T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Pittosporum crassifolium (Karo)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Pittosporaceae
Genus: Pittosporum
Species: P. crassifolium
Scientific Name: Pittosporum crassifolium
Synonym: Pittosporum crassifolium var. strictum
Common Name: Karo, Stiffleaf cheesewood, Kaikaro, Kīhihi.

Pittosporum crassifoliumis a small tree or shrub native to New Zealand. Karo's original distribution was generally the top half of the North Island from the Three Kings, Great Barrier and North Island. In the North Island it is  indigenous from Te Paki south to about White Cliffs, and East Cape. although now it has naturalised throughout New Zealand and overseas in Norfolk Island and Hawaii.
P. crassifolium occurs in lowland and coastal forests. Mature trees grow to about 5 metres in height.

P. crassifolium has dense dark gray-green leathery leaves that are furry underneath. An early coloniser, P. crassifolium is able to withstand high winds and salt spray. Clusters of small red-purple flowers appear in spring, developing into seed pods that split to expose the sticky seeds. Birds easily spread karo seed and in areas south of its natural range it has become a pest plant.

For more detail information visit:  http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=1133





Male flowers.


Side view of a male flower.


Female flower.
 

A female flower with a densely furry ovary inside.

The underside of a leaf showing the white or grey-white tomentose.

Unopened green fruit capsule (late March)


A large three valved capsule just opening with black sticky seeds visable..