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Shrubs or small trees, with very tough inner bark. Flowers uni- or bisexual. Bracts 0, or small and distant from the calyx. Calyx 5-toothed or 5-fid. Staminal tube divided above into many short or long filaments. Ovary of 1 free, or many more or less united, 1-ovuled carpels; styles filiform or club-shaped, combined below, stigmatiferous towards the apex along the inner face. Fruit of 1 indehiscent or irregularly bursting carpel, or of many whorled round an axis. Seed pendulous.
A genus confined to Australia and New Zealand. 
|Leaves small, linear. Peduncles 1-flowered. Carpels 1 or 2||1. P. divaricatus.|
|Leaves ovate, serrate. Panicles many-flowered. Carpel solitary||2. P. betulinus.|
|Leaves ovate-cordate, serrate. Peduncles 1-flowered. Carpels many||3. P. Lyallii. |
1. P. divaricatus, Forst.; Fl. N. Z. i. 29. A rigid, glabrous, much-branched shrub, with slender spreading tough branches, small fascicled leaves, and minute white flowers, succeeded by small globose capsules. Leaves 1/3-3/4 in. long, narrow-linear or subcuneate, obtuse, quite entire, 1-nerved. Flowers in axillary fascicles or 1-flowerd peduncles, shorter than the leaves, minutely bracteolate near the base. Calyx hemispherical, glabrous. Petals concave, oblong, small. Staminal tube with 6-10 large sessile anthers. Capsules the size of a peppercorn, globose, rarely didymous, oblique, downy, bursting irregularly. Hook. Bot. Mag. t. 3271.
Abundant in salt marshes throughout the islands as far south as Akaroa, Banks and Solander, etc.
2. P. betulinus, A. Cunn.; Fl. N. Z. i. 29. A lofty tree, attaining 40-70 ft., when young a straggling bush with variable leaves. Leaves of young plants ¼-½ in. long, ovate-rounded, variously crenate and lobed, in full grown 1-2 in. long, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, rounded or cuneate at the base, coarsely crenate-serrate, or obtusely doubly serrate, membraneous, covered on both surfaces with small stellate hairs and reticulate venation; petiole slender. Panicles terminal, much branched, very many flowered, stellate-tomentose. Flowers small, ¼ in broad, white, on slender ebracteolate pedicels. Calyx campanulate. Petals linear-oblong, narrower in the male flowers. Staminal tube long, slender, exserted in the male, bearing many shortly-pedicelled anthers. Carpel 1. Capsule small, ovoid, acuminate, splitting down one side, 1-seeded. P. betulinus and urticinus, A. Cunn.; Philippodendron regium, Poit. in Ann. Sc. Nat. ser. ii. 8. t. 3.
Abundant in forests throughout the islands, Banks and Solander, etc., as far south as Otago. Ribbon-tree of Otago, wood worthless, Buchanan.
3. P. Lyallii, [2, 3] Hook. f. Hoheria Lyallii, Fl. N. Z. i. 31. t. 11. A small branching tree, 20-30 ft. high, with the young branches, inflorescence and leaves below covered with white stellate down. Leaves 2-4 in. long, ovate-cordata, acuminate, deeply doubly crenate, glabrous above; petioles ½-1½ in. Flowers large, ¾ in broad, white, axillary; peduncles 1-flowered, solitary or fascicled, ebracteolate, about as long as the petioles. Calyx broadly campanulate. Petals obliquely obovate-cuneate, obscurely notched on one side towards the apex. Staminal tube short, with many long filiform filaments. Ovary about 10-celled; style slender, divided into as many filiform branches, stigmatose on the inner surface towards the apex. Fruit a depressed sphere, breaking up into 10 compressed reniform membraneous carpels. Seed much compressed.
In mountain districts throughout the Middle Island , from Nelson to Milford Sound; western districts of Otago, fringing the Fagus forest, Hector and Buchanan. Mr. Haast informs me that this forms a deciduous tree at and above 3000 ft., but is evergreen below that level; in autumn its naked branches and yellow foliage give a peculiar colour to the landscape at the higher elevation.
Appendix: Plagianthus betulinus. Chatham Island, W. Travers.
 Plagianthus, as currently circumscribed, is
restricted to New Zealand, the Australian species now being placed in
Lawrencia, Asterotrichion or Gynatrix.
 Now placed in Hoheria.
 This species is now divided between H. lyallii and H. glabrata. Therefore this description is not necessarily accurate for H. lyallii.
 Now universally known as South Island.
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