Polyscias elegans

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Polyscias elegans


Tree to 20 m high, with a spreading crown of thick branches bearing terminal clusters of large leaves, young parts with fawn to grey scurfy tomentum. Leaves bipinnate, becoming glabrous, up to 110 by 50 cm, or larger; Inflorescence a large panicle, tomentum persistent especially on the pedicels; Petals 5, oblong, rather fleshy, spreading at anthesis and soon falling. Stamens 5, 2 mm long on short filaments, soon falling. Ovary scurfy, at first turbinate, globose at anthesis, c. 4 mm high, 2-celled, disk rising to the 2 styles; Fruit leathery, globose, compressed, c. 5 by 5 mm and irregularly ribbed when dry.


Asia-Tropical: New Guinea present, Australasia: New South Wales (New South Wales present); Queensland (Queensland present), Papua, Western & Central Distr present, West Irian, Southern Distr present
New South Wales and Queensland; in Malesia: New Guinea (West Irian, Southern Distr.; Papua, Western & Central Distr.).


The racemose flower arrangement has sometimes been considered sufficiently distinctive to justify the accommodation of this species in a separate genus.
The bark is described as grey or patched grey- brown; the wood as soft and pale; and the cut surfaces having a clear sticky exudate which has a pleasant fragrance. The inflorescence branches are purplish, the petals maroon, the anthers cream to yellow on reddish filaments, and the fruit purplish and smooth.


Harms 1920 – In: Bot. Jahrb.: 42
Harms 1939 – In: J. Arn. Arb.: 323
Bth. 1866 – In: Fl. Austr.: 383
C. Moore 1893: Handb. Fl. N.S.W.: 215
Seem. 1866 – In: J. Bot.: 294
Philipson 1978 – In: Blumea: 169
Harms 1939 – In: J. Arn. Arb.: 323