In Family Araliaceae > Subfamily Aralioideae, Polyscias are native to Africa, S. E. Asia and Australia.
The number of species recognised varies from around 100 to 125.
There are 10 to 15 species in Australia with 3 in S. E. Queensland.
There are evergreen shrubs up to around 6 m high or trees to 30 m.
Some sucker from the roots.
There may be no branches for up to 6 m and then there are only a few.
The upright branches are smooth with the leaves clustered at the ends.
The alternate leaves, some over 2 m long may or may not have a petiole.
Petioles may be circular in cross section or deeply grooved on the upper surface.
Petiole bases sheath the stem for a short distance and there may be stipules that are fused to the base.
Most leaves are compound and 1 to 3 times divided.
Some species have undivided or tri-foliate leaves.
Leaves even on one tree or branch can be very variable.
Each blade can have up to 49 leaflets in opposite pairs with an odd terminal one.
Leaflets are up to 28 cm long and 11 cm wide.
The petiolules can be up to 2.5 cm long and the upper surface may be grooved.
The leaflet edges may be smooth or have blunt or sharp teeth that may have a mucro.
Some juvenile leaflets have stellate or branched hairs.
Branched terminal inflorescences can be over 1 m in diameter.
They are typically compound umbels (branches from one point) or panicles (branches along the central axis).
Along each branch are tight clusters of flowers in umbellules.
There are bracts at the base of the primary and secondary peduncles and bracteoles under the pedicels.
Young inflorescences may have some hairs.
Each umbellule can have over 20 flowers.
The pedicels are articulated having a weak zone so they fall easily when mature.
The unisexiual or bisexual flowers are commonly cream or green but may also be purple.
The calyx may have a straight or wavy rim or 5 or 6 small lobes.
There are usually 4 or 5 ovate petals under 1 cm long but some flowers have more petals.
There are typically the same number of stamens as petals but there can be over 60 stamens.
They are on filaments that are often only a few mms long.
The ovary is almost always inferior with 2 to 5 (1 to over 20) locules.
There are as many styles as locules and they can be free or fused to various degrees.
They may also be reduced to a stylopodium with the stigmas almost sitting on the ovary.
The fruit are roughly spherical drupes up to 12 mm across with the calyx attached.
The styles are also attached either as separate radiating arms, a stylar column or a stylopodium.
Fruit are blue to mauve, often ridged and have 1 to 5 (10 or more) hard coated seeds.