Commiphora Jacq.
  • Pl. Hort. Schoenbr. 2: 66. 1797.


Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2020): Commiphora Jacq. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-4000009054. Accessed on: 31 Oct 2020'

Morphology

Fruit an ovoid or ellipsoid or globose drupe; exocarp ± fleshy or occasionally leathery, resinous, splitting when ripe into 2 longitudinal valves (4 valves in a few species outside our area); mesocarp forming a pseudaril intimately clasping the endocarp or part of the endocarp, very variable in shape (rarely apparently absent); endocarp crustaceous or bony, smooth or rugose, enclosing one fertile loculus and a smaller abortive loculus.

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    Ovary (absent or rarely vestigial in male flowers), 2 (3)-locular with 2 ovules per loculus; style very short; stigma capitate, obscurely 4-lobed.

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    Seed with a straight embryo; cotyledons much folded.

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    Disk apparently absent (lining the calyx-tube) or of 8 small lobes alternating with the stamens or of 4 lobes opposite the longer stamens (not so well developed in female flowers).

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    Stamens 8 (vestigial in female flowers), inserted just outside the disk, antisepalous ones longer; filaments subterete or broadened and flattened towards the base; anthers oblong, those of the shorter stamens usually mucronulate.

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    Petals 4, valvate, straight, spreading or recurved at the apex and the latter usually somewhat hooded and mucronulate.

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    Calyx narrowly infundibuliform, cylindric, campanulate or broadly campanulate, with 4 valvate persistent lobes.

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    Flowers small, unisexual or more rarely apparently bisexual.

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    Inflorescences often appearing before the leaves, of axillary ± elongated paniculate sometimes dichasial cymes or ± reduced to abbreviated usually 1–2-flowered axillary cymes often borne on abbreviated side-shoots.

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    Leaves usually grouped at the ends of the branches, alternate, petiolate or more rarely sessile, 1-foliolate or 3-foliolate or imparipinnate or rarely simple; leaf or leaflet margins entire or variously dentate, surface usually reticulately veined below.

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    Dioecious (rarely monoecious) shrubs or trees, often spiny; bark papery or smooth, often secreting an odoriferous resin.

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    Receptacle flat (fig. 6/3, p.34), saucer- (fig. 7/5, p.41), cup- (fig. 12/4, p.69) or funnel-shaped (fig. 12/11)

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    Inflorescences, which are often precocious, maybe elongated panicles or dichasial cymes or reduced to few-flowered clusters or single flowers; ♂ inflorescence often larger and looser than the 9- Flowers pedicellate or sessile, small, regular, greenish yellow or dark red, usually imperfectly unisexual, the ♂ with or without a vestigial, rarely functional, ovary, the ♀ with reduced, occasionally functional, stamens

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    Petals 4 or very rarely 5, free, valvate, or slightly imbricate

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    Calyx cup-shaped or tubular, with 4 or very rarely 5 valvate lobes

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    Leaves usually soon caducous, usually 3-foliolate or imparipinnate with (in Flora area) strictly opposite leaflets, less often 1-foliolate or simple; long-shoot leaves often with more leaflets than short-shoot leaves

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    Cotyledons (where observed), flat or plicate, entire, ± as broad as long (see fig. 3/3, p.10)

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    A lobed disc is usually present

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    Stamens 8 in two whorls of 4 or, in a few species, 4 only, shorter than, or, rarely, as long as the petals

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    Fruit a drupe, the fleshy or leathery pericarp composed of fused ectocarp and mesocarp splitting when ripe into 2 or, less often, 4 or very rarely 3 valves to disclose the hard stone (putamen) which is usually covered, at least at the base, by a fleshy variously lobed red, orange or yellow pseudaril (which has wrongly been called the mesocarp but is really an outgrowth of the endocarp); this attracts birds thus assisting the dispersal of the stone; the stone usually consists of a fertile 1-seeded locule and a sterile locule; in a few species both locules may sometimes, or perhaps always be fertile; in a few species 3 fertile locules have been recorded as a rare abnormality; the fertile locule may show an oval ‘shield of dehiscence’ extending downwards from the apex which splits open in germination; two apical pits between the locules may or may not be present, these probably assist the absorption of water before germination

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    Ovary 2- or very rarely, 3-locular, with 2 pendulous ovules in each locule; style short; stigma subcapitate, obscurely 4-lobed

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    Outer bark of trunk and large branches usually translucent and peeling away from the green under-bark.

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    Exudate a gummy resin or liquid and volatile, often aromatic, the exudate may be copious, scanty or hardly apparent; it is not clear whether this is a genetically based character, more or less constant for each taxon or dependent on edaphic or seasonal factors.

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    Small or medium-sized trees or shrubs, usually imperfectly dioecious, rarely monoecious

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    Wood soft, light, sometimes used by pastoralists to make household utensils.

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    Ultimate branches either long-shoots on which the leaves are spirally arranged or condensed short-shoots bearing leaves in clusters; either long- or short-shoots or both may or may not be spine-tipped; flowers usually produced on short-shoots

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    Included Species

    Synonyms

      Bibliography

     Information From

    Burseraceae
    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • A CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • B
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • C
    World Flora Online consortium
    http://www.worldfloraonline.org/organisation/WFO
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • D CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).