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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.