-8 mm; styles 5-6 mm; drupes dark orange to brown.   2 Symplocos tinctoria

Lower Taxa


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