Malesian Euphorbiaceae Descriptions



R.M.A.P. Haegens


Haegens, R.M.A.P. 2000. Taxonomy, Phylogeny, and Biogeography of Baccaurea, Distichirhops, and Nothobaccaurea (Euphorbiaceae). Blumea Suppl. 12: 1216.


Goto on this page:

Genus description

Species description


Nothobaccaurea Haegens


    Nothobaccaurea Haegens, Blumea Suppl. 12 (2000) 198; Radcl.-Sm., Euphorbiacearum (2001) 63 (sub Baccaurea); G.L.Webster in Kubitzki, Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 11 (2014) 87. — Type: Nothobaccaurea stylaris (Müll.Arg.) Haegens.


 Shrub to tree, dioecious, Terminalia branching pattern present. Indumentum of simple hairs. Bark nely ssured. Leaves simple, alternate to opposite, spirally arranged; petiole apically pulvinate; stipules triangular or foliaceous, caducous, often ciliate; lamina: base rounded to attenuate; margin entire, marginal glands present; apex usually retuse to cuspidate; upper surface (sub)glabrous, raised glands often present, sometimes granulate; lower surface glabrous to sparsely hairy, raised glands often present, discoid glands present, nervation raised; secondary veins curved, usually closed at margin. Inflorescences axillary to ramiflorous to rarely cauline, reduced thyrses, solitary to many clustered together; flowers hypogynous, actinomorphic; pedicel with or without abscission zone. Staminate inflorescences distinctly branched, many-flowered, flowers scattered along inflorescence; bracts triangular to ovate; branchlets 1–5-flowered. Staminate flowers 1–2.5 mm diam.; sepals 3–7, fused at base; petals absent; disc absent; stamens 5–7, longer than sepals, glabrous; anthers basixed to dorsixed, opening with an apical slit; staminodes or disc glands absent; pistillode present, small, glabrous. Pistillate inflorescences not branched, few to many-flowered; bracts inserted on rachis and along pedicel, 1–2 per flower, triangular. Pistillate flowers 0.8–2 mm diam.; sepals 5 or 6, slightly imbricate, persistent; petals absent; staminodes present, c. 7; disc absent; ovary ovoid, 2-locular, ovules 2 per locule, attached at apex of column, wings absent; stigmas apically cleft, almost completely divided into 2 lobes; protuberances present. Fruits 1- (or 2-)seeded late dehiscing fleshy capsules, raised glands present; arillode enclosing seed totally.

    Distribution — Two species in the Pacic.

    Habitat & Ecology — Primary or secondary rain forest. Altitude: sea level up to 1100 m, usually in lowland. Flowering and fruiting throughout the year.

    Notes — 1. Nothobaccaurea closely resembles Baccaurea and Maesobotrya. It is also placed within the subtribe Scepinae. Nothobaccaurea differs in a reasonable num­ber of characters from Baccaurea: the sepals of the staminate flowers are fused at base, whereas in Baccaurea they are free; the stamens are longer than the sepals; the presence of staminodes, which is a very rare feature in Baccaurea (B. lanceolata); the stipules are usually foliaceous, instead of triangular. The differences between Notho­baccaurea and the African genus Maesobotrya are less profound: pistillode glabrous in Nothobaccaurea, hairy in Maesobotrya; staminodes absent in Nothobaccaurea, present in Maesobotrya; stigmatic lobes with protuberances in Nothobaccaurea, without protuberances in Maesobotrya; anthers purple in Nothobaccaurea, yellow in Mae­sobotrya; somewhat longer anthers in Nothobaccaurea. Because of these differences and the enormous gap in distribution, Nothobaccaurea is treated here as a genus distinct from Maesobotrya.

2. The genus is named for its false resemblance with Baccaurea.


1. Nothobaccaurea stylaris (Müll.Arg.) Haegens 


    Nothobaccaurea stylaris (Müll.Arg.) Haegens, Blumea Suppl. 12 (2000) 201, Fig. 3.31, Map 3.48. — Baccaurea stylaris Müll.Arg. in DC., Prodr. 15, 2 (1866) 465; Pax & K. Hoffm. in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV.147.xv (1922) 46; A.C. Sm., Allertonia 1 (1978) 383. — Type: Wilkes 75126 (lecto US, selected here; isolecto GH, K), Fiji .

    Baccaurea obtusa A.C. Sm., Bernice P. Bishop Mus. Bull. 141 (1936) 84. — Type: A.C. Smith 420 (lecto US, selected here; isolecto GH), Fiji, Vanua levu, Thakaundrove, Mt Mariko.

    Baccaurea sanctae-crucis Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. 35 (1980) 383. — Type: Kajewski 673 (holo K; iso BRI, US), Santa Cruz Islands.


Nothstyl-male.gif (23013 bytes)


 Shrub or tree 2–20 m high, dbh 19–48 cm, buttresses rarely present, up to 45 cm high; branchlets subglabrous to sparsely hairy, densely hairy when young; young shoots grey to red to dark-brown when dry, Terminalia branching pattern usually weak. Bark white to grey to brown when fresh, brown to grey when dry, 0.2 mm thick, smooth, hard to soft; inner bark (pale) brown. Sapwood white to cream to brownish, hard. Leaves alternate and/or opposite; petiole 3–41 mm long, glabrous to sparsely hairy, transverse cracks usually absent, (greyish to reddish to blackish)-brown when dry, small raised glands present; stipules triangular (to foliaceous), 1–4.5 by 0.5–1.5 mm, sparsely hairy to velutinous outside, midrib densely hairy to velutinous, glabrous to densely hairy inside, margin often ciliate, not hyaline; lamina ovate to obovate, 2.3–15 by 1.2–8.5 cm, l/w ratio 1.1–2.8, papery to slightly leathery; base rounded to attenuate; apex retuse to cuspidate, up to 15 mm long; upper surface glabrous, small raised glands often present, often granulate, (dark) green when fresh, (dark to red to green)-brown when dry; lower surface (sub)glabrous, veins glabrous to sparsely hairy, small raised glands often present, discoid glands present, often in a row parallel to midrib and/or between the secondary veins, (dark) green when fresh, (green to pale)-brown when dry; secondary veins 4–9 per side, almost closed at margin; nervation reticulate. Staminate inflorescences axillary to just below the leaves, solitary to few clustered together, 0.3–4.5 cm long, 0.2–0.5 mm thick, sometimes branched, sub­glabrous to densely hairy, many-flowered, usually less than 36, dark red to reddish pink; bracts absent or 1, 0.9–1 mm long, subglabrous to densely hairy outside, glabrous inside, margin usually ciliate, not hyaline; bracteoles (0 or) 1(–5), 0.5–1.5 mm long, glabrous to densely hairy outside, glabrous inside; branchlets cylindrical, 1–6 mm long, glabrous to sparsely hairy, 1–5-flowered. Staminate flowers 1–3 mm diam., reddish brown to dark red to whitish; pedicel 0–1.8 mm long, abscission zone often hardly visible, upper part 0–0.5 mm long, glabrous to sparsely hairy; sepals 3–6, (ob)ovate, 0.5–1.2 by 0.2–0.9 mm, glabrous outside and inside, margin ciliate; stamens 5–7, 0.9–2.5 mm long, glabrous, purple; laments 0.5–2.1 mm long, straight; anthers 0.25–0.6 by 0.25–0.6 by 0.2–0.4 mm, purple; pistillode obtriangular to cylindrical, 0.3–0.8 mm high, glabrous, hollow. Pistillate inflorescences axillary to ramiflorous, solitary to few clustered together, 0.5–3 cm long, 0.3–0.5 mm thick, subglabrous to densely hairy, 3–20-flowered; petiole 0.2–1.7 mm long, geniculate (90° bent) at abscis­sion zone, upper part 0.1–0.4 mm long, subglabrous; bracts 1 or 2, subglabrous to densely hairy outside, glabrous inside, margin ciliate. Pistillate flowers 0.8–2 mm diam., (dark) red; sepals 5 or 6, ovate, 0.5–1.2 by 0.2–0.5 mm, (sub)glabrous outside, glabrous inside, persistent; staminodes c. 7, small; ovary 1–2.5 by 0.5–1.2 mm, sub­glabrous at tip, base sparsely to densely hairy, style 0.1–1.2 by 0.25–0.5 mm, (sub)­glabrous; stigmas 0.3–0.8 mm long, cleft for upper c. 90%, persistent; lobes 0.3–0.7 by 0.2–0.8 mm, protuberances present above and below, glabrous above, subglabrous below. Fruits globose to ovoid, 1- (or 2-)seeded, fleshy capsules, (5–)8–12.5 by (2–) 6–9 by (2–)5–9 mm, loculicidally dehiscent, small raised glands present, (sub)glabrous outside, glabrous inside, septa rarely subglabrous, (light) green to red to brown; pericarp 0.2–1 mm thick; column 5–9.5 mm, caducous to persistent, usually curved; pedicel 0.4–4 mm long, upper part 0.1–1.2 mm long. Seeds globose, sometimes laterally flattened, 4–6.8 by 3.8–5.3 by 3.3–5 mm; arillode dull purple; testa red; cotyledons 2–3.2 by 2.2–3 by 0.02–0.1; radicle 0.5–1 mm; endosperm papery to c. 1 mm thick.

    Distribution — Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji.


Nothstyl-map.gif (92967 bytes)


    Habitat & Ecology — Primary or secondary rain forest. Altitude: sea level up to 1100 m. Flowering and fruiting throughout the year. Fruits eaten by pigeons.

    Vernacular names — Fiji: Innoka, kailoa, midra, sinumbuta, vurevure.