Polyscias sambucifolia subsp. decomposita—Ferny Panax.—ARALIACEAE.

Polyscias sambucifolia

Link to Images on Flickr.

Habitat—Grows in margins of temperate or subtropical rainforests or wet or dry sclerophyll communities, below 1300 m alt.

Distribution—Victoria and New South Wales. Widespread.

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

Local occurrences

Booti Hill, Darawank Nature Reserve and Wetland and Tuncurry Dunes and Heath.

Leaves.— Compound, alternate, paired leafy stipules at base, toothed with a terminal leaf, 2—pinnate or rarely 3—pinnate. Diffusely branched shrub to 2 m high. Leaves 10—30 cm long; secondary rachises up to 20 cm long, primary and secondary rachises sometimes ± winged for all or part of their length; leaflets linear or elliptic or occasionally falcate, 15 to 30 (rarely to 70) mm long, 5 to 15 mm wide, margins entire to deeply pinnatifid. Inflorescence branched up to the third order (never a primary axis only).

Polyscias sambucifolia
Polyscias sambucifolia

Inflorescence.—A compound panicle or rarely a simple umbel, umbels terminating all inflorescence branches; commonly branched to third order ;sessile. 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.

Flowering.—November to February.

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

Ripe.—January to April.

Polyscias sambucifolia