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Genus Denhamia Family Celastraceae

Description: Shrubs or trees, ± glabrous.

Leaves alternate, often clustered, margins entire or toothed, usually stiff and ± leathery with veins distinct on both surfaces; stipules minute.

Flowers bisexual, small, usually in few-flowered cymes or racemes. Sepals 5, imbricate. Petals 5, imbricate, spreading, about twice as long as sepals, creamish. Stamens 5, inserted on margin of disc. Ovary partly immersed in disc, perfectly or imperfectly 2–5-locular, ovules 2–10 per loculus; stigmas 3–5 or single and ± lobed.

Fruit a capsule, 3–5-locular and opening by as many valves; seeds 1–several, aril fleshy, irregularly lobed, red.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 15 species, endemic Australia: Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A.

Text by T. A. James (edited B.J. Conn 2014)
Taxon concept: McKenna et al. 2011. Delimitation of the segregate genera of Maytenus s. l. (Celastraceae) based on morphological and molecular characters. Systematic Botany 36(4): 922-932.

 Key to the species 
1Fruit usually 2-locular, opening with 2 valves, mostly 2–6 seeded; seeds black2
Fruit 3–5-locular, opening by many valves, seeds 1-many; seeds red5
2Leaves linear to narrow-elliptic or oblanceolate, 2–15 mm wide; petioles 1–2 mm long3
Leaves ovate, obovate or elliptic, 10–40 mm wide; petioles 2–12 mm long
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4
3Leaves 2–15 mm wide, discolorous, lower surface grey–green, upper surface usually darker, margins recurved and toothed or entireDenhamia silvestris
Leaves 2–8 mm wide, more or less concolorous, bright green, margins flat and entire
                       Back to 2
Denhamia cunninghamii
4Leaves with margins usually toothed; petioles 2–5 mm long; seeds surrounded by an orange arilDenhamia bilocularis
Leaves with margins entire or occasionally slightly toothed; petioles 3–12 mm long; seeds with a yellow aril at base
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Denhamia disperma
5Adult leaves entire (rarely slightly crenate); flowering pedicels 2–3 mm longDenhamia moorei
Adult leaves toothed, sometimes obscurely so; flowering pedicels c. 1 mm long
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6
6Inflorescences 2–13 cm long; flowers with styles mostly 2–2.5 mm long; capsule ovoid, 10–17 mm diam., usually 3- or 4-valvedDenhamia celastroides
Inflorescences up to 4 cm long; flowers with styles mostly 1–2 mm long; capsule depressed-globose or obovoid, 20–24 mm diam., 3–5-valved
                       Back to 5
Denhamia pittosporoides

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