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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Myrsinaceae

Myrsine Linn.


Description from Flora of China

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.

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