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NZ Plants

Pseudopanax arboreus - whauwhaupaku, five-finger

Ivy family: Araliaceae

Pseudopanax arboreus is a small many-branched tree with thick leaves divided into 5-7 leaflets that radiate out from the end of the leaf stalk. Leaflets have individual stalks and coarsely-toothed margins and are leathery to the touch.  Large clusters of small male and female flowers are borne on separate trees in the winter. The dark purple fruits formed in the summer are attractive to birds. Formerly Neopanax arboreum.
There are more than 12 species of Pseudopanax in New Zealand all of which are endemicP. arboreus is found in lowland and lower mountain forest throughout New Zealand.

Vegetative characteristics                

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: many branched tree up to 10 m

Arrangement of parts: symmetric


Flower size: 4-6 mm diam.

Leaf form: divided into 5-7, oblong-elliptic leaflets

Sepals: 5

Leaf size:  7-20 cm

Petals: 5, green

Leaf arrangement: singly along stem

Sexuality: unisexual on different plants

Leaf attachment: sheathing

Stamens: 5

Leaf margin: toothed

Ovary: below petals

Leaf surface: hairless

Fruit: fleshy

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