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Pittosporum crassifolium

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Title: Pittosporum crassifolium  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Flora of New Zealand, Pittosporum, Trees of New Zealand, List of the vascular plants of Britain and Ireland 4, List of trees native to New Zealand
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Pittosporum crassifolium

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Pittosporaceae
Genus: Pittosporum
Species: P. crassifolium
Binomial name
Pittosporum crassifolium
Banks & Sol. ex A.Cunn.

Pittosporum crassifolium, commonly called Karo, is a small tree or shrub native to New Zealand. Karo's original distribution was generally the top half of the North Island, although now it has naturalised throughout New Zealand and overseas in Norfolk Island and Hawaii.[1] P. crassifolium occurs in lowland and coastal forests. Mature trees grow to about 5 metres (16 ft) in height. Other common names include stiffleaf cheesewood, and in Māori, kaikaro and kīhihi.[2]

Karo has dense dark gray-green leathery leaves that are furry underneath. An early coloniser, P. crassifolium is able to withstand high winds and salt spray. Clusters of small red-purple flowers appear in spring, developing into seed pods that split to expose the sticky seeds.

P. crassifolium is considered to be "weeds in cultivation" in California. They are being kept under observation to ensure they do not escape into the wild.[3] In New Zealand birds easily spread karo seed and in areas south of its natural range it has become a pest plant.[4]


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External links

  • Jepson Manual Treatment
  • plant profilePittosporum crassifolium at the USD
  • Photo gallery
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