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Maytenus magellanica

Maytenus magellanica is a small evergreen tree from the genus Maytenus, up to 5 meters (16 ft), in the Celastraceae. It grows in southern Argentina and Chile from 36S to Cape Horn (56S). It has toothed leaves and is used as ornamental. As its native range includes the subpolar Tierra del Fuego, the plant's hardiness is appreciated and it has been successfully introduced in the Faroe islands. It has been also planted in the North Pacific Coast of the United States.


Leaves alternate, petiole 26 mm long,Enciclopedia de la Flora Chilena, 2008 laminae elliptic-lanceolate 26 1,53 cm, thick and coriaceous, apex and base attenuate, irregularly serrate margins. Stipules reddish, deciduous. Flowers hermaphrodite or unisexual, in groups of 23 on the axillas; five sepals about 1 mm long; five petals wine colored in 23,5 mm, ovary reduced in male flowers with five stamens; in female, the ovoid ovary ends in a short style and this in its turn, in flat bilobulate stigmas. Fruit capsule in 68 5 mm, two valves which contain 1 to 2 seeds.

Distribution and ecology

This shrub is relatively widespread and can endure rather harsh settings of windblown Patagonia including rocky soils of the Patagonian steppes. Distributed in southern Chile and Argentina, it is found as far south as the gelid climate of Tierra del Fuego. An example of its occurrence in the northern part of its range is the environment of Cueva del Milodon Natural Monument.


Benoit, I. L., ed. 1989. Libro Rojo de la Flora Terrestre de Chile (1 Parte) CONAF. Santiago de Chile. 157 p.

Hoffman , Adriana. 1982. Flora silvestre de Chile, Zona Araucana. Edicion 4. Fundacion Claudio Gay, Santiago. 258p.

Munoz, M. 1980. Flora del Parque Nacional Puyehue. Editorial Universitaria, Santiago, Chile. 557p.

C. Michael Hogan, Cueva del Milodon, Megalithic Portal, 13 April, 2008 [*]

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