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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 12 | Celastraceae

1a. Maytenus phyllanthoides Bentham var. phyllanthoides

Florida mayten Florida mayten

Shrubs or trees 1–7 m. Stems erect to spreading. Leaves: petiole 2–6 mm; blade obovate, 1.5–5(–6) × 1–2.5(–3.5) cm, base cuneate, margins entire, sometimes wavy, apex rounded.

Flowering early spring–summer; fruiting summer–winter. Hammocks, dunes, edges of mangrove forests; 0–10 m; Fla.; Mexico; West Indies (Bahamas, Cuba).

In the flora area, var. phyllanthoides occurs along the Gulf coast of peninsular Florida from Levy County south and on the Atlantic coast in Miami-Dade County and the Keys. The leaves yield a gum that has been used as a substitute for gutta-percha, a rubberlike substance derived from Palaquium Blanco spp. (Sapotaceae) of southeast Asia and used in dentistry and historically for electrical insulation and golf balls.


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