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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 19 | Rubiaceae

75. Psydrax Gaertner, Fruct. Sem. Pl. 1: 125. 1788.

假鱼骨木属 jia yu gu mu shu

Authors: Tao Chen, Charlotte M. Taylor & Henrik Lantz

Shrubs or small trees [or sometimes scandent], unarmed. Raphides absent. Leaves opposite [or sometimes ternate], sometimes with domatia; stipules persistent, interpetiolar or shortly fused to petioles or united around stem, generally triangular to ovate. Inflorescences axillary, cymose and several flowered [or rarely 1-flowered], sessile to pedunculate, bracteate or bracts reduced. Flowers subsessile to pedicellate, bisexual, monomorphic. Calyx limb truncate or 4- or 5-dentate. Corolla white to yellow, tubular to funnelform, inside variously pubescent; lobes 4 or 5, valvate in bud, markedly reflexed at anthesis. Stamens 4 or 5, inserted in corolla throat, partially to fully exserted; filaments developed, reflexed at anthesis; anthers dorsifixed near base. Ovary 2-celled, ovules 1 in each cell, pendulous from apical placentas; stigma exserted, ovoid to cylindrical, bifid, with style attachment recessed. Fruit generally yellow, drupaceous, fleshy, subglobose to ellipsoid or sometimes dicoccous, with calyx limb persistent; pyrenes 2, 1-celled with 1 seed, bony or cartilaginous; seeds medium-sized, ellipsoid, cylindrical, or plano-convex; testa membranous; endosperm fleshy; radicle ascending.

About 100 species: tropical Africa and Asia; one species in China.

The species now treated in Psydrax were long included in Canthium, but they were separated out and Psydrax was revived as a genus by Bridson (Kew Bull. 40: 687-725. 1985), subsequently supported by Lantz and Bremer (Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 146: 272-276. 2004). The type species was published as "Psydrax dicoccos," using for the epithet a Greek term that is presumably analogous to "dicoccus" or "dicoccum" (cf. Stearn, Botanical Latin. 1983, Group II nouns and Group A adjectives, respectively). Bridson was the first author to accept Psydrax in almost two centuries, and she clearly and explicitly gave feminine endings to all its species including the type, P. dicocca. Thus ICBN Art. 62.1 seems to apply here: the assignment of gender to a genus is based on predominance of usage, not the original publication, and Psydrax is here treated as feminine and the epithet of our species as adjectival following Bridson. Bridson also suggested that P. dicocca is restricted to Sri Lanka and S India and the Chinese and Malesian plants that have long gone under that name are not conspecific; however, no differences are evident on the specimens studied, and further resolution of this is outside the scope of the current work.

Lower Taxa


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