(Alectryon excelsus) an
evergreen tree native to seaward and lowland
forests of New Zealand that grows 30-40 feet
tall, with a trunk up to 2 feet in circumference
The pinnate glossy dark green leaves, which
are about a foot long, have 4-6 pairs of leaflets
that may have coarse saw teeth, or no teeth at
all, on the same tree. The bark is dark brown to
black in color.
Small, dull reddish-brown furry flowers appear
in loose sprays in late winter or early spring.
Their pleasant fragrance makes them very
attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds.
The edible seeds may take up to a year to
ripen and are enclosed within a two-valved brown
furry capsule. When ripe, the capsule splits
in half to reveal a jet black seed partially
enclosed within a vivid red, fleshy
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