Protium

Protium Burm. f.

Description:
Small to large trees, rarely shrubs, often buttressed. Pulvinulus always present at apex of terminal petiolule and usually at both ends of laterals; rachis dilated in P. beandou; leaflets entire or rarely (sub)serrate.  Flowers pedicellate or sometimes (sub-)sessile, 4–5-parted (some male flowers on each inflorescence 3-parted in sect. Sarcoprotium), obdiplostemonous (antesepalous series only in P. divaricatum subsp. divaricatum); sepals partly fused; petals distinct, rarely fused irregularly near base; pistillode usually present in male flowers, usually containing locules and reduced ovules, sometimes reduced to a parenchymatous cylinder or the disk and pistillode fused to form an ovariodisk; disk instrastaminal (when not fused to pistillode), sometimes pubescent; ovary 4–5-locular;  style sometimes with 4–5 short lateral branches; stigmas sometimes spiculate.  Fruit obliquely ovoid to subglobose or ellipsoid, with cartilaginous to sublignified pericarp, maturing red or less often green, orange, or brown, the valves white or pale red within; pyrenes cartilaginous to bony or rarely papery, enveloped in a spongy pseudaril.  Testa often infolded with cotyledons; cotyledons lobed and contortuplicate or simply plano-convex or broadly 3-lobed plus laterally reverse 2-plicate and uncinately folded.  Germination patterns and seedlings diverse.  n = 11.

As presently circumscribed, ca. 180 spp. in S Mexico and the Neotropics, tropical China, Madagascar, Mauritius, India, the Malesian region.  

Original Publication: Protium Burm. f., Fl. Indica: 88 (1768)

Synonyms: Icica Aubl. (1775).
           Marignia Commers. ex Kunth (1824).
           Icicopsis Engl. (1874).

Bibliography: Swart, J.J., A monograph of the genus Protium and some allied genera (Burseraceae). Gouda: Drukkerij Koch en Knuttel (1942).

Web Links:
Tropicos – Protium
The Plant List – Protium
Intermountain Region Herbarium Network

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