Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Polyscias zippeliana (Miq.) Valeton

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Inflorescence and leaves. © S.L. Thompson
Ripe fruit and leaves. © S.L. Thompson
Leaves and fruit. © S.L. Thompson
Immature fruit. © S.L. Thompson
Habit. © S.L. Thompson

Valeton, T. (1907) Bulletin du Departement de l'Agriculture aux Indes Neerlandaises 10: 42.


A shrub 1.5-5 m tall.


Base of the compound leaf rhachis clasping the twig. Compound leaf rhachis swollen at point of attachment of each pair of leaflets. Leaf bearing twigs generally to about 1 cm diameter. Young shoots glabrous except for slight rusty brown hairs on young growth. Leaflets in 3-4 (-5) pairs, leaflet blades about 6-17 x 3.5-9 cm.


Flowers in umbels which are arranged in diffuse panicles. Calyx lobes small and inconspicuous. Petals about 2 mm long. Style arms fused, forming a beak-like projection after anthesis.


Fruits ovoid, dried fruits about 6.5-8 mm long, 2 or 3 (-4)-locular. Fruiting pedicels 13-23 mm long. Style arms, although persisting, do not form a conspicuous part of the mature fruit. Embryo very small.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP and NEQ. Widespread on Cape York north from about Isabella Falls near Cooktown. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 180 m. Grows in gallery rainforest along water courses in eucalypt and melaleuca woodland. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

P. zippeliana can be distinguished from P. australiana by its fewer leaflet pairs; larger dried fruit (6.5-8 mm long); 2 or 3 (or rarely 4) locular fruit; and longer fruiting pedicels (13-23 mm long).


Panax zippelianum Miq.Annales Musei Botanici Lugduno-Batavi 1(1): 15 (1863), Lectotype: Indonesia. Papua. Near Dourga River, [May 1828], A. Zippelius (lecto: L 0008487; isolecto: K 000792850, L 0008488).

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