Callicarpa L.
Sp.Pl. 2:111 (1753)

Name Status: Current
Browse to the list of specimens for Callicarpa L.

Scientific Description
T.R. Lally, Thursday 8 September 2016

Family Verbenaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Small trees, or shrubs; evergreen; bearing essential oils. Plants unarmed. Leaves cauline. Young stems cylindrical, or tetragonal (obtusely). To 1–6 m high. Leaves medium-sized; not fasciculate; opposite; decussate; ‘herbaceous’; not imbricate; petiolate; foetid, or without marked odour; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire; flat; elliptic to oblong, or ovate, or obovate; pinnately veined; cross-venulate; cuneate at the base. Mature leaf blades adaxially stellate pubescent (later glabrous except on the nerves); abaxially densely stellate woolly. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins serrate to dentate; flat. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hairs present. Unicellular hairs present. Complex hairs present. Complex hairs stellate. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Plants heterostylous. Ornithophilous (said to be devoured extensively by birds).

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. Inflorescence many-flowered. Flowers in cymes and in panicles. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences axillary; pedunculate panicles of axillary cymes, solitary in axils of upper leaves. Flowers pedicellate to subsessile; bracteate; minute to small; regular; 4 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present, or absent. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 8; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 4; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; entire to lobed; minutely toothed (or truncate). Calyx lobes much markedly shorter than the tube. Calyx erect; open in bud; exceeded by the corolla; funnel-shaped, or campanulate (shortly); regular; persistent. Corolla present; 4; 1 -whorled; gamopetalous; lobed; blunt-lobed. Corolla lobes markedly shorter than the tube, or about the same length as the tube. Corolla imbricate; tubular, or campanulate; regular; glabrous abaxially; glabrous adaxially; plain; violet (or mauve). Corolla lobes broadly ovate, or orbicular. Corolla members entire. Androecium present. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 4. Androecial sequence not determinable. Androecial members adnate (to the corolla tube); all equal; free of one another; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 4. Staminal insertion near the base of the corolla tube. Stamens all inserted at the same level; becoming exserted; all more or less similar in shape; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous. Filaments glabrous; filiform. Anthers separate from one another; dorsifixed; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 4 celled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 2 locular. Locules secondarily divided by ‘false septa’. Gynoecium median. Ovary sessile. Ovary summit glabrous. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; simple; attenuate from the ovary, or from a depression at the top of the ovary; apical; much longer than the ovary at anthesis; becoming exserted; hairless. Stigmas 1; obscurely 2 - lobed; capitate, or truncate. Placentation axile. Ovules 2 per locule, or 1 per locule (per cell); pendulous, or horizontal, or ascending; non-arillate; hemianatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit depressed-globular, about 2 mm in diameter; about 2 cm in diameter; fleshy; indehiscent; a drupe. The drupes with separable pyrenes. Dispersal unit the fruit. Seeds non-endospermic. Cotyledons 2 (expanded, flat). Embryo straight.

Special features. Corolla tube exceeding the calyx; straight. Stamens projecting straight forwards or spreading.

Geography, cytology, number of species. Native of Australia. Not endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, and New South Wales. Northern Botanical Province. A genus of about 150 species; 1 species in Western Australia; 0 endemic to Western Australia.

Etymology. From the Greek for "beautiful" and "fruit".

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.