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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 2/7/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 2/7/2013)
Contributor J. A. DUKE
Description Aromatic trees or shrubs, not infrequently with buttressed bases, whorled branches, stellate pubescence, and reddish sap. Leaves alternate, exstipulate, penninerved, entire, often coriaceous, occasionally with pellucid punctation or stellate pubescence. Flowers unisexual, usually dioecious, actinomorphic, basically trimer- ous, solitary or more usually fascicled in racemes or panicles, or in dichotomous cymes. Perianth uniseriate, of typically 3 partially fused carnose tepals. Stamens 2-30, the filaments united into a column, the 2-locular extrorse anthers free or co- herent to the column. Pistillodes absent. Ovary superior, 1-carpellate, the stigma subsessile; with a single basal anatropous ovule. Fruit fleshy, the thick pericarp splitting longitudinally into 2 valves, the seed often with a reddish laciniate aril, the endosperm ruminate.
Habit trees or shrubs
Distribution A tropical group of about 15 genera centered in America, Africa and Asia,
Note this family is represented in the Americas by 6 genera, 1 of them including the nutmeg of commerce Myristica fragrans, locally introduced. Little can be added to the excellent monograph of the American representatives by A. C. Smith (in Brittonia 2: 393. 1937). Four of the 6 American genera occur in Panama.
Reference A. C. Smith (in Brittonia 2: 393. 1937)
Key a. Leaves and young twigs glabrous; secondary veins 4-12 pairs, the tertiary veins sometimes conspicuously parallel, almost perpendicular to the midrib; anthers 4-30, at least as long as the column. b. Tertiary veins not conspicuously perpendicular to the midrib; staminate flowers few in dichotomously branching cymes, the perianth 3-7 mm. long; anthers 12-30; pistillate pedicels 6-20 mm. long; arils laciniate .....1. MYRISTICA bb. Tertiary veins strikingly perpendicular to the midrib; staminate flowers several, fasciculate in subspicate racemes, the perianth 1.5-3.0 mm. long; anthers 4-8; pistillate pedicels 2-4 mm. long; arils subentire .. 2. COMPSONEURA aa. Leaves and young twigs pubescent, occasionally glabrate; secondary veins 5-35 pairs, the tertiary veins not conspicuously perpendicular to the midrib; anthers 3 (-2-6), longer or shorter than the column. c. Hairs of the young branchlets and petioles with only 1 or 2 conspicuous branches; secondary veins 5-25 pairs; staminate fascicles subcorymbosely to spicately disposed, the anthers usually free to their bases, rarely connate dorsally................................. 3. DIALYANTHERA cc. Hairs of the young branchlets and petioles with several conspicuous branches; secondary veins 10-35 pairs; staminate fasicles racemosely or paniculately disposed, the anthers dorsally connate or distally divergent, never free to their bases -----------------------------4. VIRO1LA
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