Polyscias zippeliana

Primary tabs

Polyscias zippeliana


Shrub, 1.5(-5) m, with few branches, bearing leaves spirally arranged near their ends, glabrous except a slight rufous tomentum on young parts. Leaves imparipinnate, with 3-4 pairs of leaflets, up to c. 60 cm; Inflorescence a panicle, often appearing lateral by rapid growth of a bud at its base; Petals 5, broadly oblong, 2 mm long. Stamens 5, anthers oblong, 1 mm long, filaments 1 mm. Ovary turbinate, 2 mm high, 2-celled, the fleshy disk rising to the central fused stylar column. Fruit ovoid, crowned by the prominent stylopodium with a capitate stigma, c. 1 by 4 mm when dry.


Aru Is present, Asia-Tropical: New Guinea present, E. Malesia present, S. Irian present, SE. Moluccas present, Sepik Distr present, southern part of Western Distr. of Papua present
E. Malesia: SE. Moluccas (Aru Is.) and New Guinea (S. Irian and southern part of Western Distr. of Papua; also in the Sepik Distr.).


The identity of P. zippeliana has been discussed by Boerlage, Valeton, and Harms, ll.cc. The short leaf-sheath and the connivent styles place it within sect. Kissodendron.
A comparison of the type specimen with the species usually known as P. caroli Harms shows them to be conspecific. The type of P. caroli is no longer available but specimens collected by Brass can be considered authentic as they were identified by Harms. It should be noted, however, that the type of P. caroli is from the Sepik Distr. (probably in rain-forest) at 1000 m, while all other specimens are from the south of the island and from seasonal savannahs at much lower altitudes.
The single gathering from the Aru Is. approaches 19. P. australiana having larger leaves with more pairs of leaflets than other gatherings of P. zippeliana.


Harms 1894 – In: E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam. 3: 46
Boerl. 1890 – In: Handl.: 645
Philipson 1978 – In: Blumea: 170