Botanical Servey of India | Flora of India

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eFlora of India

Pittosporum Banka ex Solander, nom. cons.

Trees, shrubs or undershrubs, erect, sometimes epiphytic, often aromatic; branching forked or verticillate. Leaves exstipulate, simple, alternate or whorled, often crowded in pseudo-whorls towards ends of branches. Inflorescence umbels, corymbs or panicles, terminal, pseudoterminal or lateral in axils of fallen leaves, rarely flowers solitary. Flowers bisexual, at times functionally unisexual. Sepals 5, free or coherent at base, recurved above. Petals 5, generally ligulate, free or connivent up to or beyond the middle in lower part; free segments recurved or spreading. Stamens 5, free, alternating with petals, occasionally coherent with corolla-tube; anthers dorsifixed, introrse, opening by longitudinal slits, much shorter than filaments. Ovary sessile or stipitate, unilocular or incompletely 2 - 5-locular with parietal placentae or rarely with placentae intruding to the middle; style glabrous; stigma capitate. Capsules 2 - 3-valved, globose, ellipsoid or obovoid; valves thin or woody of varying thickness, transversely ribbed or striate inside; seeds 2 to many, embedded in viscid, resinous pulp, irregularly angular, compressed, wrinkled or smooth, reddish or blackish.

Tropical and subtropical regions of Old World, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand; ca 100 species, 11 species in India.

Literature. GOWDA, M. (1951) The genus Pittosporum in Sino-Indian region. J. Arn. Arb. 32: 263 - 343. 1951.


1a.  Capsules 3-valved
b.  Capsules 2-valved
2a.  Inflorescence glabrous
b.  Inflorescence puberulous or tomentose
3a.  Leaves verticillate, 3-nate towards ends of branches, linear-lanceolate, attenuate at apex; inflorescence simple, umbellate
b.  Leaves alternate, loosely crowded at ends of branches, ovate to broadly elliptic or oblanccolate, obtuse to acuminate at apex; inflorescence paniculately umbellate or sometimes simple racemes
4a.  Leaf-apex obtuse or rounded; peduncles equal to or longer than the subtending leaves
b.  Leaf-apex acute or acuminate; peduncles shorter than subtending leaves
5a.  Valves of capsules thin and coriaceous; funicles basal or suprabasal
b.  Valves of capsules thick and woody; funicles distributed up to middle of the placenta
6a.  Inflorescence few-flowered; flowers usually less than 10 in each inflorescence
b.  Inflorescence many-flowered; flowers 10 to 50 or more per inflorescence
7a.  Leaves small, 3 - 7 x 0.8 - 1.2 cm, narrowly lanceolate; ovary glabrous
b.  Leaves large,5 - 20 x 2 - 8 cm, elliptic-oblong or elliptic-lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate; ovary Pubescent
8a.  Stems and leaves glabrous
b.  Stems and leaves rusty tomentose
9a.  Flower buds ovate, 4 - 6 mm long; sepals narrowly lanecolate
b.  Flower buds oblong, 8 - 9 mm long; sepals triangular or ovate-lanceolate
10a.  Leaves elliptic or elliptic-lanceotate, 5 - 14 x 2 - 3 cm, broad at the middle
b.  Leaves broadly oblong-obovate, oblong-oblanceolate, 6 - 8 x 3 - 5 (-9) cm, broad above the middle

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