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   Index



 

PITTOSPORACEAE

(Pittosporum family)

 

200 species in nine genera are found from tropical Africa to the Pacific region. Eight genera are found in Australia.

Furanocoumarins have been isolated from this family (Hegnauer 1971).


Bursaria spinosa Cav.
(syns Cyrilla spinosaSpreng., Itea spinosa Andrews)
Australian Blackthorn, Australian Boxthorn, Christmas Bush, Prickly Box, Sweet Bursaria

A man developed squamous carcinoma of the skin of the forehead at the site of a boxthorn prickle puncture injury. Tetanus followed a penetrating wound by a boxthorn prickle (Cleland 1925). Boxthorn is also a common name for Buxus.

The Australian boxthorn mentioned by Cleland (1925) is probably Bursaria spinosa (Woods and Calnan 1976).



Pittosporum eugenioides A. Cunn.
(syns Pittosporum elegans Raoul, Pittosporum enkianthoides R. Cunn. & Hueg. in Putterl., Pittosporum microcarpum Putterl.)
Hedge Laurel, Lemon Wood

The wood is said to have produced dermatitis (Schwartz et al. 1957).



Pittosporum phillyraeoides DC.
(syns Pittosporum acacioides A. Cunn., Pittosporum longifolium Putterl., Pittosporum roeanum Putterl.)
Cheesewood, Weeping Pittosporum, Willow

Gardner & Bennetts (1956), citing Webb (1948a), noted that a decoction from this tree drunk and applied for pruritus and eczema has been used in Queensland.


References

  • Cleland, J.B. (1925) Plants including fungi, poisonous or otherwise injurious to man in Australia. (Series II) Med. J. Australia 2: 443.
  • Gardner CA and Bennetts HW (1956) The Toxic Plants of Western Australia. Perth: West Australian Newspapers
  • Hegnauer, R. (1971) Chemical patterns and relationships of Umbelliferae. In: The Biology and Chemistry of the Umbelliferae ed. Heywood, V.H. Bot. J. Linnaean Soc. 64(Suppl): 267-277.
  • Schwartz, L., Tulipan, L. and Birmingham, D.J. (1957) Occupational Diseases of the Skin. 3rd edn. Philadelphia Lea and Febiger. pp. 637-672.
  • Webb LJ (1948a) Guide to medicinal and poisonous plants of Queensland. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Bulletin 232
  • Woods B and Calnan CD (1976) Toxic woods. British Journal of Dermatology 95(Suppl. 13): 1-97. They cite Cleland (1914) but probably refer to Cleland (1925).



Richard J. Schmidt [Valid HTML 4.01!]



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