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Myrsine alyxifolia5.jpg
Myrsine alyxifolia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Myrsinaceae
Genus: Myrsine

See text.


Suttonia A.Rich.

Myrsine is a genus of flowering plants, the nominate genus of the family Myrsinaceae. It is found nearly worldwide, primarily in tropical and subtropical areas. It contains about 200 species,[1] including several notable radiations, such as the matipo of New Zealand and the kōlea of Hawaiʻi (the New Zealand "black matipo", Pittosporum tenuifolium, is not related to Myrsine). In the United States, members of this genus are known as colicwood. Some species, especially M. africana, are grown as ornamental shrubs.

The leathery, evergreen leaves are simple and alternate, with smooth or toothed margins and without stipules. The one-seeded, in dehiscent fruit is a thin-fleshed globose drupe. The flowers and fruits often do not develop until after leaf fall and thus appear naked on the branches. The fruits often do not mature until the year after flowering. The calyx is persistent.

The Pacific basin and New World species formerly separated in the genera Rapanea and Suttonia (distinguished from the African and Southeast Asian Myrsine sensu stricto by having the style absent and staminal tube and filaments completely adnate to the corolla) are sometimes included in Myrsine.[1]

Selected species[edit]


  1. ^ a b Wagner, W. L.; D. R. Herbst, and S. H. Sohmer (1999). Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 934. 
  2. ^ Little Jr., Elbert L.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989). Kōlea (PDF). United States Forest Service. 
  3. ^ Little Jr., Elbert L.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989). Kōlea lau-liʻi (PDF). United States Forest Service.