Ascarina lucida var. lanceolata
Kermadec Islands Hutu
Ascarina lucida var. lanceolata (Hook.f.) Allan
Vascular - Native
Ascarina lanceolata Hook.f.
Endemic. Kermadec Islands, Raoul Island only.
One of the characteristic trees of the wet forests of Raoul Island which are mostly found above 245m. However, in the ravines this tree may extend down to almost sea level. In the wet forest it is mostly a subcanopy tree which co-associates with Coprosma acutifolia, Pseudopanax kermadecensis, Melicytus aff. ramiflorus and on occasion Boehmeria australis subsp. dealbata. Occasionally, such as on the ridge lines and crater rim it may form part of the forest canopy.
Glabrous gynodioecious tree up to 15 m tall. Trunk up to 500 mm diameter. Bark greyish-white. Branchlets slender, striate, initially pale green maturing dark green to emerald green. Interpetiolar stipules conspicuous, comprising 3 1.2-2.6 mm long pale pink to red, filaments; these connate near base, behind which are 3-6 smaller hyaline filaments. Petioles up to 15-20 mm long, lamina subcoriacous, somewhat fleshy, 50-100 × 10-30 mm, green, emerald green to dark green above, paler beneath, serrations weakly pigmented, pink to pale maroon often fading into pale pink spotting, narrowly lanceolate, lanceolate, lanceolate- oblong to narrowly elliptic, acuminate to acute. Inflorescences spicate comprising female or mixed male and female spikes on separated trees; spikes congested, oppositely arranged, solitary or rather closely branched up to 5 times, branches up to 30 mm long. Flowers alternate, sessile, subtended by 4 green, 0.8-1.0 mm long, entire, deltoid to broadly ovate, acute bracts (apex pink or doted with pink). Male flowers with one anther 2.0-3.0 mm long. Female flower smaller, solitary or 2-3 together located between anther and stem; stigma broad, sessile, ovary sessile. Fruit 3.0-2.0 mm long, broadly ovoid, fleshy, white and maroon-blotched or maroon-striped, subcylindric drupe.
Ascarina lucida var. lucida of the North and South Islands is New Zealand is clearly related. It differs from A. lucida var. lanceolata by the dark purple stems; by the 3 simple, conspicuous, reddish-purple filamentous stipules which lack fused bases; smaller, yellow-green leaves with purple-black or dark maroon pigmented serrations; more openly branched inflorescences with less congested flowers, and white drupes. Ascarina lucida var. lucida seems to be monoecious while A. lucida var. lanceolata appears to be gynodioecious - but this aspect needs further study.
July - December
Main Flower Colour
Other Flower Colour
Red / Pink
January - August
Easy from cuttings and fresh seed but rather cold sensitive. In ideal conditions, and given time this variety can form a very large, spreading tree.
Naturally Uncommon. A locally abundant tree of the wetter forest and ravine vegetaton on Raoul. It is listed only because of its natural geographic restriction to a single island.
2n = 26
Where To Buy
Can be purchased from Oratia Native Plant Nurseries (email@example.com).
Notes on taxonomy
Description based on cultivated plants, herbarium and fresh specimens.
This page last updated on 1 May 2010