Pittosporum Banks ex Gaertn.

First published in Fruct. Sem. Pl. 1: 286 (1788)
This genus is accepted
The native range of this genus is Tropical & Subtropical Old World to Pacific.

Descriptions

Timothy M. A. Utteridge and Laura V. S. Jennings (2022). Trees of New Guinea. Kew Publishing. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Distribution
About 150 species throughout the Old World from Madeira, Africa and Madagascar, India, China and Malesia through to the Pacific Islands; 15 species in New Guinea. Found in a variety of habitats including lowland primary rain forest to subalpine savannah at 4000 m.
Morphology General Habit
Trees to 30 m, shrubs, or sometimes subshrubs, sometimes epiphytic, occasionally spiny
Morphology Leaves
Leaves spirally arranged, appearing opposite or pseudo-verticillate, usually clustered at branch apex, lamina leathery or sometimes membranous, margins usually entire, sometimes sinuate, penninerved
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences terminal, axillary, extra-axillary or ramiflorous, umbellate, corymbose, paniculate, or flowers solitary
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers 5-merous, bisexual or functionally unisexual; sepals free or connate at the base; petals white, yellow to pink, free or partly connate, usually ligulate; stamens 5; anthers dorsifixed, ±sagittate, longitudinally dehiscent; ovary superior, sessile or stipitate, 1-loculed or incompletely 2–5-loculed, hairy or glabrous, ovules usually numerous, sometimes 1–4, parietal or basal; style simple or 2–5-lobed, usually persistent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit a leathery capsule, ellipsoid or globose, sometimes compressed, dehiscing by 2(–5) valves, usually orange when mature
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 1-many, irregularly angled, reddish to black, usually surrounded by glutinous or greasy resin.
Recognition
The genus can be recognised by the exstipulate, spirally arranged leaves (often arranged in pseudo-whorls) with distinct and strongly looping venation, the 5-merous flowers with ligulate petals with stamens opposite the sepals, and especially the capsular fruits which are usually leathery and split to reveal numerous blackish angled seeds covered in a sticky resin.
[TONG]

Pittosporaceae, G. Cufodontis. Flora Zambesiaca 1:1. 1960

Morphology General Habit
Trees or shrubs, never climbing or spiny.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves usually entire, sometimes undulate, rarely subserrate or shallowly lobed, glabrous or pilose.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers actinomorphic, never more than 15 mm. long, of various colours (in our area only white, yellowish or greenish) sweet-scented, functionally unisexual; male with long filaments, fertile anthers and slender sterile ovary; female with short filaments, reduced sterile anthers and stout fertile ovary.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Usually all the flowers of one inflorescence alike (? monoecious or dioecious). Inflorescences usually variously paniculate or subracemose, terminal or terminal with axillary branches, rarely fascicled, or flowers solitary and axillary.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals free or ± connate, imbricate or not.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals with claws sometimes connivent and blades usually spreading or revolute.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Anthers
Anthers opening by slits.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary 1-locular, with 2–5 (in our area always 2) carpels; style short with a capitate or 2-lobed stigma, splitting in fruit according to the number of carpels; ovules ovoid.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit capsular with entire, leathery or woody, erect or spreading valves, sometimes reflexed when quite ripe.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds variously deformed by mutual pressure, 2-many in 2 rows on each parietal placenta, orange to red, covered with a sticky, slow-drying resin.
[FZ]

Pittosporaceae, G. Cufodontis (University of Vienna). Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1966

Morphology General Habit
Trees or shrubs, never climbing or spiny
Morphology Leaves
Leaves entire or (outside Africa) rarely undulate or sinuate, glabrous or hairy
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences usually many-flowered subracemose or subumbellate panicles, terminal and/or axillary from the uppermost leaves, but (outside Africa) flowers sometimes solitary or clustered on the old wood
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers regular, up to 15 mm. long, of various colours (but only white, greenish or yellow in Africa), sweet-scented, very often, perhaps always, functionally unisexual; ♂ with long filaments, fertile anthers and slender sterile ovary; ♀ with short filaments, reduced sterile anthers and stout fertile ovary
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary unilocular, 2(–5)-merous; style ± as long as ovary, with truncate or sublobed stigma, splitting in fruit according to number of carpels; ovules ovoid
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit a capsule; valves leathery or woody, yellow or brown, finally suberect, spreading or reflexed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds variously deformed by mutual pressure, 2–4(–many outside Africa) in two rows on each placenta, ripening orange or red, covered with a sticky slow-drying resin.
[FTEA]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Trees and shrubs
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences usually many-flowered ± racemose or umbellate panicles, terminal and/or in the axils of the uppermost leaves
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers regular, white, greenish white or yellow, sweet scented, probably always functionally unisexual. Ovary 1-celled, 2-merous; style ± as long as ovary, with globular, truncate or ± lobed stigma
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit a capsule; the 2 valves leathery or woody, yellow or brown, finally suberect, spreading or reflexed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds variously deformed by mutual pressure, 2–4 in 2 rows on each placenta, orange or red, covered with a sticky slow-drying resin, which remains sticky for many years in herbarium specimens.
Distribution
Between 200 and 230 species in the Old World tropics and subtropics.
[FSOM]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/90978602/90978606

Conservation
CR - critically endangered VU - vulnerable CR - critically endangered
[IUCN]

Sources

  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Somalia

    • Flora of Somalia
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • IUCN Categories

    • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Interactive Key to Seed Plants of Malesia and Indo-China

    • The Malesian Key Group (2010) Interactive Key to Seed Plants of Malesia and Indo-China (Version 2.0, 28 Jul 2010) The Nationaal Herbarium Nederland Leiden and The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Trees of New Guinea

    • Trees of New Guinea
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0