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Melicytus ramiflorus J. R. & G. Forst.

Modern name

Melicytus ramiflorus J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.

A deciduous shrub or small tree up to 30 ft high, with glabrous young shoots and leaves. Leaves alternate, oblong-lanceolate, tapered towards both ends, coarsely toothed, 2 to 6 in. long, 34 to 2 in. wide, bright dark green above; stalk 13 to 34 in. long. Flowers small, produced in June in clusters of three to nine from the joints of the previous season’s growth; each flower about 15 in. wide, yellowish green, on a stalk 15 to 25 in. long. Petals five, triangular. Fruit a globose berry, 15 in. wide, violet-blue, very abundant.

Native of New Zealand; long cultivated in the Temperate House at Kew, where a plant flowers but does not bear fruits. As, however, the species is usually, if not always, unisexual, both male and female plants will be necessary to obtain them. The greatest success with it in this country probably has been achieved by the late Canon Boscawen at Ludgvan Rectory, near Penzance, in whose garden it stood ten degrees of frost without injury, and in May 1930 was 20 ft high and wide. He sent to Kew some beautiful sprays covered with fruit in November 1917, which had been gathered from his plants raised ten years before from New Zealand seed.



Other species in the genus

[No species article available]