Horsfieldia superba (Hook.f & Thomson) Warb., Mon. Myrist: 295 (1897)
Species name meaning 'proud or beautiful'.
Myristica superba Hook. f. & Thomson
Mid-canopy tree up to 30 m tall. Stem with red sap. Stipules
absent. Leaves alternate, simple, penni-veined, densely red-brownish hairy.
Flowers ca. 1 mm diameter, brownish, placed in panicles. Fruits to ca. 55 mm long,
yellow-orange, glabrous, warty, dehiscent capsules. Seeds with undivided orange aril.
Tree 10-30 m. Twigs sometimes faintly angular, 5-8 mm diameter, late glabrescent,
at first with dense, rusty, dendroid hairs 0.5-1 mm long, bark dark grey, striate, sometimes
slightly cracking and flaking; lenticels usually many and conspicuous. Leaves
usually in 2, sometimes in 3 rows (see note 2), coriaceous, (elliptic-)oblong, (17-)25-
40(-70) by (7.5-)10-18(-22) cm, base narrowly subcordate to short-attenuate, apex
+/- blunt to acute-acuminate; upper surface drying dull olivaceous-brown with finely
wrinkled structure, glabrescent (except sometimes midrib), lower surface with (bright)
brown rather sparse to dense mealy indumentum of dendroid hairs of mixed size, (0.3-)
0.5-1 mm long, usually with many or few emerged hairs to 1.5 mm long; dots absent;
midrib rather broad, flat above, pubescent or glabrescent; nerves 15-25(-30) pairs, flat
or sunken above, lines of interarching fairly regular, not very distinct; venation faint on
both surfaces; petiole 6-15 by 5-7 mm, late glabrescent; leaf bud 20-30 by 5-10 mm,
with dense hairs 0.5-1.5 mm long. Inflorescences behind the leaves, with +/- dense, woolly.
long-branched yellowish brown dendroid hairs 0.5-1 mm long; in male: rather many flowered,
2 or 3 times branched, 7-15 by 2.5-10 cm, peduncle 1-1.5 cm; in female:
+/- few-flowered, somewhat branched, 2-5 cm long; bracts broadly ellipsoid, subacuteacuminate.
up to 12 by 10 mm, densely pale brownish pubescent, caducous; flowers in
male up to 5 in a cluster, glabrous, perianth 3- or 4-lobed, drying often with a grey bluish
tinge, pedicel not articulated. Male flowers: pedicel slender, 1.5-3.5(-5) mm; buds ellipsoid
to obovoid-ellipsoid, 6-7(-8) by 4-5 mm, base rounded to short-attenuate, cleft
1/5-1/4, lobes 0.4 mm thick; androecium elongate-ellipsoid, subcylindrical to triangular
in cross section, (4-)4.5-5 by 2.2-2.5 mm, apex subtruncate. with a shallow 3-radiate
crack, base subtruncate: thecae 32-40, completely sessile; androphore rather
narrow, 0.1-0.4 mm long. Female flowers: pedicel stout, 2-3.5 mm long; buds ellipsoid,
7-8 by 4.5 mm, cleft c. 1/5, lobes rather coriaceous; ovary ovoid, slightly compressed.
4-4.5 by 3 mm, glabrous, stigma shallowly 2-lobed, broad, 0.5 by 1.5 mm.
Fruits 1-3 per infructescence, broadly ovoid-ellipsoid, 3.8-5.5 by 2.8-4.5 cm, glabrous,
+/- coarsely warty and wrinkled, pericarp 8-12 mm thick; fruiting pedicel stout, 3-6 mm
long; perianth persistent. [from Flora Malesiana]
Forest on alluvial soils, undulating country, also in swampy
forest; 0-400 m altitude.
Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra.