Maytenus Molina
Sag.Stor.Nat.Chili p177, 349. (1781)

Name Status: Current
Browse to the list of specimens for Maytenus Molina

Scientific Description
J. Gathe, Thursday 8 September 2016

Family Celastraceae.

Habit and leaf form. Trees, or shrubs; deciduous (sometimes); laticiferous, or non-laticiferous and without coloured juice. Leaves cauline. Stem internodes solid. Leaves fasciculate; alternate, or opposite (rarely); not distichous; ‘herbaceous’, or leathery; petiolate (West Australian species); non-sheathing; simple. Leaf blades dissected, or entire; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves with stipules, or without stipules. Stipules minute; caducous. Leaf blade margins entire, or serrate. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hairs absent (or nearly so). Extra-floral nectaries absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite, or functionally male and functionally female, or functionally male, or functionally female. Unisexual flowers present, or absent. Plants hermaphrodite, or monoecious, or dioecious (requires clarification). Female flowers with staminodes (with well developed staminodes). Male flowers with pistillodes (well developed pistillode). Entomophilous.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes, or in racemes (or crowded near the ends of short spinescent shoots). The terminal inflorescence unit cymose, or racemose. Inflorescences axillary (or lateral); inflorescence usually few to many-flowered, axis sometimes growing out into a leafy branch. Flowers pedicellate (articulate); bracteate (subtend the peduncle); ebracteolate; usually small; regular; 4–5 merous; cyclic; nearly always tetracyclic. Hypogynous disk present; intrastaminal; annular. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; (4–)8–10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 4–5; 1 -whorled; polysepalous (more or less), or gamosepalous (basally connate); imbricate, or valvate; regular. Corolla present; 4–5; 1 -whorled; alternating with the calyx; polypetalous (more or less), or gamopetalous; imbricate; regular; green. Fertile stamens present, or absent. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 4–5. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal; free of one another; 1 -whorled, or 2 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens, or including staminodes. Staminodes sometimes (2–)3–5 (alternating with the stamens). Stamens 4–5; all more or less similar in shape; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous (on or beneath the margin of the disc). Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; extrorse, or introrse; unilocular to bilocular; bisporangiate, or tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed in aggregates, or shed as single grains; when in aggregates in tetrads, or in polyads. Fertile gynoecium present, or absent. Gynoecium 2–5 carpelled (usually with all but one abortive). The pistil 2–3 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious, or eu-syncarpous; superior (adnate to the disc so seems inferior), or partly inferior (K). Ovary plurilocular; 2–3 locular; sessile. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; attenuate from the ovary; apical. Stigmas 1–3. Placentation axile. Ovules 2 per locule; pendulous, or ascending; apotropous; with ventral raphe, or with dorsal raphe (when pendulous); anatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules valvular (valves crustaceous). Fruit 2–3 celled; 1–6 seeded. Seeds endospermic, or non-endospermic. Endosperm when present, ‘more or less’ oily. Seeds winged, or wingless. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2 (large, flat, foliaceous). Embryo straight.

Etymology. From Mayten, the Chilean name for the original species.

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Koch, B. L.; Wilson, A. J. G.; Western Australian Herbarium (1992). Flora of the Kimberley region. Western Australian Herbarium. Como, W.A.