One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The Australian shrub Myoporum insulare or M. serratum (family Myoporaceae), which bears small white flowers followed by edible purple berries, as naturalized in parts of South Africa. Also: the related New Zealand tree M. laetum, also naturalized in South Africa.
Late 19th century. Apparently alteration of Monotoca, the name of a genus of evergreen Australian shrubs and small trees, applied in error; the name was subsequently attributed to Peter Macowen, South African botanist, who in fact recorded the error. Compare.
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