Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from 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. crassifolium Banks & Sol.

Shrub, small tree
Stem < 9 m; branchlets densely hairy
Leaf generally 5–7 cm, oblong to obovate, leathery; lower surface densely gray-hairy; margin turned under; petiole < 2 cm
Inflorescence: cluster, terminal
Flower not fragrant; petals ± 1 cm, dark red to purple-black
Fruit 2–3 cm, round or ovoid, densely hairy, generally 3-valved
Seed purple-black
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed urban areas
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Central Coast, expected elsewhere
Distribution outside California: native to New Zealand

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