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(Alectryon excelsus) an evergreen tree native to seaward and lowland forests of New Zealand that grows 30-40 feet tall, with a trunk up to 2 feet in circumference
The pinnate glossy dark green leaves, which are about a foot long, have 4-6 pairs of leaflets that may have coarse saw teeth, or no teeth at all, on the same tree. The bark is dark brown to black in color.
Small, dull reddish-brown furry flowers appear in loose sprays in late winter or early spring. Their pleasant fragrance makes them very attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds.
The edible seeds may take up to a year to ripen and are enclosed within a two-valved brown furry capsule. When ripe, the capsule splits in half to reveal a jet black seed partially enclosed within a vivid red, fleshy "skin."
titoki flower (top) and fruit (bottom)
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>> Botany >> Flowering Plants
Sapindaceae (Maples, Buckeyes, Etc.)
This page was last updated on September 25, 2017.