Leaves of Polyscias fruticosa, photographed by Forest & Kim Starr.

Belongs within: Araliaceae.

Polyscias is a genus of about 100 species of trees and shrubs found in the tropics of the Old World. Representatives have pinnate leaves and flowers attached to an articulate pedicel (Philipson 1995). Some species of the genus are grown for culinary use, with the young leaves used as a pot herb. These include the Ming aralia P. fruticosa, also grown as an ornamental plant.

Characters (from Philipson 1995): Unarmed, glabrous or furfuraceous. Leaves imparipinnate or 2-3-pinnate (rarely unifoliate) with elongated or short sheathing base. Inflorescence terminal often large, flowers arranged in umbellules, capitula or inflorescence racemose; pedicel articulated below ovary. Calyx a rim with undulate or dentate margin. Petals four or five. Ovary 4- or 5- (-8 or more) locular; styles either free or recurved (at least in fruit) or joined to form beak-like stylopodium; exocarp fleshy; endocarp chartaceous; seeds with endosperm surface uneven, fissured or rarely smooth.

<==Polyscias Forster & Forster 1776 [incl. Nothopanax Miquel 1856]A61
| i. s.: P. balfouriana (Hort. Sander.) Bailey 1916DK-DW00, L95
| *Nothopanax’ cochleatumA61
| P. fulvaE09
| P. murrayiP95
| P. pinnata Forster 1776L95
| P. roemeriana Harms 1921P95
| P. sambucifoliaLP16
|--P. sect. PolysciasP95
| |--P. cumingiana (Presl) Fernández-Villar 1880P95 (see below for synonymy)
| |--P. fruticosa (Linnaeus) Harms in Engl. & Prantl 1894 (see below for synonymy)P95
| |--P. guilfoylei (Cogn. & Marché) Bailey 1916 [=Aralia guilfoylei Cogn. & Marché 1874]P95
| |--P. macgillivrayi (Seem.) Harms in Engl. & Prantl 1894 [=Nothopanax macgillivrayi Seem. 1865]P95
| |--P. scutellaria (Burm. f.) Fosberg 1948 (see below for synonymy)P95
| `--P. verticillata Stone 1966P95
|--P. sect. EupteronP95
| |--P. belensis Philipson 1951P95
| |--P. ledermannii Harms 1921 [incl. P. clemensiana Harms 1938, P. forbesii Bak. f. 1923]P95
| |--P. nodosa (Bl.) Seem. 1865 [=Aralia nodosa Bl. 1826]P95
| `--P. philipsonii Bernardi 1966 [=P. fraxinifolia Philipson 1951 non Harms 1894]P95
|--P. (sect. Gelibia) elegans (Moore & Muell.) Harms in Engl. & Prantl 1894 (see below for synonymy)P95
|--P. sect. KissodendronP95
| |--P. australiana (Muell.) Philipson 1978 (see below for synonymy)P95
| | |--P. a. var. australianaP95
| | `--P. a. var. disperma (Muell.) Philipson 1978 [=Kissodendron australianum var. dispermum Muell. 1877]P95
| |--P. bipinnata (Gibbs) Philipson 1978 [=Kissodendron bipinnatum Gibbs 1917]P95
| |--P. royenii Philipson 1978P95
| |--P. schultzei Harms 1921 [incl. P. gjellerupii Harms 1921]P95
| `--P. zippeliana (Miq.) Val. 1907 (see below for synonymy)P95
`--P. sect. PalmervandenbroekiaP95
|--P. jacobsii Philipson 1978P95
|--P. palmervandenbroekia Bernardi 1971 (see below for synonymy)P95
|--P. sleumeri Philipson 1978P95
`--P. vogelkopensis Philipson 1978P95

Polyscias australiana (Muell.) Philipson 1978 [=Hedera australiana Muell. 1864, Kissodendron australianum (Muell.) Seem. 1865]P95

Polyscias cumingiana (Presl) Fernández-Villar 1880P95 [=Paratropia cumingiana Presl 1851P95; incl. Aralia filicifolia Moore ex Fourn. 1876L95, Polyscias filicifolia (Moore ex Fourn.) Bailey 1916L95, Po. pinnata Harms 1921 non Forster 1776P95, Po. rumphiana Harms 1894P95, Po. sorongensis Gibbs 1917P95]

Polyscias elegans (Moore & Muell.) Harms in Engl. & Prantl 1894 [=Panax elegans Moore & Muell. 1858, Gelibia elegans (Moore & Muell.) Hutchinson 1967, Nothopanax elegans (Moore & Muell.) Seem. 1866; incl. Polyscias branderhorstii Harms 1910, Gelibia branderhorstii (Harms) Hutchinson 1967]P95

Polyscias fruticosa (Linnaeus) Harms in Engl. & Prantl 1894 [=Panax fruticosum Linnaeus 1762, Pa. fruticosus, Nothopanax fruticosum (Linnaeus) Miq. 1855, N. fruticosus]P95

Polyscias palmervandenbroekia Bernardi 1971 [=Palmervandenbroekia papuana Gibbs 1917 non Polyscias papuana (Miq.) Seem. 1865]P95

Polyscias scutellaria (Burm. f.) Fosberg 1948 [=Crassula scutellaria Burm. f. 1768, Nothopanax scutellarius (Burm. f.) Merr. 1917, N. scutellarium]P95

Polyscias zippeliana (Miq.) Val. 1907 [=Panax zippelianus Miq. 1863, Pa. zippeliana, Nothopanax zippelianus (Miq.) Seem. 1866, N. zippelianum; incl. Polyscias caroli Harms 1920]P95

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand vol. 1. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledones. R. E. Owen, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[DK-DW00] Downie, S. R., D. S. Katz-Downie & M. F. Watson. 2000. A phylogeny of the flowering plant family Apiaceae based on chloroplast DNA rpl16 and rpoC1 intron sequences: towards a suprageneric classification of subfamily Apioideae. American Journal of Botany 87 (2): 273–292.

[E09] Ensermu K. 2009. Three new species of Acanthaceae from Ethiopia. Kew Bulletin 64 (1): 57–65.

[L95] Liogier, H. A. 1995. Descriptive Flora of Puerto Rico and Adjacent Islands: Spermatophyta-Dicotyledoneae vol. 4. Melastomataceae to Lentibulariaceae. Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico.

[LP16] Liu, M., G. M. Plunkett, P. P. Lowry II, B.-E. Van Wyk, P. M. Tilney & A. N. Nicolas. 2016. The phylogenetic significance of fruit and trichome structures in Apiaceae subfamily Mackinlayoideae. Systematic Botany 41 (3): 685–699.

[P95] Philipson, W. R. 1995. Araliaceae (excluding Schefflera). In: Conn, B. J. (ed.) Handbooks of the Flora of Papua New Guinea vol. 3 pp. 1–48. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Australia).

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