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Genus Melianthus Family Melianthaceae

Description: Shrubs, often strongly scented.

Leaves alternate, imparipinnate, petiole and rachis winged; leaflets opposite, asymmetric, toothed, glabrous or hairy. Racemes with 1–4 flowers at each node.

Flowers compressed. Sepals usually pouched at base. Petals clawed. Disc large, unilateral. Stamens 4, in 2 pairs, 1 pair shorter than the other, inserted inside the nectary, filaments free. Ovary 4-locular; ovules 2–4 per loculus.

Capsule papery to woody; seeds black, shiny, without an aril.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 8 species, southern Africa. Australia: 2 species (naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., S.A.

Text by S. M. Hastings
Taxon concept:

One species in NSW: Melianthus major

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