Beilschmiedia Nees



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New Trees

The genus Beilschmiedia comprises about 250 species and occurs across the tropics with extensions south to central Chile and New Zealand. Beilschmiedia species are trees or shrubs with alternate, opposite or rarely clustered leaves. The leaves are entire, petiolate and pinninerved. Inflorescences are axillary and paniculate or racemose. The flowers are small and rather inconspicuous; hermaphrodite and 3-merous with deciduous tepals. They have nine or six fertile stamens and a further whorl of short staminodes. The fruit is a drupe, attached to a woody pedicel (Rohwer 1993a, Nishida 1999, van der Werff 2003).

This large genus of mostly tropical species is poorly known in cultivation. In addition to B. miersii, the Chilean B. berteroana (Gay) Kosterm. and the New Zealand B. tarairi (A. Cunn.) Kirk are cultivated at the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, and B. erithrophloia Hayata from Taiwan and B. tawa Kirk from New Zealand are in the San Francisco Botanical Garden. The latter is certainly a candidate for mild areas. Beilschmiedia berteroana is now being offered in the European wholesale trade (Patagonia Plants 2006–2008). It is described by Gardner et al. (2006).

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The fruit and tiny flowers of Beilschmiedia miersii. Image M. Gardner.

Species articles