Prunus myrtifolia

(Linnaeus) Urban

Symb. Antill. 5: 93. 1904.

Common names: West Indies or myrtle laurel cherry
Basionym: Celastrus myrtifolius Linnaeus Sp. Pl. 1: 196. 1753
Synonyms: Lauro-cerasus myrtifolia (Linnaeus) Britton
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 9. Treatment on page 361. Mentioned on page 355.

Trees, not suckering, 60–120 dm, not thorny. Twigs with terminal end buds, glabrous. Leaves persistent; petiole 8–16 mm, glabrous, eglandular; blade elliptic to broadly elliptic, 4–10 × 2–4.5(–6.5) cm, base cuneate, obtuse, or nearly rounded, margins undulate, entire, apex acute to acuminate, apicula obtuse, surfaces glabrous, abaxial glandular, glands 2, proximal, flat, circular to oval. Inflorescences 12–30-flowered, racemes; central axes (11–)20–50 mm, leafless at bases. Pedicels (2–)3–6 mm, glabrous. Flowers usually bisexual, proximal sometimes staminate, blooming before leaf emergence; hypanthium cupulate, 1.5–2.5 mm, glabrous externally; sepals spreading, semicircular, 0.5–0.8 mm, margins usually entire, occassionally with a glandular tooth, surfaces glabrous; petals white, obovate to suborbiculate, 1.5 mm; ovaries glabrous. Drupes purple-black, globose to ± ovoid, 8–12 mm, glabrous; mesocarps leathery; stones subglobose, not flattened.

Phenology: Flowering Nov–Jan; fruiting Mar–Jun.
Habitat: Hammocks, pinelands
Elevation: 0–10 m


V9 583-distribution-map.jpg

Fla., Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America.


Prunus myrtifolia, when compared with P. caroliniana, has flowers more widely spaced on longer rachises and pedicels, and flowers in the winter rather than the spring. The leaves of P. myrtifolia are broader on average, and their apices are blunt at the tip; the fruits are more rounded at the apices with smaller apicula.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Prunus myrtifolia"
Joseph R. Rohrer +
(Linnaeus) Urban +
Celastrus myrtifolius +
West Indies or myrtle laurel cherry +
Fla. +, Mexico +, West Indies +, Central America +  and South America. +
0–10 m +
Hammocks, pinelands +
Flowering Nov–Jan +  and fruiting Mar–Jun. +
Symb. Antill. +
Lauro-cerasus myrtifolia +
Prunus myrtifolia +
species +