Botanical name

Maytenus acuminata var. acuminata

Family

Celastraceae

Common Name

Silky Bark, Sybas
Maytenus acuminata var. acuminata
Maytenus acuminata var. acuminata
Maytenus acuminata var. acuminata
Maytenus acuminata var. acuminata

Description

Evergreen shrub or small tree up to 8m. Bark grey to brown, smooth, young branches more or less distinctly 4-lined; young shoots are reddish. Leaves are ovate to elliptic, dark glossy green above and paler below, apex tapering, rarely rounded with a fine hair-line tip; if leaf is snapped and drawn gently apart very conspicuous latex threads are drawn out like fine silky strands. The flowers are white to creamy-green, about 6mm in diameter, petals curving back often tinged with red; stamens with conspicuous orange anthers.

Fruit is an almost spherical red or orange capsule about 10mm in diameter, splitting to release seeds which are covered by a red or orange aril.

The so-called latex threads are present in the branches, leaves, flowers and fruits if snapped and gently drawn apart.

Habitat

Forest margins

Flower Date

May to January