Pittosporum eugenioides

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Pittosporum eugenioides
Lemonwood leaves.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Pittosporaceae
Genus: Pittosporum
Species: P. eugenioides
Binomial name
Pittosporum eugenioides

Pittosporum eugenioides, common names lemonwood or tarata, is a species of New Zealand native tree. Growing to 12 m (39 ft) tall by 5 m (16 ft) broad, it is conical when young but more rounded in shape when mature.[1] Its leaves are mottled yellow-green with curly edges and a salient bright midrib, and have a strong lemony smell when crushed.[2] It has highly fragrant clusters of attractive yellow-cream flowers in spring, followed by distinctive black seed capsules.[3] It is found throughout New Zealand's North and South Islands along forest margins and stream banks from sea level to 600 m (1,969 ft).[4] It is New Zealand's largest pittosporum.[5]

The binomial qualifier eugenioides means "resembling Eugenia", a different genus of plants.[6]

The variegated cultivar 'Variegatum' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[7]

Traditional uses[edit]

Maori traditionally used the gum and crushed leaves and flowers of the tarata for scent,[8] usually mixed with plant oils like titoki and kohia.[9]