Manual of the New Zealand Flora.
1. Corynocarpus, Forst
1. Corynocarpus, Forst.
A tree, everywhere perfectly glabrous. Leaves large, alternate simple and entire. Flowers small, greenish, in terminal branched panicles. Calyx 5-lobed; lobes rounded, imbricate. Petals 5 rounded, erose, imbricate. Disc fleshy, 5-lobed. Stamens 5, inserted on the disc, alternating with as many petaloid staminodia. Ovary sessile, ovoid, 1-celled, narrowed into an erect style; stigma capitate; ovule solitary, pendulous from near the top of the cell. Drupe large, obovoid, obtuse, fleshy; endocarp forming a coriaceous and fibrous network round the seed. Seed pendulous; testa membranous, adhering to the cavity of the cell; embryo thick; cotyledons plano-convex; radicle minute, superior.
A genus consisting of a single species, peculiar to New Zealand. It is a somewhat doubtful member of the Anacardiaceæ, as it wants the resin-canals so characteristic of the family, and also differs in the andræcium. Professor Engler, in "Die Naturlichen Pflanzenfamilien," has proposed that it should form the separate order Corynocarpaceæ.
|1.||C. lævigata, Forst. Char. Gen. 31, t. 16.—A handsome leafy tree 30–40 ft. high, with a trunk 1–2 ft. diam. or more. Leaves 3–8 in. long, elliptic-oblong or oblong-obovate, subacute, narrowed into a short stout petiole, thick and coriaceous, dark-green and glossy; margins slightly recurved. Panicles 4–8 in. long, broad, rigid, erect, much branched. Flowers small, ⅙ in. diam., on short stout pedicels. Petals concave, barely exceeding the calyx-lobes. Filaments stout, subulate. Ovary small, glabrous. Drupe 1–1½ in. long, orange.—A. Rich. Fl. Nouv. Zel. 365; A. Cunn. Precur. n. 638; Raoul, Choix, 50; Bot. Mag. t. 4379; page 105Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 49; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 46; Kirk, Forest Fl. t. 88; Students' Fl. 96.
Kermadec Islands, North Island, Chatham Islands: Abundant, chiefly in lowland situations not far from the sea. South Island: Marlborough and Nelson to Banks Peninsula and Westland, but very rare and local. Karaka. August–November.
The pulpy part of the fruit is edible; but the seed is highly poisonous unless steamed, or steeped in salt water. See Mr. Colenso's valuable paper "On the Vegetable Food of the New-Zealanders" (Trans. N.Z. Inst. xiii. 25), also notes by Mr. Skey and Mr. Colenso (l.c. iv. 316). The wood is soft and almost useless.