Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Unidentified Tree at Monserrate

Seed in capsule has a pinky-red aril.

Tree at Monserrate :
I had initially marked this down as Cupaniopsis anacardioides, an Australian native Sapindaceae.
Another candidate is Garuga pinnata Roxb.

More pictures to follow, medium large tree. - waiting for flowers too.


Anonymous said...

Hello Gerald, definitely Sapindaceae. The fruit suggests to me the genus Alectryon. These are known as Bird's Eye in Australia because of the granulate aril cupping the seed to expose only the glossy black hemisphere.

I think this may be the New Zealand species Alectryon excelsus subsp.excelcus, known as Titoki. Certainly the carinate(hence Alectryon)downy capsule doesn't match any of the Australian species, and the compound leaves seem OK match.
Flowers should be crimson/purplish,in axillary pannicles.

This is a widespread coastal tree in NZ, so it fits the bill for cool-hardiness, and likelihood of early European collection. Looking further,it was described by Gaertner in De Fructibus?

Anonymous said...

...and mentioned in your entry on Le Jardin d'acclimatation du Hamma!

Gerald Luckhurst said...

Wonderful. We will wait for the flowers, but I think you have got it!

Gerald Luckhurst said...

Missed your comment about Hamma earlier. Which reminds me I still have to fix the French.