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Polyscias sambucifolia (Sieber ex DC.) Harms
Family Araliaceae
Common name: Elderberry Panax, Ornamental Ash, Elderberry Ash

Polyscias sambucifolia (Sieber ex DC.) Harms APNI*

Synonyms: Polyscias sambucifolius orth. var. Harms APNI*

Description: Much-branched, often root-suckering shrub or small tree to 5 m high; glabrescent.

Leaves variable in form, 1- or 2-pinnate or rarely 3-pinnate, with 2–10 pairs of sessile or petiolulate leaflets, major leaflets and secondary rachises sometimes subtended by stipels, petiolules up to 2.5 cm long; sessile.

Inflorescence a compound panicle or rarely a simple umbel, umbels terminating all inflorescence branches. Flowers bisexual or male. Calyx a rim with 5 minute teeth. Petals 5, cream to light green or greenish yellow, sometimes united apically. Ovary 2- or 3-locular.

Fruit globose, c. 4 mm long, translucent steely blue when ripe, edible.

Photo T.M. Tame

Photo © ANBG

Other photo
Photo T.M. Tame

Distribution and occurrence: Grows commonly on disturbed sites in wet or dry sclerophyll forest, in or on the margins of most types of rainforest; widespread on the coast and ranges.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST
Other Australian states: Qld Vic.
AVH map***

Text by M. J. Henwood & R. O. Makinson
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)

 Key to the subspecies 
1Leaves 1-pinnate2
Leaves 2-pinnate or rarely 3-pinnate.subsp. Bipinnate leaves (J.H.Ross 3967) Vic. Herbarium
2Leaves with ± 5 pairs of leaflets; leaflets usually 9–20 cm long and 3–17 cm wide, rarely smaller. Small tree or shrub to 5 m high. Leaves 1-pinnate, 5–30 cm long; leaflets commonly petiolulate, occasionally subtended by a stipel, ovate or elliptic to broad-elliptic, margins ± toothed. Inflorescence commonly branched to third ordersubsp. Long leaflets (P.G.Neish 208) Vic. Herbarium
Leaves with ± 6 pairs of leaflets; leaflets usually 20–40 mm long and 3–7 mm wide, rarely to 70 mm long and 20 mm wide. Densely branched shrub rarely exceeding 1.5 m high. Leaves 6–30 cm long; leaflets sessile (or rarely petiolulate); without stipels, oblong-linear and occasionally slightly falcate, margins entire or rarely lobed. Inflorescence with first order branching only, or rarely with second order branching
                       Back to 1
subsp. Short leaflets (V.Stajsic 196) Vic. Herbarium

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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