|Naio (Myoporum sandwicense)|
Banks & Sol. ex G.Forst.
Myoporum is a genus of flowering plants in the figwort family, Scrophulariaceae (formerly placed in Myoporaceae). There are 30 species in the genus, eighteen of which are endemic to Australia although others are endemic to Pacific Islands, including New Zealand, and one is endemic to two Indian Ocean islands. They are shrubs or small trees with leaves that are arranged alternately and have white, occasionally pink flowers and a fruit that is a drupe.
Plants in this genus are shrubs or small trees, mostly glabrous with simple leaves that are arranged alternately and often lack a petiole (although the leaves often taper towards the base). The flowers are adapted for pollination by insects and have white, (sometimes pinkish) petals and usually 4 stamens. The fruit is a drupe with its central seed surrounded by a hard endocarp and usually succulent mesocarp.
The genus Myoporum was first formally described in 1786 by Georg Forster, although he acknowledged Daniel Solander as the author. The name Myoporum is derived from the Ancient Greek myo meaning "to close" or "to be shut" and poros meaning "pore", referring to the ability of (some) plants in this genus to exist in dry areas, or possibly to the appearance of the glands on the leaves.
Myoporum insulare is invasive in several African countries and in the western coastal areas of the United States. In South Africa this species is known as manatoka. Some species, including M. insulare and M. laetum are known to be poisonous to stock.
M. parvifolium, M. floribundum and M. bateae are often cultivated as ornamentals, hedges or windbreaks. M. insulare, M. montanum, M. acuminatum and sometimes M. parvifolium are often used as rootstock for Eremophila species, especially those that are difficult to grow from cuttings or that are to be grown in heavier soils.