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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 15 | Myrsinaceae

5. Myrsine Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 196. 1753.

铁仔属 tie zai shu

Myrsine africana

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Rapanea Aublet.

Shrubs or small trees. Inflorescences axillary, umbellate or fascicled, on short scaly branchlets or spurs, bracteate. Flowers bisexual or unisexual and plants monoecious, dioecious, or polygamous, 4- or 5(or 6)-merous. Sepals nearly free or united to 1/2 length, imbricate, usually ciliate, punctate, persistent. Petals nearly free or rarely united to 1/2 their length, usually ciliate, glandular granulose, punctate. Filaments free or united at base, adnate to corolla, with apical free portions minute or absent; anthers ovate or reniform, rarely sagittate, 2-celled, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary glabrous or glabrescent; ovules few, in 1 series. Fruit a globose or subovoid drupe, with somewhat fleshy exocarp and crusty or leathery endocarp, 1-seeded. Seeds occupying cavity; endosperm horny, ruminate; embryo cylindric, transverse.

Myrsine and Rapanea have traditionally been regarded as separate genera, especially in regional and local floras. However, when the two genera are examined on worldwide basis, the alleged differences between them do not hold. Myrsine and Rapanea are poorly represented in China, as evidenced by the presence of only 11 out of the approximately 300 species in the entire world. The Chinese species are easily assigned to Myrsine and Rapanea as traditionally circumscribed. For that reason, most Chinese authors prefer to maintain both genera.

1 Leaf blade up to 3.3 × 1.2 cm; petiole less than 5 mm.   (2)
+ Leaf blade 3.4-18 × 1.4-8 cm; petiole 6-25 mm.   (5)
2 (1) Branchlets angular or verruculose, reddish glandular granulose apically, without lenticels.   (3)
+ Branchlets subterete, smooth, glandular puberulent, with branched or capitate trichomes, lenticellate.   (4)
3 (2) Branchlets angular, smooth; leaf blade apex emarginate; calyx epunctate   1 Myrsine cicatricosa
+ Branchlets terete, densely verrucose; leaf blade apex obtuse to rounded; calyx red punctate-lineate   2 Myrsine verruculosa
4 (2) Branchlet trichomes 2- or 3-branched; leaf blade linear or elliptic, margin entire   3 Myrsine affinis
+ Branchlet trichomes capitate; leaf blade obovate to orbicular, rarely oblanceolate, margin serrate-dentate   4 Myrsine africana
5 (1) Branchlets (2.6-)3-7 mm in diam.   (6)
+ Branchlets 1.5-2.5 mm in diam.   (8)
6 (5) Branchlets smooth, glandular granulose; leaf blade apex broadly rounded to truncate; petiole 6-8 mm   11 Myrsine linearis
+ Branchlets rugose, glabrous or reddish puberulent; leaf blade apex acute; petiole 9-25 mm.   (7)
7 (6) Terminal bud glabrous; petiole 2-2.5 cm; leaf blade broadly oblanceolate or obovate, secondary veins conspicuous abaxially; calyx lobes not ciliate   9 Myrsine kwangsiensis
+ Terminal bud reddish puberulent, early glabrescent; petiole 0.9-1.5 cm; leaf blade narrowly linear-lanceolate or elliptic, secondary veins inconspicuous abaxially; calyx lobes ciliate   10 Myrsine seguinii
8 (5) Leaf blade margin subentire to sharply toothed.   (9)
+ Leaf blade margin entire.   (10)
9 (8) Calyx cupular, lobes ovate, keeled, apex acuminate; leaf blade slightly asymmetric, glossy on both sides   5 Myrsine semiserrata
+ Calyx disc-shaped, lobes oblong, flat, apex obtuse; leaf blade symmetric, glossy adaxially   6 Myrsine stolonifera
10 (8) Leaf blade very narrowly lanceolate or oblanceolate, apex caudate or long acuminate, base cuneate, margin flat; calyx papery, lobes ovate   7 Myrsine faberi
+ Leaf blade oblong or elliptic, apex abruptly short acuminate, base obtuse, margin revolute; calyx leathery, lobes linear-oblong   8 Myrsine elliptica

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