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Pittosporum colensoi Hook. f.

Modern name

Pittosporum tenuifolium subsp. colensoi (Hook. f.) Kirk

An evergreen shrub or small tree ultimately 20 to 30 ft high; young shoots stout, loosely silky when young. Leaves rather leathery, oval, oblong, or slightly obovate, pointed or bluntish, mostly tapered at the base, 112 to 4 in. long, 12 to 114 in. wide; downy only when quite young, dark glossy green above with a yellowish midrib, pale and net-veined beneath; stalk 13 in. or less long. Flowers 58 in. wide, solitary or in threes, produced at and near the end of the shoots in the leaf-axils. Petals dark red, 23 in. long, oblong, much recurved; sepals broadly ovate, downy. Bot. Mag., t. 8305.

Native of the North and South Islands, New Zealand, up to 3,500 ft altitude. It is very closely akin to P. tenuifolium, which differs chiefly in its wavy-margined leaves, more slender shoots and, on the whole, smaller, paler green leaves. The two appear to be united by intermediate forms but are quite distinct in the typical states. It is cultivated and prized in many gardens in the south-west, Ireland, etc., but is not very hardy in our average climate. It flowers with great freedom in the gardens of Tresco Abbey, Scilly. At Wakehurst Place, Sussex, it grows well in the open ground and flowers in late spring and early summer.



Other species in the genus