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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/8/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 7/8/2013)
Genus Chionanthus L.
PlaceOfPublication Sp. P1. 1: 8. 1753
Note TYPE: C. virginicus L.
Synonym Mayepea Aubl., Hist. PI. Guiane 1: 81, tab. 31. 1775, nom. rejic. TYPE: M. guianensis Aubl. = Chionanthus ligustrina (Swartz) Pers. Thouinia Thunb. ex L.f., Suppl. PI. 89. 1781, nom. rejic., non Poit. 1804 (Sapindaceae). TYPE: T. nutans L.f. Ceranthus Schreb., Gen. PI. 1: 14. 1789, nom. rejic. TYPE: C. schreberi J. F. Gmelin. Linociera Schreb., Gen. PI. 2: 784. 1791, nom. cons., syn. prius Mayepea Aubl. et Ceranthus Schreb. TYPE: Thouinia ligustrina Swartz = Chionanthus ligustrina (Swartz) Pers.
Description Trees, deciduous or evergreen; twigs often with prominent lenticels. Leaves opposite, entire, pinnately veined, mostly glandular-punctate or with minute peltate trichomes beneath, sometimes with simple hairs as well; petioles slender; exstipulate. Inflorescences mostly terminal panicles, the branching opposite, dichasial; scalelike bracts and bracteoles present. Flowers mostly white, some- times drying yellowish; calyx cupular or funnelform, mostly with 4 deltoid lobes; corolla with a short tube and ca. 4 elongate, linear, straplike petals; stamens 2, inserted opposite one another near the top of the corolla tube between the petals, the filaments short and glabrous, the anthers oblong to ellipsoidal, latrorse with a broad connective produced into an apicule or umbo; style short, cylindrical, apically 2-lobed, the lobes ventrally stigmatic, sometimes basally connate, the ovary 2-loculed with 2 pendulous ovules in each locule. Fruits ellipsoidal or ob- long, 1-seeded drupes.
Habit Trees
Note This genus may be recognized by its showy panicles of white flowers with linear petals. Until recently, tropical members of the genus, which are mostly evergreen, have been considered generically distinct from those of temperate North America and Asia which are deciduous. Decision to unite the 2 genera follows arguments proposed by Stearn (1976). The genus includes some 3-4 species from north temperate regions and over 100 from the tropics of both hemi- spheres. Bark of the roots has had some medicinal repute in the past.
Reference Stearn, W. T. 1976. Union of Chionanthus and Linociera (Oleaceae). Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 63: 355-357. [1977].
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