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Myrsine chathamica F. v. Muell.

Modern name

Rapanea chathamica (F. Muell.) W.R.B. Oliv.


Rapanea chathamica (F. v. Muell.) W. R. B. Oliver; Suttonia chathamica (F. v. Muell.) Mez

A small evergreen tree up to 20 ft high; young shoots furnished with short, stiff hairs. Leaves alternate, leathery, obovate, notched at the rounded apex, tapered at the base, not toothed, 1 to 212 in. long, 34 to 112 in. wide, glabrous except for down along the midrib beneath, pale green on both surfaces, dotted with glands beneath; stalk 16 in. or so long. Flowers 110 in. wide, unisexual, produced in dense clusters in the leaf-axils and on the lower naked part of the shoot; petals four, ciliate, thickly dotted with reddish glands. Fruits globose, purplish, 14 to 13 in. wide, containing one seed.

Native of the Chatham Islands (New Zealand); introduced by Major A. A. Dorrien-Smith, who visited the islands in December 1909 and found it common there in certain woods. One of its companion trees, then in full bloom, was Hebe gigantea, 20 ft high. The myrsine – inconspicuous in its flowers – should succeed where Olearia semidentata, perhaps the most beautiful of Chatham Island shrubs, succeeds.



Other species in the genus