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Matthew L Baker [2]

Evergreen, dioecious shrubs or small trees, sometimes climbing or epiphytic (not in Tas.). Leaves alternate or sub-opposite (not in Tas.), stipules absent. Inflorescences racemose to paniculate. Male flowers actinomorphic, 5-merous; petals free; stamens 5, attached to a glandular disc located at the centre of the flower, anthers 2-locular, dehiscence by longitudinal slits. Female flowers actinomorphic, 5-merous; sepals sometimes absent or soon caducous; petals sometimes absent, caducous; carpels 3, 2-locular; ovary inferior, styles 3. Fruit drupaceous, 1-seeded.

A monogereric family (see generic account for species and distributional data). Griselinia has been placed in Cornaceae but is now considered to be in its own monogeneric family. Griseliniaceae are placed in the Apiales though it is taxonomically isolated (see Chandler & Plunkett 2004).

Key references: Dillon & Muñoz-Schick (1993); Baker (2007).

External resources: accepted names with synonymy & distribution in Australia (APC); accepted names, with synonymy, & distribution in Australia (APC); author & publication abbreviations (IPNI); mapping (AVH, NVA); nomenclature (APNI, IPNI).


Griselinia J.R.Forst. & G.Forst., Char. Gen. Pl. 70. (1775).

Synonymy: Pukateria Raoul, Annals, Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., ser. 3, 2:120 (1844).

Description as per family.

A genus of 7 species in New Zealand (2 spp.) and South America (5 spp.; Chile, Argentina & Brazil). 1 species introduced in Australia and naturalized only in Tasmania. Several members of the genus are cultivated in Australia as ornamentals.

1 * Griselinia littoralis (Raoul) Raoul, Choix Pl. Nouv.-Zél.: 22, t. 19 (1846)

Broadleaf, Kapuka

Pukateria littoralis Raoul, Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., ser. 3, 2:120 (1844).

Illustrations: Phillips & Rix, The Botanical Garden 1: 331 (2002); Baker, Pap. & Proc. Roy. Soc. Tasmania 141(2): 190, pl. 3 (2007).

Large shrubs to medium trees to 17 m tall; young stems golden-yellow to olive-green, becoming grey-brown with age. Leaves simple, alternate, glabrous; petioles 8–35(–40) mm long, partially sheathing the stem; lamina leathery, elliptic to orbicular or ovate, 30–90(–133) mm long, 20–65(–13) mm wide, base oblique to equal, adaxial surface glossy green, abaxial surface less glossy and pale yellow-green, margin entire, revolute, apex rounded to obtuse, occasionally emarginate. Male inflorescences paniculate, to 50 mm long. Male flowers small on pedicels to 2 mm long; sepal, minute; petals c. 1 mm long; stamens less than 1 mm long. Female inflorescences 2 of 2paniculate or racemose, to 70(–100) mm long. Female flowers on pedicels to 7 mm long; sepals and petals as per male flowers; styles 3. Fruit obovoid, c. 6 mm long, c. 4 mm wide, green at first, maturing black. Flowering Oct.-Dec.; fruiting Dec.-Aug.

Tas. (TWE); native of New Zealand. Introduced to Tasmania as an ornamental plant and naturalized only in Strahan but recorded elsewhere as a plant of cultivation (e.g. Hobart). Griselinia littoralis superficially resembles Coprosma repens A.Rich. (Rubiaceae), both species have leathery leaves with a glossy adaxial leaf surface. However, the two species can easily be distinguished by their leaf arrangement: Coprosma repens has opposite leaves whereas G. littoralis has alternate leaves. Griselinia littoralis was first recorded in Tasmania in 2005 (Baker 2007). Plant height, inflorescence length, fruit characteristics and phenology in the above description are taken from Dillon & Muñoz-Schick (1993).


APC (Australian Plant Census) http://www.chah.gov.au/apc/about-APC.html

APNI (Australian Plant Name Index) http://www.anbg.gov.au/cgi-bin/apni

AVH (Australia’s Virtual Herbarium) (Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria) http://www.anbg.gov.au/avh.html

Baker ML (2007) Contributions to a catalogue of alien plants in Tasmania II. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 141 187–196.

Chandler GT, Plunkett GM (2004) Evolution in Apiales: nuclear and chloroplast markers together in (almost) perfect harmony. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 144 123–147.

Dillon MO, Muñoz-Schick M (1993) A revision of the dioecious genus Griselinia (Griseliniaceae), including a new species from the coastal Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Brittonia 45 261–274.

IPNI (International Plant Name Index) http://www.ipni.org/index.html or http://www.us.ipni.org/index.html

NVA (Natural Values Atlas) (Department of Primary Industries and Water: Hobart) http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/WebPages/LJEM-6TV6TV?open

Phillips R, Rix M (2002) The Botanical Garden: 1 Trees and Shrubs. (Macmillan: London).

NOTE: Web addresses can and do change: a list of current web addresses will be maintained on the Flora of Tasmania Online website [www.tmag.tas.gov.au/floratasmania].



Apiales 1


Broadleaf 1


Coprosma repens 2

Cornaceae 1


Griselinia 1

Griselinia littoralis 1

Griseliniaceae 1


Kapuka 1


Pukateria 1

Pukateria littoralis 1

[1] This work can be cited as: Baker ML (2009) 136 Griseliniaceae, version 2009:1. In MF Duretto (Ed.) Flora of Tasmania Online. 2 pp. (Tasmanian Herbarium, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery: Hobart). ISBN 978-1-921599-44-6 (PDF). www.tmag.tas.gov.au/floratasmania

[2] Tasmanian Herbarium, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Private Bag 4, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia.