Maytenus tenuispina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Maytenus tenuispina
Maytenus tenuispina04.jpg
Maytenus tenuispina in flower
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Celastrales
Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Maytenus
Species: M. tenuispina
Binomial name
Maytenus tenuispina
(Sond.) Marais
  • Celastrus tenuispinus Sond.
  • Gymnosporia botsabelensis Loes.
  • Gymnosporia tenuispina (Sond.) Szyszyl.
Maytenus tenuispina IMG 3187.JPG
Maytenus tenuispina05.jpg

Maytenus tenuispina is a Southern African shrub or small tree of about 2m in height and one of about 120 species of Maytenus belonging to the family Celastraceae.

Endemic to South Africa and eastern Botswana, it is common on rocky outcrops, dip slopes and bushveld, and armed with slender spines of about 25mm long. Leaves are alternate or densely clustered in tufts, elliptic to almost linear, margins irregularly and finely serrate, apex frequently notched.

E. P. Phillips, the South African taxonomist, describes the genus Gymnosporia in his 1926 "Genera of South African Plants" as Sepals 5, sometimes unequal, acute, obtuse, sometimes acuminate, with entire, deeply laciniated or fimbriated margins. Petals oblong to sub-orbicular, with the margins entire ciliated or undulate. Disc deeply 5-lobed, sometimes 5-sided, collar-like or saucer-shaped, with crenate or undulate margins. Ovary 2-4-chambered, with 2 ovules in each chamber; style usually short; stigma 2-4-lobed. Fruit a capsule. Seeds often with an aril.

Maytenus, as do most of the Celastraceae, harbours an alkaloid named celastrin first obtained from Celastrus scandens by Prof. Edward S. Wayne of Cincinnati in 1872 as a white, crystalline substance. [1] Khat or Catha edulis also belongs to Celastraceae, and in addition to celastrin has edulin, chroline, ratine, tannin and ascorbic acid. [2][3]

External links[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Basic Principles of Forensic Chemistry" - Khan, Kennedy & Christian
  3. ^ "Celastrus.—False Bittersweet. | Henriette's Herbal Homepage". Retrieved 2017-08-01.