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Myrtus chequen (Mol.) Spreng.

Modern name

Luma chequen (Molina) A.Gray


Eugenia chequen Mol.; E. chekan DC.; Myrceugenella chequen (Mol.) Kausel; Luma chequen (Mol.) A. Gray

A densely branched, very leafy shrub (or occasionally a small tree in the wild); young stems brown, finely white-downy. Leaves shortly stalked, broad-elliptic or broad-ovate, acute to obtuse at the apex, rounded or wide-cuneate at the base, on the main shoots mostly 58 to 1316in. long, 14 to 34 in. wide (but on the short lateral twigs elliptic to obovate, 14 to 58 in. long, 18 to 516 in. wide), entire, leathery, deep green above, light green below, densely gland-dotted on both sides, aromatic. Flowers borne in late summer, singly or in three-flowered cymes in the axils of the uppermost pairs of leaves of the main shoots and of the lateral twigs; peduncles and pedicels 38 in. long, slender; bracteoles two, immediately under the flower; flower-buds globose. Calyx with a very short tube and four or five spreading, rounded or ovate lobes about twice as long as the tube. Petals four (occasionally five), spreading, roundish, 18 to 316 in. wide, white. Stamens numerous, as long or longer than the petals. Style 14 in. long, with a minute stigma. Fruit a more or less globose berry, black, 316 to 14 in. across. Seeds hard and horny; embryo with a stout radicle half encircling the appressed more or less flattened cotyledons. Bot. Mag., t. 5644.

Native of Chile from Coquimbo to Concepcion, usually in wet places; introduced by William Lobb in 1847. It is related to M. luma (apiculata) but is usually a shrub and lacks the characteristic bark of that species. It is moderately hardy south of London in a sheltered position.



Other species in the genus