wallaby apple




pronounced: pit-oh-spor-AY-see-eye

the pittosporum family


Pittosporum is derived from two Greek words, Attic Greek πιττα, πισσα (pitta, pissa), pitch, and σπορος (sporos), a seed (resinous seed). This is a family of trees, shrubs, subshrubs or lianas, distributed from tropical Africa to the Pacific Islands. Members of the family have long leathery evergreen leaves with entire margins (rarely toothed), and many of them bear resin in stem ducts. The flowers are usually bisexual; there are 5 sepals, imbricate or valvate, free or (rarely) fused at the base; 5 petals, imbricate, often coherent over part of their length and forming a tube; 5 stamens, often partly fused to the petals in the tubular-flowered genera. The ovary is superior, sessile or with a stipe; usually uni- or bi-locular, the partitions sometimes incomplete or late-developing. There is a single style, with the stigma terminal, and usually rounded. The fruit may be fleshy or non-fleshy, dehiscent or indehiscent, a capsule or a berry. Capsules are loculicidal. The seeds have an oily endosperm, and are usually wingless


Photograph © Donald Simpson 2008