Friday, 13 March 2009

Pseudopanax crassifolius

Aralia crassifolia Sol. ex A. Cunn.
Annals of Natural History 2: 214. 1839.
Nicholson (1888) gives this as a synonym of Pseudopanax crassifolium

Pseudopanax crassifolius(Sol. ex A.Cunn.) C.Koch

the singular Aralia crassifolia, a kind of ivy, bearing long leaves, of a texture almost resembling whalebone.

Icones Plantarum William Jackson Hooker, Joseph Dalton Hooker

Aralia Crassifolia. Sol.

Arbor, foliis polymorphis coriaceis dentatis obtusis nunc simplicibus cuneato-oblongis nunc lineari-oblongis elongato-attenuatis nunc bi-trifoliatis, floribus racemosis, racemis
simplicibus compositisque umbellatis.

Aralia crassifolia. Sol. in A. Cunn. Bot. of N. Zeal. in Ann.
Nat. Hist.v. 2, p. 214.
Aralia heterophylla. A. Cunn. Mst.

Hab. New Zealand, Northern Island, Sir Jos. Banks. Shaded
woods on the shores of the Bay of Islands, Wangaroa, &c.
R. and A. Cunningham, Mr. Colenso. Waihaké, Dr. Sinclair.
Hokianga, Edgerley. Chatham Island, Dr. Dieffenbach.

A tree. according to Mr. A. Cunningham, from 20 to 30 feet high, with alternate leaves of a thick firm and coriaceous texture, but extremely variable in form. Our flowering specimens have them 6-8 inches long, oblong-cuneate, obtuse, variously sinuato- dentate, tapering into a short thick footstalk. Other leaves are sent with the specimens, taken probably from another part of the plant (indeed they are all of this kind on our young living plants), narrow, and very much elongated, from 10 inches to 2 feet long, brownish purple, blotched with green : other leaves again, which Mr. Cunningham says are from the adult plant, are bi-trifoliolate, with leaflets long and narrow, like the leaves last described. Flowers numerous. Limb of the calyx almost none. Petals ovato-cordate, coriaceous. Stamens 5. Style short. Stigma 5-lobed. Fruit the size of a small pea.

Fig. 1. Flower. /. 2. The same fully expanded. /. 3. Raceme of fruit, nat. size. f. 4. Single fruit. f. 5. The same cut through transversely. /. 6. Seed :—all but f. 3 magnified.

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