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


Pseudopanax colensoi var. colensoi (Mountain five finger)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Pseudopanax
Species: P. colensoi
Sub species:  Pseudopanax colensoi var. colensni
Binomial name:  Pseudopanax colensoi var. colensoi
Synonyms: Pseudopanax colensoi var. fiordensis, Neopanax colensoi, Nothopanax,
Common name: Mountain five finger, Three finger, Orihou

Pseudopanax colensoi var. colensoi is a sub alpine native evergreen shrub or small canopy tree with spreading branches growing to a maximum height of 5m. It grows from the Central North Island and Coromandel Range south to Banks Peninsula on South Island east coast. Plants with sessile leaflets from the Fiordland-Stewart Island area are often referred to Pseudopanax colensoi var. fiordensis. It is apparently absent from South Island West Coast. On Mt Taranaki/Mt Egmont it grows up to 1200m in montane forest scrub and lower subalpine scrub.
It has 3-7 fleshy leaflets (50-200 mm x 20-110 mm) arranged fanwise on very short stems (50-200 mm long). Leaves have serrated margins. 
In October-March it produces cream/green, heavy scented flowers and then small (4-6 mm) black compressed fruit on large sprays below the leaves.
This shrub is heavily predated on by possums. 
There are two other sunspecies of  Psuedopandex colensoi  They are  Psuedopandex colensoi var. ternatus and  Psuedopandex colensoi var. fiordensis. 
For more information visit: http://nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.asp?ID=1195 

Photographed Mt Taranaki / Egmont






 

An inflorescences of female flowers


The fruiting inflorescences (December)


The fruiting inflorescences (March)




Adult leaf.


A young plant photographed at Otari Wilton Bush Reserve