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Genus Psydrax Family Rubiaceae

Description: Trees or shrubs; branches usually borne at right angles to the stem; branchlets occasionally spinescent.

Leaves entire, opposite or whorled, stipulate, petiolate, stipules interpetiolar, free or shortly confluent and sheathing at the base, mostly triangular or lanceolate, keeled and attenuated into a folded lobe at apex (except P. lamphrophylla), persistent or sometimes caducous; glabrous or hairy.

Inflorescences axillary, pedunculate, of dichotomously branched cymes with bifurcate cymose branches, the flowers mostly secund on the rachis and usually with a comparatively long-stalked solitary (central) flower near forks of the dicotomous branches; bracts small usually in the upper end of the main peduncle. Flowers usually bisexual, 4- or 5-merous, fragrant. Calyx tube short, obconical or broad -ellipsoid with 4- or 5- usually minute lobes. Corolla white, cream or lemon yellow, with the tube campanulate, glabrous on the outside and usually with a ring of retrorse hairs at at throat; lobes as long as tube. Stamens 4 or 5, inserted in throat of corolla tube; filaments short; anthers exserted. Ovary 2-locular.

Fruit a drupe usually blackish, laterally compressed; pyrenes 1 or 2 in each fruit and 1-seeded, usually thick and woody; seeds oblongoid with testa membraneous.

Distribution and occurrence: World: 100 species in the Old World Tropics; Australia 22 species, all States except for Victoria and Tasmania.

Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Austrobaileya 6(4): 819 (2004) S.T. Reynolds & R.F.J.Henderson.

 Key to the species 
1Leaf blades usually > 10 cm longPsydrax lamprophylla
Leaf blades usually < 10 cm long2
2Domatia present, 1–4 on each side of the midribPsydrax odorata
Domatia absent
                       Back to 1
3Branchlets reddish-brown and usually covered with a whitish bloom distally, sometimes swollen and galledPsydrax latifolia
Branchlets pale-brown or grey (bark mottled white distally), resiniferous distally, glabrous, smooth or usually spinose in the juvenile or regrowth state
                       Back to 2
Psydrax oleifolia

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