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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 11 | Rutaceae

4. Melicope J. R. Forster & G. Forster, Char. Gen. Pl. 28. 1775.

蜜茱萸属 mi zhu yu shu

Authors: Prof. Dianxiang Zhang & Thomas G. Hartley

Shrubs, trees, rarely scandent, evergreen, usually dioecious or sometimes monoclinous or andromonoecious. Leaves opposite [or whorled], digitately 3-foliolate or 1-foliolate. Inflorescences axillary or basal to leaves, cymulose to thyrsiform [or reduced to solitary flowers]. Sepals 4, connate at base or to nearly their full length. Petals 4, valvate or narrowly imbricate in bud. Stamens 4 or 8 [or 4-8], rudimentary in female flowers. Disk pulvinate to annular to cup-shaped. Gynoecium 4-carpelled, rudimentary or lacking in male flowers; ovaries connate at base, otherwise contiguous [or connate up to their full length]; ovules [1 or] 2 per locule; style apical or subapical, of 4 contiguous, coherent, or connate stylar elements; stigma usually punctiform, capitellate, or capitate. Fruit of 1-4 basally connate follicles [or grading to a syncarpous 4-loculed loculicidal capsule]; exocarp dry to fleshy; endocarp cartilaginous. Seeds remaining attached in dehisced fruit; seed coat with thick inner layer of dense black sclerenchyma and spongy outer layer bounded externally by a shiny black pellicle; endosperm copious; embryo straight or slightly curved; cotyledons elliptic, flattened; hypocotyl superior.

About 233 species: E, S, and SE Asia, Australia, Indian Ocean islands (Mascarenes), Madagascar, Pacific islands; eight species (two endemic) in China.

As discussed by Hartley (Allertonia 8: 19, f. 5. 2001), two types of attachment of mature seed are seen in dehisced fruit of Melicope. In Type A, the attachment is by a partially detached axile strip of pericarp tissue or by a partially detached raphe, or by both. In Type B, neither the axile pericarp tissue nor the raphe is detached, and the seed is connected to the axile placental region by a funiculus, which is simply the funiculus of the ovule enlarged.

1 Stamens 8; seed attachment Type A   (2)
+ Stamens 4; seed attachment Type B   (3)
2 (1) Leaves 1-foliolate; follicles ellipsoid to obovoid, ca. 6.5 mm.   1 M. patulinervia
+ Leaves mostly 3-foliolate; follicles subglobose, 3-4.5 mm.   2 M. triphylla
3 (1) Inflorescences 0.7-1.8(-2) cm wide; apex of staminal filaments at least in male and bisexual flowers obtuse or narrowly so or sometimes acute; petals usually persistent in fruit; leaves 3-foliolate and/or 1-foliolate   (4)
+ Inflorescences 1.5-16 cm wide; apex of staminal filaments at least in male and bisexual flowers subulate to filiform; petals usually deciduous in fruit; leaves mostly 3-foliolate   (5)
4 (3) Petioles sparsely puberulent to pubescent adaxially, otherwise glabrous or nearly so.   7 M. viticina
+ Petioles pubescent to velutinous all around.   8 M. glomerata
5 (3) Young branchlets 4.5-10 mm wide in third internode; leaflet blades abaxially strigillose to ± appressed villosulous.   4 M. semecarpifolia
+ Young branchlets 2-4.5 mm wide in third internode; leaflet blades abaxially glabrous to puberulent   (6)
6 (5) Larger primary branches of inflorescences usually spreading; leaflet blades ovate-elliptic, elliptic, or elliptic-obovate, or narrowly so; inflorescences 2-10 × 1.5-8 cm; pedicel sparsely puberulent to pubescent.   6 M. pteleifolia
+ Larger primary branches of inflorescences usually ascending; leaflet blades usually elliptic or narrowly so; inflorescences 4.5-32 × 3-16 cm; pedicel glabrous to tomentulose   (7)
7 (6) Leaflet blades elliptic, sometimes ovate-elliptic, or rarely obovate; inflorescences 8-32 × 3-16 cm; pedicel nearly glabrous to tomentulose.   3 M. lunu-ankenda
+ Leaflet blades ± narrowly elliptic; inflorescences 4.5-9 × 3-4.5 cm; pedicel glabrous.   5 M. chunii

Lower Taxa


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