Manual of the New Zealand Flora/Pittosporeæ

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Manual of the New Zealand Flora by Thomas Frederick Cheeseman
Pittosporeæ

Order V. PITTOSPOREÆ.

Trees or shrubs, rarely climbers. Leaves alternate or whorled, simple, seldom toothed or lobed, exstipulate. Flowers regular, hermaphrodite or more rarely unisexual, terminal or axillary. Sepals 5, free or connate at the base, imbricate. Petals 5, hypogynous, imbricate, often cohering at the base, limb spreading or recurved. Stamens 5, hypogynous, free; anthers versatile. Ovary normally 1-celled, with 2–5 parietal placentas, but often more or less completely 2–5-celled from the intrusion of the placentas; style simple; ovules usually numerous on each placenta. Fruit capsular or succulent and indehiscent. Seeds generally numerous; albumen copious; embryo minute, with the radicle next the hilum.

Genera 9: species about 120. The order is confined to Australia, with the exception of Pittosporum itself, which has a wide distribution in the warm regions of the Old World. Many of the species are more or less resinous and aromatic.


PITTOSPORUM, Banks.

Trees or shrubs, glabrous or tomentose. Leaves alternate or subverticillate, usually entire, rarely sinuate-toothed or lobed. Flowers axillary or terminal, solitary or in fascicles umbels or corymbs. Sepals free or connate below. Petals 5, with erect claws, often connivent below; tips recurved. Stamens 5, erect; filaments subulate; anthers 2-celled, introrse. Ovary incompletely 2–4-celled; style short. Capsule globose, ovoid or obovoid, 1-celled; valves 2–4, hard and woody, bearing the placentas along the centre. Seeds immersed in a viscid fluid.

A genus of between 60 and 70 species, found in Africa, subtropical Asia, Australia, the Pacific islands, and New Zealand. All the New Zealand species are endemic, and most of them are confined to the North Island. The flowers, are frequently polygamous or even unisexual.

A. Flowers axillary and solitary, rarely fascicled, sometimes terminal, but in that case axillary flowers are always present as well.
Leaves 1–2 in., obtuse or acute, thin, margins waved. Flowers usually solitary. Capsules 12 in. diam., valves thin 1. P. tenuifolium.
Leaves 2–3 in., acute, coriaceous, margins flat. Flowers usually solitary. Capsule 12 in. diam., valves thick and woody 2. P. Colensoi.
Flowers in axillary and terminal fascicles, otherwise as in P. Colensoi 2a. P. Colensoi, var. fasciculatum.
Leaves 2–5 in., oblong-lanceolate, submembranous. Peduncles long, 23 in., 1–2-flowered. Capsules less than 12 in. diam. 3. P. Buchanani.
Leaves 112–2 in., oblong-obovate. Flowers axillary and terminal, solitary or fascicled. Capsules mostly terminal, large, 34 in. diam. 4. P. intermedium.
Leaves large, 3–5 in., broadly oblong, usually covered with white floccose tomentum when young. Flowers axillary and terminal, solitary or fascicled. Capsules 23 in. diam. 5. P. Huttonianum
Leaves small, 13 in., obcordate. Flowers axillary, solitary or geminate 6. P. obcordatum.
 
B. Flowers strictly terminal, in umbels or fascicles, rarely solitary.
Small rigid shrub. Leaves small, 1412 in., linear-obovate, entire or lobed. Flowers solitary. Capsules small, 14 in. 7. P. rigidum.
Leaves linear or linear-oblong, entire lobed or pinnatifid. Umbels 4–8-flowered. Capsules 13 in., globose, 2-valved 8. P. patulum.
Leaves linear- or elliptic-lanceolate, 1–2 in., often lobed or pinnatifid on young trees, clothed with ferruginous pubescence. Capsules 12 in., globose, 2-valved 9. P. virgatum.
Leaves elliptic-oblong or elliptic-obovate, 2–4 in., clothed with ferruginous tomentum. Capsule broadly ovoid, 23 in., 2-valved 10. P. ellipticum.
Leaves oblong or oblong-obovate, 2–5 in., white beneath, margins flat. Capsule 23 in., 3-valved 11. P. Ralphii.
Leaves linear-obovate, 2–3 in., white or buff below, thick, margins recurved. Capsule tomentose, 34–114 in., 3-valved 12. P. crassifolium.
Leaves elliptic-obovate, 2–3 in., glabrous when mature, margins flat. Capsule 34–1 in., glabrous, 3–4-valved 13. P. Fairchildii.
Leaves obovate or lanceolate-oblong, glabrous. Umbels many-flowered. Capsules small, 12 in. diam., tetragonous or 4-lobed, 2-valved 14. P. umbellatum.
Leaves linear-obovate, 2–4 in., glabrous. Flowers yellow. Capsules large, elliptic-oblong, 112 in. long, 2-valved 15. P. Kirkii.
Usually epiphytical. Leaves whorled, elliptic-lanceolate, 112–212 in. Capsules 12 in. diam. 16. P. cornifolium.
Small undershrub, 1–4 ft. Leaves linear or linear-oblong, 12–112 in. Sepals and petals narrow-linear. Capsule 13 in. diam., beaked 17. P. pimeleoides.
C. Flowers in terminal compound umbels or corymbs.
Tree with white bark. Leaves elliptic, 2–4 in. Flowers yellow. Capsules small, 14 in. 18. P. eugenioides.


1. P. tenuifolium, Banks and Sol. ex Gœrtn. Fruct. i. 286, t. 59, f. 7.—A small tree 15–30 ft. in height, with a slender trunk and dark almost black bark; young leaves and branchlets usually pubescent, becoming glabrous when mature. Leaves alternate, 1–212 in. long, oblong-ovate or elliptic-obovate, obtuse acute or shortly acuminate, quite entire, membranous or slightly coriaceous, margins undulate; petiole short. Flowers axillary, solitary or rarely fascicled, 1412 in. long; peduncles about as long as the calyx, pubescent, straight or curved. Sepals oblong to ovate, obtuse or subacute, silky or glabrous. Petals dark-purple. Ovary silky. Capsule 12 in. diam., 3-valved, broadly obovoid or subglobose, downy when young, glabrous and minutely rugose when old; valves rather thin.—A. Cunn. Precur. n. 615; Raoul, Choix de Plantes, 48; Hook, f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 21; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 19; Kirk, Forest Fl. t. 46; Students' Fl. 47. Trichilia monophylla, A. Rich. Fl. Nouv. Zel. 306, t. 34, bis.

North and South Islands: Abundant from the North Cape to the Bluff. Altitudinal range from sea-level to 3000 ft. Kohuhu. October–November.

An abundant and variable plant, the best distinguishing characters of which are the small submembranous leaves with waved margins, axillary and usually solitary flowers, and small capsules with rather thin valves. The leaves are often pale-green, especially on young plants.


2. P. Colensoi, Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 22.—A small tree, very closely allied to the preceding, but larger and more robust, with stouter branches. Leaves 2–4 in. long, oblong-lanceolate elliptical-oblong or obovate-oblong, acute, coriaceous, margins usually flat; petiole short, stout. Flowers axillary and solitary in the typical form, rarely fascicled; peduncles short, erect or decurved, glabrous or pubescent; bracts not so caducous as in P. tenuifolium. Sepals broadly oblong, glabrous or pubescent. Capsule globose; valves thick and woody.—Handb. N.Z. Fl. 19. P. tenuifolium, var. Colensoi, Kirk, Students' Fl. 47.

Var. fasciculatum.—Leaves as in the typical form. Flowers in many-flowered fascicles, both terminal and in the axils of the uppermost leaves. Sepals lanceolate, acute, and with the peduncles densely covered with soft tomentum.—P. fasciculatum, Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 24; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 20. P. tenuifolium, var. fasciculatum, Kirk, Students' Fl. 47.

North and South Islands, Stewart Island: From Rotorua and the Patetere Plateau southwards, but often local. Ascends to 3000 ft. October–November.

Very closely allied to P. tenuifolium, and connected with it by numerous intermediates. Mr. Kirk unites the two, and there is much to be said in favour of such a course. But it must be admitted that P. Colensoi, with its stouter branches, much larger sharply pointed and more coriaceous deeper-green flat leaves, has a very distinct aspect from P. tenuifolium; so that, notwithstanding the intermediates, I am inclined to regard the differences between the usual states of the two plants as being too pronounced for varietal distinction alone.


3. P. Buchanani, Hook. f. Handb. N.Z. Fl. 725.—A shrub or small tree 10 to 20 ft. high, with slender spreading or ascending branches; young shoots and leaves silky-pubescent. Leaves alternate, 2–5 in. long, oblong or oblong-lanceolate or elliptic-oblong, rather membranous, acute or acuminate; margins flat, not waved; petioles slender. Peduncles axillary, solitary, slender, 1323 in. long, 1-flowered or rarely 2-flowered, glabrous or silky-pubescent. Sepals ovate-oblong, obtuse. Petals linear, dark-purple; claw long. Ovary silky. Capsule less than 12 in. diam., subglobose, 3-valved, on long spreading peduncles.—Kirk, Students' Fl. 47.

North Island: Auckland—Kaitaia and Mongonui, Buchanan! Taranaki—Near Mount Egmont, Hector! Wellington—In several localities, Kirk!

This appears to be a rare and local species closely allied to P. tenuifolium, and chiefly separated from it by the longer and narrower leaves, long peduncles, narrower flowers, and smaller spreading capsules.


4. P. intermedium, T. Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. iv. (1872) 266.—A small tree, in habit and foliage much resembling large specimens of P. tenuifolium; bark black; young shoots and leaves pubescent. Leaves 112–2 in. long, obovate or elliptic-obovate, obtuse or subacute, submembranous or slightly coriaceous, narrowed into rather long petioles; margins flat, not waved. Flowers both terminal and in the axils of the upper leaves, solitary or in 2–3-flowered clusters; peduncles short, pubescent. Sepals oblong, obtuse or subacute, silky. Capsules usually terminal, large, nearly 34 in. diam., broadly ovoid or obovoid, downy, 2–3-valved; peduncles stout, decurved.—Students' Fl. 48.

North Island: Auckland—Kawau Island, Kirk! October–November.

A puzzling plant, in habit and foliage not to be distinguished from large forms of P. tenuifolium, but the flowers are chiefly terminal and often fascicled, and the capsule is much larger, exactly matching that of P. ellipticum. Only one tree has been seen, and that was cut down several years ago. P. ellipticum is not known on Kawau Island or in the neighbourhood, or I should have felt tempted to have considered it as a hybrid between that species and P. tenuifolium.


5. P. Huttonianum, T. Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. ii. (1870) 92.—A sparingly branched shrub or small tree 10–25 ft. high; bark black; young leaves and branches covered with white floccose tomentum, becoming glabrous when mature. Leaves alternate, 3–5 in. long, broadly oblong elliptical-oblong or obovate-oblong, obtuse or acute, coriaceous, flat; petioles 1234 in. long. Flowers either axillary and solitary or in 2–5-flowered axillary and terminal cymes; peduncles slender, covered with loose white tomentum. Sepals oblong or lanceolate, acute, tomentose. Petals ligulate, sharply recurved. Ovary silky. Capsules larger than in P. tenuifolium, 23 in. diam., globose or broadly obovoid. 3-valved, rarely 2-valved, downy or nearly glabrous.—Students' Fl. 48.

Var. viridifolium, Kirk, l.c.—Branchlets more numerous, slender. Leaves thinner, oblong-obovate, acute, tapering into the petiole, perfectly glabrous. Flowers axillary, solitary. Approaches P. Colensoi, and has equal claims to be considered a large-leaved form of that species.

North Island: Auckland—Great and Little Barrier Islands, Kirk! Cape Colville Peninsula, from Cabbage Bay to Ohinemuri, Kirk! T. F. C. Var. viridifolium: Rotorua, Kirk! Taranaki—Urenui, T. F. C.; near Mount Egmont, Tryon! South Island: Milford Sound, Kirk! October–November.

Varies much in the number and position of the flowers, which may be either solitary and axillary, or collected into few-flowered cymes, which are then mostly terminal, constituting Mr. Kirk's var. fasciatum. The typical form appears to be restricted to the Auckland District. I leave the var. viridifolium as Mr. Kirk placed it, but probably it would be more appropriately included in P. Colensoi.


6. P. obcordatum, Raoul, Choix des Plantes, 24, t. 24.—A shrub or small tree 8–15 ft. high; bark pale; branches numerous, spreading, often tortuous, the younger ones silky towards the tips. Leaves alternate or in alternate fascicles of 2–4, 1312 in. long, broadly obovate or obcordate, gradually narrowed into a short slender petiole, coriaceous, entire, glabrous or the margins under-surface and petioles more or less silky-pubescent, veins conspicuous beneath. Flowers small, 16 in. long, axillary, solitary or 2–3 together, pale-purple or almost white; peduncles short, slender, silky. Sepals very short, ovate-lanceolate, silky with white hairs. Petals linear, with spreading tips. Ovary silky. Capsule ovoid, acuminate, glabrous when old, about 14 in. long, 2-valved.—Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 22; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 20; Kirk, Students' Fl. 48.

North Island: Auckland—Outlet of Lake Tongonge, near Kaitaia, R. H. Matthews! South Island: Canterbury—Shady woods near Akaroa, Raoul. September–October.

Mr. Matthews's specimens, from which the above description is drawn up, appear to differ from the type in the young leaves and branchlets being silky-pubescent. In all other respects they match Raoul's plate very closely.


7. P. rigidum, Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 22, t. 10.—A rigid much and closely branched shrub 4–12 ft. high; branches stout and woody, spreading, usually tortuous and interlaced, rarely slender and erect; young shoots usually pubescent. Leaves small, alternate or fascicled on short lateral branchlets, 1434 in. long, linear-obovate to oblong or elliptical, very thick and coriaceous or almost membranous, entire or sinuate-toothed or even deeply and irregularly lobed, glabrous or nearly so; margins recurved; petioles short, stout. Flowers small, solitary, either obviously terminal on the branches or seated at the tip of short arrested branchlets and thus appearing axillary, sessile or on very short peduncles. Sepals short, narrow-ovate, caducous. Ovary hirsute. Capsule small, broadly ovoid, apiculate, 1413 in. long, 2-valved, pilose when young, almost glabrous when old.—Handb. N.Z. Fl. 20; Kirk, Students' Fl. 49.

North Island: Mount Hikurangi, Adams! Petrie! Lake Waikaremoana and Ruahine Mountains, Colenso; Tararua Mountains, H. H. Travers! T. P. Arnold! South Island: Nelson—Maitai Valley and Dun Mountain Range, Rev. F. H. Spencer! T. F. C.; Wangapeka and Buller Valley, T. F. C.; Lake Guyon, W. T. L. Travers! Marlborough—Mount Stokes, Macmahon! Canterbury—Lake Grasmere, Kirk! Waimakariri Valley, Cockayne! Otago—Dusky Bay, Hector and Buchanan. Altitudinal range from sea-level to 4000 ft. November–December.

The flowers are described as axillary in the Handbook, but in all the flowering specimens I have seen they either terminate the main branches or are placed at the tip of short lateral ones, as shown in the beautiful plate given in the "Flora Novæ-Zealandiæ." But the lateral branchlets are sometimes very short, giving the flowers the appearance of being axillary.


8. P. patulum, Hook. f. Handb. N.Z. Fl. 19.—An erect shrub or small tree 6–15 ft. high, glabrous except the young shoots and peduncles, which are sparingly clothed with fulvous silky hairs; branchlets stout. Leaves extremely variable, in the young state 1–2 in. long, 1613 in. broad, linear, closely and deeply lobed or pinnatifid, the lobes often again toothed, gradually passing into the mature stage, which is lineair or linear-oblong, entire or crenate-serrate, coriaceous, obtuse, gradually narrowed into a short stout petiole. Flowers in 4–8-flowered terminal umbels; pedicels slender, 12 in. long. Sepals ovate-lanceolate, pointed. Petals twice as long as the sepals, obtuse, recurved at the tips. Capsules globose or broader than long, 13 in. diam., compressed, 2-valved.—Kirk, Students' Fl. 50.

South Island: Nelson—Lake Rotoiti, Buchanan! T. F. C.; Wairau Mountains, Sinclair; Lake Guyon, Travers! Glacier Gully, Spenser Mountains, Kirk!

A very remarkable and distinct species, of which more specimens are required to frame a good description. I have only one flowering specimen.


9. P. virgatum, T. Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. iv. (1872) 264.—A small tree 15–25 ft. in height, with slender trunk and black bark; branchlets, young leaves, petioles, and inflorescence densely clothed with ferruginous tomentum. Leaves very variable, in young trees 12–112 in. long, linear-lanceolate or elliptic-lanceolate, entire lobed or pinnatifid, gradually passing into the mature forms, which are 1–2 in. long, elliptic- or oblong-obovate to oblong-ovate or oblong-lanceolate, usually entire but occasionally sinuate or lobed, obtuse or acute, gradually narrowed into rather short petioles. Flowers terminal, either solitary or in 2–4-flowered umbels. Sepals linear-lanceolate, acuminate, densely tomentose. Petals shortly recurved at the tips. Capsules erect, globose, 12 in. diam., 2-valved, glabrous when fully mature.—Students Fl. 50.

North Island: Coast south of Mongonui, T. F. C. Whangaroa, Buchanan! Kirk! Great Barrier Island, Kirk! Kennedy's Bay, T. F. C.; hills near Tairua, Petrie! September–October.

The ferruginous pubescence, small terminal umbels, narrow sepals, and small globose capsule are the best characters of this species, which is nearest to P. ellipticum. The extreme variability of the leaves in the young plants is noteworthy. The mature stage, which is usually entire, is seldom attained until the tree has flowered for some years.


10. P. ellipticum, T. Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. iv. (1872) 266.—A small spreading tree with black bark, 15-25 ft. high; branchlets, young leaves, and inflorescence densely covered with ferruginous tomentum. Leaves 2–4 in. long, elliptic-oblong or elliptic-obovate to oblong-lanceolate, acute or obtuse, quite entire, coriaceous; petioles short, stout. Flowers in terminal 2–5-flowered umbels; peduncles short, decurved. Sepals ovate-lanceolate, acute, densely tomentose. Petals recurved at the tips. Capsules broadly ovoid, slightly compressed, 23 in. diam., tomentose, 2-valved; valves faintly 2-lobed.—Kirk, Students' Fl. 52.

Var. ovatum, Kirk, l.c.—Leaves smaller, spreading, broadly elliptical or obovate, rounded at the apex. Flowers not seen.

North Island: Whangaroa, Buchanan! Kirk! Mount Manaia, Whangarei Heads, Kirk! T. F. C.; coast north of the Manukau Harbour, Waitakerei West, T. F. C. Var. ovatum: Whangaroa and Mount Manaia, Kirk! October.

Allied to P. virgatum, but distinguished by the much larger and broader entire leaves, which do not differ in the young state, and by the larger flowers and capsules.


11. P. Ralphii, T. Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. iii. (1871) 161.—A laxly branched shrub 8–15 ft. in height, with dark-brown bark; branchlets, undersurface of leaves, petioles, and inflorescence densely clothed with thick white or buff tomentum. Leaves spreading, 2–5 in. long, oblong or oblong-obovate, quite entire, obtuse or acute, coriaceous, white with appressed tomentum beneath; margins flat; petioles slender, 1234 in. long. Flowers in terminal 3–10-flowered umbels; peduncles as long as the petioles. Sepals narrow-ovate, acuminate, tomentose. Petals spreading or recurved at the tips. Capsules on rather slender peduncles, broadly ovoid, 23 in. long, pubescent, 3-valved.—Students' Fl. 51.

North Island: East Cape district, not uncommon, Banks and Solander! Colenso! H. Hill! Adams and Petrie! &c.; Hawke's Bay, A. Hamilton! Upper Wanganui River, H. C. Field; Patea, Dr. Ralph! October–November.

Closely allied to P. crassifolium, but the leaves are much larger, oblong, not gradually narrowed into the petiole, and the margins are flat, not recurved, while the capsules are much smaller. It is without doubt the P. crassifolium of Banks and Solander's MSS., as is proved by their drawing and specimens; but unfortunately the name was applied by Putterlich and Cunningham to the following plant.

12. P. crassifolium, A. Cunn. Precur. n. 612.—A shrub or small tree 15–30 ft. high; branches erect, fastigiate; bark dark-brown; branchlets, leaves below, petioles, and inflorescence densely clothed with white or buff appressed tomentum. Leaves 2–3 in. long, oblong-obovate or linear-obovate, gradually narrowed into a short stout petiole, obtuse, quite entire, very coriaceous, dark-green and shining above, clothed with white or buff tomentum beneath; margins recurved. Flowers unisexual, in terminal umbels; males 5–10-flowered; females 1–5-flowered; peduncles 34–112 in. long, drooping. Sepals oblong-lanceolate, tomentose. Petals twice as long as the sepals, revolute at the tips. Fruiting peduncle stout, decurved. Capsules large, 34–114 in. long, subglobose, tomentose, 3- rarely 4-valved; valves very thick and woody.—Putterlich, Syn. Pittosp. 12; Raoul, Choix de Plantes, 48; Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 23; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 20; Bot. Mag. t. 5978; Kirk, Forest Fl. t. 14; Students' Fl. 51.

Var. strictum, Kirk, Trans. N.Z. Inst. iv. 266.—Fruiting peduncles strict, erect. Capsules smaller.

Kermadec Islands: Northern shore of Sunday Island, T. F. C. North Island: Abundant on the coast, from the North Cape to Poverty Bay. Var. strictum: Little Barrier Island, Kirk! East Cape, Bishop Williams. Karo. September–October.

A well-known plant, readily distinguished by the strict habit, narrow-obovate coriaceous tomentose leaves, and large capsules. The flowers are usually dark-purple; but Mr. A. Osborne has sent me specimens of a yellow-flowered variety collected at Tryphena Harbour, Great Barrier Island.


13. P. Fairchildii, Cheesem. in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xx. (1888) 147.—A compact round-topped shrub 8–15 ft. high; branches slender, spreading; bark brown; branchlets leaves and peduncles clothed with white silky hairs when young, glabrous when mature. Leaves often crowded, spreading, 2–3 in. long, obovate or elliptic-obovate or elliptic-oblong, obtuse or acute, gradually narrowed into short stout petioles, coriaceous, margins flat. Flowers terminal, solitary or in 2–4-flowered umbels. Sepals linear-oblong, acute, tomentose. Petals more than twice as long as the sepals, recurved at the tips. Fruiting peduncles slender, decurved. Capsules large, depressed, broader than long, 34–1 in. diam., glabrous even when half-grown, 3–4-valved; valves hard and woody, often lobed.—Kirk, Students' Fl. 51.

North Island: Three Kings Islands, T. F. C. August–September.

Differs from P. crassifolium in the broader flat leaves and smaller glabrous depressed capsule. It approaches P. umbellatum in the foliage, but is readily distinguished by the silky tomentose branchlets, fewer flowers, and much larger capsules.


14. P. umbellatum, Banks and Sol. ex Gærtn. Fruct. i. 286, t. 59.—A small branching tree 12–25 ft. high, perfectly glabrous except the young shoots, which are thinly clothed with silky fulvous hairs. Leaves alternate or subwhorled, 2–4 in. long, obovate-oblong or elliptic-oblong or lanceolate-oblong, obtuse or acute, coriaceous, dark-green above, paler below, narrowed into rather long petioles 1234 in. long. Flowers in many-flowered terminal umbels; peduncles slender, longer than the petioles. Sepals ovate-lanceolate. Petals ligulate, obtuse, slightly recurved. Ovary pubescent. Fruiting peduncles slender, decurved. Capsules 12 in. diam., rounded, tetragonous or 4-lobed, 2-valved; valves woody, granulate.—A. Cunn. Precur. n. 613; Raoul, Choix de Plantes, 48; Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 24; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 21; Kirk, Students Fl. 50.

Var. cordatum, Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. iv. 264.—Leaves narrower, linear-obovate or obovate-spathulate, acute, gradually narrowed into the petiole. Capsules rounded, cordate, acuminate; valves not lobed.

North Island: Not uncommon along the shores from the North Cape to Poverty Bay. Var. cordatum: Haratoanga, Great Barrier Island, Kirk! September–November.

Easily recognised by the many-flowered umbels and roundish 4-lobed capsules.


15. P. Kirkii, Hook. f. ex T. Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. ii. (1869) 92.—A stout sparingly branched glabrous shrub 4–12 ft. high, often epiphytic; branches stout; bark reddish-purple. Leaves crowded or whorled, 2–5 in. long, linear-obovate, obtuse or subacute, very thick and coriaceous, quite entire, gradually narrowed into a short stout petiole; margins thickened, slightly recurved. Flowers yellow, in terminal 3–10-flowered umbels. Sepals lanceolate, acuminate. Petals more than twice as long as the sepals, very narrow linear, acuminate, sharply recurved. Fruiting peduncles short, stout, erect. Capsules large, 112 in. long, elliptic-oblong or elliptic-obovoid, 2-valved, quite glabrous, cuspidate.—Kirk, Students' Fl. 50.

North Island: Auckland—Between Whangape and Hokianga, Kirk! Maungataniwha, T. F. C.; Bay of Islands, A. Cunningham; plateau near Taheke, Petrie! Maungatapere, H. Carse! Whangarei, Buchanan; Great Barrier Island and Omaha, Kirk! Cape Colville Peninsula, from Cabbage Bay to Te Aroha, Kirk, T. F. C; Waitakarei and Titirangi Ranges, T. F. C. Taranaki—Mount Egmont Ranges, J. Adams and T. F. C. Altitudinal range from 800 to 3000 ft. December–January.

A handsome and well-marked species, which cannot be confounded with any other.


16. P. cornifolium, A. Cunn. Bot. Mag. t. 3161.—A slender sparingly branched shrub 2–5 ft. high, usually growing as an epiphyte on the trunks or branches of forest trees, more rarely on rocks, never truly terrestrial. Branches forked or whorled, glabrous, or the younger ones silky-pubescent. Leaves whorled, 112–212 in. long, elliptic-lanceolate or elliptic-obovate, acute, coriaceous, quite entire, glabrous; petioles very short. Flowers polygamous or diœcious, in 3–5-flowered terminal umbels; females smaller and on shorter peduncles. Sepals linear-subulate. Petals much longer, subulate-ianceolate, broad at the base and then narrowed into long acuminate points. Capsules erect or inclined, 12 in. diam., broadly ovoid or obovoid, 3-valved; valves orange-yellow inside.—Precur. n. 616; Raoul, Choix de Plantes, 48; Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 23; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 21; Kirk, Students' Fl. 49.

North Island: From the North Cape to Wellington; abundant in the north, often local to the south of Hawke's Bay. South Island: Pelorus Sound and Titi Island, J. Rutland! Sea-level to 2800 ft. June–September.

This is a common plant in the forests of the Auckland District, growing intermixed with other epiphytes on the trunks and branches of the rata {Metrosideros robusta) and other large forest trees.


17. P. pimeleoides, R. Cunn. ex A. Cunn. Precur. n. 618.—A small slender much-branched shrub 1–5 ft. in height; branchlets usually numerous, almost filiform, pilose when young. Leaves numerous, crowded or whorled, very variable in size and shape, 12–112 in. long, 11013 in. broad, linear-lanceolate to linear-oblong, acute or acuminate, rarely obtuse, entire or rarely obscurely crenulate, patent or reflexed, somewhat membranous. Flowers small, yellow-red, in terminal 2-8-flowered umbels or solitary, unisexual; males larger, more numerous, and on longer peduncles than the females; peduncles slender, silky-pilose. Sepals subulate, acuminate. Petals more than twice as long as the sepals, very narrow, linear-acuminate. Ovary silky. Capsules on short erect peduncles, ovoid, acuminate, almost beaked, 2-valved.—Raoul, Choix de Plantes, 48; Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 24; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 21; Kirk, Students' Fl. 49. P. crenulatum, Putterlich, Syn. Pittosp. 15.

Var. major.—Branches few, slender. Leaves in distant whorls, elliptical or elliptical-obovate, 34–112 in. long, 12 in. broad. Capsule rather larger.

Var. reflexum, Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 24.—Leaves smaller, crowded, linear or linear-lanceolate, acuminate, 11218 in. broad.—P. reflexum, R. Cunn. l.c. n. 617; Hook. f. Handb. N.Z. Fl. 19. P. radicans, R. Cunn. l.c. n. 619. P. Gilliesianum, Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. i. (1868) 143.

North Island: North Cape (var. major), T. F. C.; near Mongonui, Kirk! T. F. C., R. H. Matthews! Whangaroa, R. Cunningham, Kawakawa River, Bay of Islands, R. Cunningham, Sir J. D. Hooker, Kirk! March–May.

Easily recognised by its small size and slender habit, narrow leaves, terminal umbels of yellow-red flowers, and small-beaked capsules. The var. reflexum was restored as a distinct species in the Handbook, but is certainly not entitled to more than varietal rank. Both at Mongonui and Kawakawa it grows intermixed with the typical pimeleoides, together with numerous intermediate forms.


18. P. eugenioides, A. Cunn. Precur. n. 614.—A small branching round-headed tree 20–40 ft. high, perfectly glabrous except a few silky hairs on the branches of the inflorescence; trunk 1–2 ft. diam.; bark pale. Leaves alternate or almost whorled, 2–4 in. long, elliptical or elliptical-oblong, acute or subacute, slightly coriaceous, narrowed into slender petioles 12–1 in. long; margins often undulate. Flowers polygamous or diœcious, small, yellowish, in terminal branched many-flowered compound umbels or corymbs; peduncles and pedicels slender, spreading, silky-pubescent. Sepals ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, glabrous. Petals linear-oblong, spreading and recurved, more than twice as long as the sepals. Capsules numerous, small, 14 in. long, ovoid, acute, glabrous, 2-3-valved.—Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. ; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 21; Kirk, Forest Fl. t. 49; Students Fl. 52. P. elegans, Raoul, Choix de Plantes, 25. P. microcarpum, Putterlich, Syn. Pittosp. 15.

North and South Islands: Common from the North Cape to the south of Otago. Tarata. September–October.

The largest of the New Zealand species, and the only one with a compound inflorescence. The flowers are highly fragrant, and were formerly mixed by the Maoris with fat and used for anointing their bodies.