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1. MYRSINE L., 1753

Fls 4-5-merous, perfect to unisexual, us. in cymose fascicles, sts solitary. Sepals free or connate towards base; petals free or partly connate. Staminal filaments obsolete to evident, free or ± adnate to petals; anthers dorsifixed. Style obsolete to evident; stigma capitate. Ovary superior; fr. a 1-seeded globose drupe. In the N.Z. spp. the fls and frs often do not develop till after lf-fall and thus appear naked on the branches. The frs often do not mature till the year after flowering. The calyx and style are long-persistent. Widespread genus of many spp., the N.Z. spp. endemic.

The N.Z. spp. were included in Myrsine L. until the revision by Mez of the family (Pflanzenr. 9, 1902). Mez placed M. kermadecensis, M. salicina, M. australis in Rapanea Aubl., and the remainder in Suttonia Hook. f. non A. Rich. Cheeseman (Man. N.Z. Fl. 1925, 711) pointed out the artificiality of this treatment, and placed all our spp. in Suttonia A. Rich. Hosaka (Occ. Pap. Bishop Mus. 16, 1940, 25-76) made a detailed study of the Hawaiian spp. in relation to the three genera. He decided there was no adequate character to separate Suttonia and Rapanea. "To determine the status of the genera of Rapanea and Myrsine, I examined several specimens of Myrsine africana Linnaeus. No generic character was found that could be used to separate the two genera. The only difference between Myrsine africana and the species of Rapanea was in the exsertion of the anthers in M. africana, a character which seems too weak for the separation of the genera. I have thus come to the conclusion that Suttonia, Rapanea, and Myrsine cannot be separated and that they should be combined under one genus."

Allan (T.R.S.N.Z. 76, 1947, 596) accepted Hosaka's view, and made the consequent combination for M. australis. Oliver (Rec. Auck. Inst. Mus. 4, 1951, 111) agreed that Rapanea and Suttonia should be merged under the prior name Rapanea and pointed out that the type sp. of Myrsine (M. africana) "has the filaments of the stamens united into a flange on the inside of the corolla, a structure not at all like any seen in either Rapanea or Suttonia". He makes the necessary new combinations under Rapanea for the N.Z spp. Mez includes in his diagnosis of Myrsine L. the statement: "Stamina petalis longiora vel breviora; filamentis permanifestis, longe nunc longiuscule liberis, petalis prope basin insertis sueto annulo glanduloso insidentibus." I gave sufficient synonymy for those who prefer to adopt Oliver's disposition.

Plant prostrate or trailing; stems and branches slender; lvs suborbicular, 4-10 × 4-10 mm 9. nummularia
Plant an erect or spreading shrub or tree; stems and branches ± stout; lvs not suborbicular 2
Lvs, all or most, 7-18 cm. long, of linear order 2. salicina
Lvs, all or most, distinctly < 7 cm. long, not of linear order 3
Lvs strongly undulate 3. australis
Lvs not or very obscurely undulate 4
Lvs of adult plants, all or most, irregularly toothed on upper margins and apex. 7. oliveri
Lvs of adult plants, all or most, entire or nearly so 5
Plant with rigid divaricate branches; final branches and branchlets drooping, stiff; lvs 5-15-(20) × 5-10-(15) mm. 8. divaricata
Plant not having the above characters in combination 6
Petals united at base; plant of Kermadec Is 1. kermadecensis
Petals quite free; plant not found in Kermadec Is 7
Ultimate branchlets densely clad in stiff hairs 8
Ultimate branchlets glab. or nearly so 9
Lvs 3-6 × 1·5-4 cm.; fascicles with many fls 5. chathamica
Lvs 1-2 × 0·5-1 cm.; fascicles with 1-5 fls 6. coxii
Lvs 4-6 × 1·5-2.5 cm 3. australis
Lvs 1-3·5 × 0·5-2.5 cm 4. montana