This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Sepals distinct or connate at the base. Petals cohering more or less, or spreading from the base. Stamens 5; filaments subulate. Capsule sessile, 2- or more celled, globose, ovate or obovate, often laterally compressed; valves coriaceous or woody. Seeds numerous, fleshy, albuminous, often enveloped in a viscid juice. About fifty species are known, from Africa, the warmer parts of Asia, Pacific Islands, Australia, and New Zealand. The name is from pitch, and seed, in reference to the resinous envelope of the seeds. None of the species are quite hardy, even in the South-west, though some of them will bear our ordinary winters without injury.
P. undulatum, P. Sinense, and P. coriaceum are the names of other species in cultivation. The former is from Australia, has pale green wavy leaves with a dark midrib, and is the most desirable for planting out in sheltered places.
Idesia polycarpa forms a genus of Bixineae, and has lately been introduced. It is a large tree with large alternate glabrous cordate remotely serrulate acuminate leaves on long petioles, and terminal panicles of inconspicuous flowers, succeeded by large pendent clusters of purplish-black berries. It is cultivated in Japanese gardens, whence it was imported.