Here is a tree I found in Los Angeles in a public landscape (so probably not rare)... but what is it?
Dave I think its Sapindaceae not Anacardiaceae - the leaves end in a bit of aborted rhachis and the fruits are 2-locular and dehiscent .
This message was edited Mar 5, 2009 8:54 AM
Thanks Alistair, I missed that. It looks very similar to Harpulia arborea, the Puas Tree. Harpulia pendula is similar but has orange fruit.
I can find little about either of these plants, and no good photos on line. How can I tell for sure which one this is?
I think arborea is probably too lowland wet-tropical to be it. My money would be on pendula, which extends well outside the tropics into New South Wales.
From A. Graf, "Tropica":
Harpullia arborea has green petaled flowers; the fruit in coppery red capsules 4 cm dia., with large black seeds inside.
Harpullia pendula has long sprays of small dull yellow flowers, followed by pairs of orange berries 3 cm dia., with black shiny seeds.
Thanks Dave - that seems to accord with pendula (though the fruits range from yellowish to almost red).
H. arborea also has a conspicuous aril on the seed, which the depicted plant seems not to, and that also accords with H. pendula.
I believe it is Pendula - I was just given a seed by my neighbour and was amazed at how quickley it is growing.