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A genus containing two species of small evergreen trees or shrubs native to Macaronesia: P. excelsa (Ait.) DC. from Madeira and the Canary Islands and P. azorica (Tutin) Knobl. from the Azores. It lies within the Olea/Osmanthus complex of genera and may be distinguished by a combination of characters: the decussate racemose inflorescence with characteristic large deciduous, concave, floccose-ciliolate, pale green bracts, the extremely short corolla tube and petals imbricate in early bud.


Contributed by P. S. Green of the Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

The Abbotsbury specimen of P. excelsa is 59 × 8[1/2] ft (1980), and the other mentioned, at Caerhays, 33 × 3[3/4] + 3[1/2] ft (1975).

Species articles