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APOCYNACEAE – Ochrosia – Ochrosia elliptica


APOCYNACEAE

Oleander family

Apocynaceae includes approxi-mately 355 genera of herbs, shrubs, trees, and climbers distributed wordwide, with greatest diversity  in the tropics. Characteristics in-clude a milky latex sap and complex flowers. Recent cevisions include the genera traditionally segregated in to Asclepiadaceae in this family. For the convenience of readers more familiar with this arrange – ment, these species are kept to -gether here as a subgroup of A poc – ynaceae. The family is very important pharmaceutically. Many, though not all, species are. Poison – ous. An exception is Carissa. Most are suitable for coastal. Planting and are at least modestly salt toler-ant. Leaves are simple entire opposite or whorled. Traditional members of Apocynaceae can be recognized by the radially symmet – tical, trumpet-shaped corollar. Commonly with lobes twisted like a propeller. The fruit is a capsule, shizocarp, nutlet, berry or drupe, commonly in pairs.

Ochrosia includes approximately 30 species of trees and shrubs from the Seychelles. Mascarene Islands. Southeast Asia. Idomalaysia, and Australia. Ochrosia elliptica, twin plum, is commonly cultivated in the tropics.. It is salt tolerant and has a dense, rounded habit. The paired, pointed red fruits are very ornamental. This species is sometimes invasive in coastal areas. It is apparently not a problem inland. The glossy foliage is handsome in a container on a sunny  porch.

Ochrosia elliptica

Twin plum, kopsia, pokosola

Synonym: O.parviflora. New Caledonia to Australia. Evergreen shrub, 10-25 ft, zones 10-11. Blooms fall, winter. Moderate moisture. Average, sandy, well – drained soil. Full to part sun. Flowers: salverform, to 2 in. wide, white, fruit glossy red, to 2 in.long, ovoid, tips pointed, in subsessile pairs. Leaves: obovate, 6-7 in.long, glossy bright green, leathery, tip obtuse, margins somewhat undulate, in whorls, densely clustered at the ends of the branches.

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