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Genus Myoporum Family Scrophulariaceae

Synonyms: Myoporum abscendens APNI*
Myoporum degeneri APNI*
Myoporum kermadec APNI*

Description: Shrub or small trees, with glabrous, or rarely pubescent, resinous vegetative parts.

Leaves simple, alternate or rarely opposite, margins entire or toothed, sessile but often tapering to a petiole-like base.

Flowers 1–12 in axils, ± actinomorphic. Sepals free or fused near the base, valvate or imbricate, ± equal. Corolla white or sometimes pinkish, spotted or unspotted; lobes regularly arranged or weakly 2-lipped. Stamens usually 4, exserted sometimes only beyond throat; anthers reniform. Ovary 2- or 4-locular, rarely more; 1 ovule per loculus.

Fruit drupaceous, succulent or rarely dry and laterally compressed.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 28 species, South-East Asia to Australia, Pacific, Mauritius. Australia: c 17 species (16 species endemic), all States.

A number are cultivated as ornamentals, in particular M. parvifolium, M. floribundum and M. bateae, or as windbreaks or hedge plants, M. insulare. Some are known to be poisonous to stock, including M. insulare and the New Zealand M. laetum Forster f. which is sometimes grown as a windbreak or shelter tree.

Text by R. J. Chinnock
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Leaves and branches finely pubescent; fruit white often tinged pinkishMyoporum betcheanum
Leaves and branches glabrous; fruit variously coloured, but if white not tinged with pink2
2Plants prostrate, creeping, forming mats; leaves oblanceolate, apex obtuse, less than 8 mm wide; fruit white or rarely brownMyoporum parvifolium
Plants erect or appressed to coastal cliffs in exposed sites; leaves variable, apex obtuse or acute, more than 8 mm wide or if narrower leaf apex acute; fruit variable in colour but neither white nor brown
                       Back to 1
3
3Fruit fleshy to succulent, ovoid to subglobose, 3–5- locular4
Fruit dry, compressed, ovate to oblong, 2-locular
                       Back to 2
7
4Fruit and ovary prominently wrinkledMyoporum acuminatum
Fruit and ovary smooth
                       Back to 3
5
5Leaves with margins usually obscurely toothed towards apex; sepals distinctly imbricate, with obvious translucent membranous marginsMyoporum insulare
Leaves with margins entire; sepals valvate or very slightly imbricate, lacking obvious translucent membranous margins
                       Back to 4
6
6Leaves linear to elliptic, apex attenuate; flowers spottedMyoporum montanum
Leaves ovate, obovate to oblanceolate or rarely more or less circular, apex obtuse to broad-acute; flowers unspotted
                       Back to 5
Myoporum boninense
7Leaves linear to more or less terete, less than 2.5 mm wide, margins entire; foliage with an unpleasant smellMyoporum floribundum
Leaves linear to elliptic, more than 3 mm wide, margins toothed at least in the upper half; foliage without an unpleasant smell
                       Back to 3
8
8Leaves finely toothed to near the base; fruit oblong, apex obtuse; sweetly scented shrubMyoporum bateae
Leaves sparsely toothed in the upper third to two-thirds; fruit ovate, apex acute; not obviously odorous
                       Back to 7
Myoporum platycarpum

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