1. Scutia myrtina (N. L. Burman) Kurz, J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, Pt. 2, Nat. Hist. 44: 168. 1875.
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Rhamnus myrtina N. L. Burman, Fl. Indica, 60. 1768 ["myrtinus"]; Blepetalon aculeatum Rafinesque, nom. illeg. superfl.; Ceanothus circumscissus (Linnaeus f.) Gaertner; R. circumscissa Linnaeus f.; Scutia circumscissa (Linnaeus f.) W. Theobald; S. commersonii Brongniart; S. eberhardtii Tardieu; S. indica Brongniart, nom. illeg. superfl.
Shrubs evergreen, scandent, straggling, or erect, to 5 m tall, spinescent. Branches opposite to subopposite; young branches puberulent; older branches brown or red-brown, striate, glabrous. Spines mostly 2 per node, axillary, 2-7 mm, recurved. Leaves opposite or subopposite; stipules lanceolate, 2-3 mm, early deciduous; petiole 3-5 mm, glabrous or puberulent; leaf blade abaxially pale green, adaxially shiny, deep green, brown when dry, elliptic, 3.5-6 × 1.8-3 cm, leathery, both surfaces glabrous, lateral veins 5-8 pairs, conspicuously raised abaxially, impressed adaxially, base broadly cuneate, margin inconspicuously remotely minutely serrulate, apex shortly acuminate or acute. Flowers yellow-green, few in axillary fascicles or shortly pedunculate in axillary condensed cymes, glabrous. Pedicels 1-2 mm. Sepals (4 or)5, narrowly triangular, ca. 2 mm, midvein distinctly keeled, apex acute and thickened. Petals (4 or)5, deeply emarginate to deeply bilobed,
unguiculate, ca. 1 mm, both sides slightly inflexed, base shortly clawed. Stamens (4 or)5, surrounded by and equaling petals. Disk glabrous, rather thin and inconspicuous. Ovary globose, base filling calyx tube, but not immersed in disk, 2-loculed; style short, ca. 1 mm, stout; stigma undivided or inconspicuously 2- or 3-lobed. Drupe obovoid-globose, 4-5 mm in diam., often with rudimentary style at apex, base with persistent calyx tube, with 2 one-seeded stones; fruiting pedicel 3-4 mm, glabrous. Seeds brown, flat, obcordate, not furrowed. Fl. Mar-May, fr. Jul-Nov.
Forest understories, open places; low elevations. SW Guangxi, S Yunnan [India, Thailand, Vietnam; Africa, Madagascar].
This species is very diverse in size, shape, and denticulation of the leaves, but Johnston (Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 101: 64-71. 1974) refused to base separate taxa on these characters.
In India, Scutia myrtina is grown as a hedge plant, and the edible fruit is used as an astringent.