Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit the Jepson eFlora.



Elizabeth McClintock

Tree, shrub, woody vine, generally evergreen
Leaves simple, alternate, sometimes crowded at branch tips, often leathery, generally entire, generally petioled
Inflorescence: panicle, cluster, or flowers solitary
Flower generally bisexual, radial; sepals 5, free, sometimes fused toward base; petals 5, free, erect or spreading, or weakly adherent ± into a tube; stamens 5; ovary superior, chambers generally 2–3, style 1, stigma generally head-like
Fruit: capsule, berry
Seeds several, often in pulp
Genera in family: 9 genera, ± 200 species: warm temp, tropical, Old World, especially Australia, New Zealand, e Asia; some ornamental, especially Pittosporum , in CA.


Tree, shrub
Leaf: tip acute or rounded
Inflorescence: panicle, cluster, or flowers solitary, terminal or axillary
Flower generally functionally unisexual; petals generally adherent below, free, spreading above; anthers free; ovary chambers 2–3
Fruit: capsule, woody, 2–3 valved; pulp resinous
Seeds sticky
Species in genus: ± 150 species: warm parts of Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands, e Asia, Africa
Etymology: (Greek: pitch, seed, from resinous seed coating)
Some species have medicinal and poisonous properties; saponins in P. crassifolium.


P. tenuifolium Gaertn.

Stem < 8 m; branchlets lightly hairy
Leaf generally 2–3 cm, oblong to oblong-ovate, papery; lower surface generally paler, glabrous; margin ± wavy; petiole 3–10 mm
Inflorescence: cluster, terminal or axillary
Flower not fragrant; petals 10–12 mm, dark red to purple-black
Fruit 10–12 mm, ± round, glabrous, 2-valved
Seed black
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed urban areas
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Central Coast (San Francisco Peninsula), expected elsewhere
Distribution outside California: native to New Zealand

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bioregional map for PITTOSPORUM%20tenuifolium being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Pittosporum tenuifolium
Retrieve dichotomous key for Pittosporum
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
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