Sticky seeds

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Sticky seeds
Chinese sticky seeds (Pittosporum tobira) with fruits

Chinese sticky seeds ( Pittosporum tobira ) with fruits

Nuclear eudicotyledons
Euasterids II
Order : Umbelliferae (Apiales)
Family : Sticky seed family (Pittosporaceae)
Genre : Sticky seeds
Scientific name
Banks ex Gaertn.

The sticky seeds ( Pittosporum ) are a genus of plants in the sticky seed family (Pittosporaceae). Both the botanical and the German common name of the genus are derived from the sticky “ pulp ” in which their seeds are embedded.


Appearance and leaves

The sticky seed species grow as evergreen mostly shrubs or trees , sometimes semi-shrubs , which reach heights of growth of about 1 to 20 meters depending on the species. The parts of the plant are hairy or hairless.

The leaves are arranged alternately , but on the younger branches they are often so crowded that they appear opposite or lively . The often leathery or sometimes membranous, simple (undivided) leaf blades have a smooth, wavy and serrated or wrinkled leaf margin .

Inflorescences and flowers

Pittosporum brevicalyx inflorescence
Illustration of Pittosporum angustifolium

The flowers are solitary or in terminal or lateral, umbilical , umbrella-like or panicle inflorescences . The stalked flowers are mostly hermaphroditic. The flowers are radial symmetry and five-fold with a double flower envelope . The five free sepals are usually short and small. The five petals are free or partially fused. There is a circle with five fertile stamens . The stamens are bare. Two to three, rarely up to five carpels are fused together to form a (syncarpic) upper, one or incomplete two to five- chamber ovary, which is hairless or hairy. There are usually many, sometimes only one to four ovules in parietal placentation. The short, mostly durable stylus can be divided two to five.

Fruits and seeds

The ellipsoidal to spherical, sometimes flattened capsule fruits have a woody or leathery pericarp . Often the capsule fruits jump open with two to five flaps and present the colored pulp to attract birds to eat the seeds.


The genus Pittosporum is common in the Paleotropic .


Some species of the genus Pittosporum are cultivated as ornamental plants. Several species can be grown outdoors in the British Isles ; in most parts of Central Europe, however, the sticky seeds are not hardy.


The genus Pittosporum was established by the English botanist Joseph Banks in Joseph Gärtner : De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum .... , Volume 1, p. 286, plate 59, figure 7. Synonyms for Pittosporum Banks are Auranticarpa L.W. Cayzer et al. , Senacia Lam. and Tobira Adans.

The genus of sticky seeds ( Pittosporum ) is the most species-rich within the sticky seed family (Pittosporaceae).

Orange sticky seeds ( Pittosporum undulatum )

There are around 150 species of Pittosporum . Here is a selection of species:

The following species, temporarily classified in the genus, are assigned to other genera:


Individual evidence

  1. Pittosporum at Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap Pittosporum in the Germplasm Resources Information Network ( GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  3. Karol Marhold, 2011: Pittosporaceae : Datasheet Pittosporum In: Euro + Med Plantbase - the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity.
  4. Zhi-Yun Zhangn Nicholas J. Turland: Pittosporaceae: Pittosporum , p. 1 - online with the same text as the printed work , In: Wu Zheng-yi, Peter H. Raven (ed.): Flora of China , Volume 9: Pittosporaceae through Connaraceae , Science Press, Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing, Saint Louis 2003, ISBN 1-930723-14-8 .

Web links

Commons : Sticky Seeds ( Pittosporum )  - Collection of images, videos, and audio files