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Identify more than 360 Australian forest trees and shrubs using descriptions and enlarged images of full tree, bark, leaf, fruit and/or flower samples. Detailed information on leaf features, bark texture and distribution range are given for each native tree species. The content of the web page below is constantly extended, revised and updated. We aim to build up the awareness to the high conservation values of Australian old growth forests. Species in the following genera are listed in groups on our web pages: Australian Fig trees (Ficus spp.), Australian Eucalypts (Eucalyptus spp.), Grevilleas (Grevillea spp.) and Syzygium species (Lilly Pillies). Otherwise all native Australian tree species are listed in alphabetical order.
Hairy Bird's-eye Alectryon tomentosus Other names: Hairy Alectryon
The Hairy Bird's-eye or Hairy Alectryon is a small tree species which can reach a height of about 12m. It is found in subtropical rainforests and also in drier open forests (Picture 1). Bark on mature specimens is firm and quite smooth in texture and a reddish brown in colour (2). Towards the end of winter masses of small pink to reddish flowers are in blossom (3). The pear-shaped fruit is green in colour, very hairy and measures up to 15 mm in length with mostly three lobes containing 2 or 3 seeds (4). Alternately arranged compound leaves are made up of 4 to 8 leaflets which are; up to 12 cm long (largest towards the end), elliptic to ovate in shape with regularly toothed margins, dull and mid-green on top, light green and softly hairy beneath, fairly thin with a slightly stiff and papery texture. Leaf apex is acute, base shape is mainly obtuse (rounded). Petiole is short at 2 mm in length and is covered in fine brown hair as are young branches. Venation is clearly visible with prominent mid vein and lateral veins being short hairy on both leaf surfaces (5). Distribution: Central coast of NSW to northern Qld. See also Beach Bird's-eye Alectryon coricaeus (Page 1). View Leaf Characteristics Page for explanations of definitions used.
How to recognise Australian tree families and genera.
A practical field guide to the identification of native species. More than 200 full colour photographs and detailed descriptions explaining leaf, bark, flower, fruit and other tree characteristics.
New Holland Publishers
Format: Paperback with PVC
Pages: 128 pp.
Size: 13 cm wide x 18 cm high
Hairy Lollybush Clerodendrum tomentosum Other names: Hairy Clerodendrum
The Hairy Lollybush or Hairy Clerodendrum is a very attractive native shrub or small tree reaching up to 5m in height and is found as an under-storey species; in open tall forests, transition zones (wet sclerophyll forests) and sometimes as regrowth along rural roads (as shown). Mature specimens are mostly single stemmed and take on the appearance of a small tree (Picture 1). Bark on mature trees is a greyish brown in colour with a firm and fissured texture (2). Gorgeous white flowers borne on large panicles are elongated tubular in shape and measure up to 4 cm in length. The long filaments are topped by brown anthers and the prominent green calyx is showing at the base (3). The very unusual and decorative fruit turns from green to a shiny black with age and measures up to 10 mm in length. It features 4 lobes (chambers) containing a greyish coloured seed each. The fruit sits on top of the now swollen and fleshy calyx, which changed to a vivid red in colour and will remain on the shrub for weeks after the ripe fruit has fallen (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 16 cm long, broad elliptic to ovate in shape with entire margins (young plants have widely spaced toothed margins), green and dull, finely hairy on upper surface (especially on veins), densely covered in fine hair below, thin and soft in texture. Leaf apex is acute, base shape varies from rounded to cuneate. The strong petiole is brown in colour, up to 4 cm long and also covered in fine hair. Venation is very prominent showing raised mid and lateral veins on lower leaf surface (5). Distribution: NSW south coast to Qld. See Flower Characteristics Page and Leaf Characteristics Page for information on terms used.
Hairy Psychotria Psychotria loniceroides
This native shrub reaches up to 3 m in height and is commonly found within or on margins of different rainforest types where it prefers shady locations (Picture 1). Bark is a dark olive brown in colour, finely rough in texture and shows small longitudinal fissures (2). Hairy flower buds appear in tight clusters at the very end of young branches and open into a pure white flower measuring 6 to 8 mm across with 5 or 6 prominent petals (3). The fruit is a globe shaped, fleshy berry about 0.5 cm in diameter turning yellow at full maturity. The rounded, old (flower) calyx remains at the apex of the fruit (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 10 cm long, mostly elliptic in shape with entire margins, nearly hairless, dark green on upper (when mature), paler and densely hairy on lower surface with a soft texture. Leaf apex is acute ending in a rounded point, base shape is cuneate. Lateral veins are pronounced and small domatia can be seen along the mid rib. Petiole is hairy and up to 10 mm long. Distribution: Southern NSW to Qld.
Hairy Red Pittosporum Pittosporum rubiginosum
Under ideal conditions this normally shrub-sized species can develop into a small tree up to 6m tall. It is an understorey species that favours shaded locations in lowland and mountainous tropical rainforests (1). Bark is brown, firm and finely rough (2). The very ornamental fruit (a capsule) splits to reveal a number of seeds covered in a fleshy red aril. The orange coloured capsule is finely hairy and up to 25mm long (3). Normally 5 large simple leaves emerge in a whorl arrangement. They are; up to 25cm long, mostly elliptic in shape with entire margins, dark green when mature, pale yellowish green beneath, strong and firm in texture. The short petiole, midrib and lateral veins are densely covered in fine brown hair (4 & 5).Use the botanical species list to locate related species under the genus Pittosporum. Distribution: northern Qld.
Hairy Rosewood Dysoxylum rufum Other names: Rusty Mahogany
The Hairy Rosewood or Rusty Mahogany occurs on margins of subtropical rainforests and in drier open forests (Picture 1). Bark is greyish with corky blisters (2). Pinnate compound leaves consist of up to 19 leaflets. They are; up to 15 cm long, oblong to obovate in shape with entire margins, dark green above, paler with a fine covering of hair beneath (3). Leaflet apex is acute to short acuminate and the base is asymmetric in shape (4). The red circle is showing a hairy domatium in vein angle, useful when identifying this native tree species (5). Distribution: From the NSW central coast to central Qld. See Leaf Characteristics Page for explanations of definitions used.
Hairy Walnut Endiandra pubens
The Hairy Walnut is a small subtropical rainforest species reaching a height up to 15m (Image 1). Bark is a brown in colour, but obscured by green mosses, and with small fissures slightly rough in texture (2). Branchlets and young growth is covered in fine rusty brown hair. Leaf arrangement is alternate (3). Fruit can reach up to 8 cm in diameter, turning from red to dark purple with maturity and contains a single brown seed (4). Simple leaves are up to 15 cm long, mostly elliptic but sometimes ovate in shape with entire margins. Leaves have a glossy upper surface with hair on veins only, whereas underside is densely covered in rusty hair (5). Distribution: Mid-north coast of NSW to southern Qld.
Hard Quandong Elaeocarpus obovatus Other names: Whitewood, Blueberry Ash
This tall tree prefers locations in proximity to the coastline and has the ability to grow along tidal waterways, but in contrast is also found in drier inland regions. It can reach heights of more than 40m growing on nutrient rich soils within coastal rainforests (1). Bark is grey in colour with small blisters and fine horizontal ridges covering the surface (2). The fruit is a shiny dark blue drupe measuring up to 12 mm in length. It contains a very hard and deeply grooved seed typical for this genus. Fruit ripens from summer into autumn (3 & 4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 9 cm long, broadly reversed lance shaped with crenate or toothed margins, hairless, dark green, glossy on top, paler green beneath and smooth in texture. The broad centre vein is raised on both leaf surfaces, whereas lateral veins are faint. Up to 4 domatia are present on the underside of some leaves. Leaf apex is bluntly pointed; base shape gradually tapers (5). Distribution: Central coast of NSW to northern Qld. Use the botanical species list to locate related species.
Heath Milkwort Comesperma ericinum Other names: Pink Matchheads, Pyramid Flower
This multi-stemmed shrub with a wide distribution range is less than 2m tall and occurs in drier open forests or in coastal locations prefers sandy soils with good drainage. This genus is endemic to Australia (1). Bark on older stems is reddish brown in colour and firm in texture (2). The name Pink Matchheads refers to the match-like shape of the unopened flower buds, which can also be mauve or white in colour. Groups of up to 20 individual flowers appear at the very end of young branches over spring and summer. They measure less than 1 cm in length and are seated in a prominent calyx (base) with 4 pointed sepals (3 & 4). Due to its large distribution range leaf shape can vary. Simple leaves with an alternate (spiral) arrangement are; up to 2.5 cm long, oblong or linear in shape with entire in-rolled margins, dark green on top, paler green beneath, firm and rigid in texture. The stout petiole (leaf stalk) is up to 3 mm long (5). Distribution: Tas., SA, Vic., NSW, Qld and WA
Hickory Wattle Acacia implexa Other names: Lightwood
This native shrub or small tree grows to a height of less than 10m and is very adaptable to different climates and environments. It can be found on margins of different rainforests, in most other forests types and in regrowth (Image 1). Bark is grey to greyish brown in colour with a hard and rough texture (2). Flower heads are globose in shape, white at first changing to a pale yellow colour with age and measure about 15 mm in diameter. There are held on racemes with individual flower stalks (pedicel) being up to 3 cm long (3). The fruit is a coiled and twisted pod up to 15 cm long, turning hard and brown before splitting at the sides to release black, oval shaped seeds (3 mm in length). Seeds feature a small curved stalk, which is whitish at first but changes to an orange-brown on exposure (4). Alternately arranged simple leaves (phyllodes) are; up to 18 cm long, very narrow, elliptical in shape, often curved towards the apex, thin but strong in texture. Leaf apex narrows very gradually with a fine tip (mucro) at the end, base shape is attenuate and shows a small gland (often found in the Acacia genus) (5). Distribution: Vic., NSW, Qld. Use the botanical species list to locate related species.
Hoary Daisy Bush Olearia elliptica
This beautiful small shrub prefers cooler conditions found in and on margins of cool or warm temperate rainforests, where it can reach a height of up to 2 metres (Image 1). Bark is cream to more brown in colour and has a firm texture with vertical ridges showing (2). Daisy-like flowers are borne on panicles appearing towards the end of branches and measure up to 15 mm in diameter. They feature 10 pure white, oblong shaped rays and blossom over spring into summer (3). Under good conditions new foliage can be dense and glossy, but turns dull and blotchy with age (4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 12 cm long, mostly elliptic to oblong in shape with entire margins, hairless and rather thin and soft in texture. Leaf apex varies from acute to more rounded, base shape is cuneate. Obvious veins are sunken on the upper and raised on the lower leaf surface (5). Distribution: NSW & southern Qld.
Honeysuckle Triunia robusta
This species is confined to a small area in southern Qld and was believed to be extinct. It grows as a multi stemmed scrub up to 4m in height (Image 1). Bark is black with cream coloured blisters covering stems and small branches and has a firm texture (2). Gorgeous white and purple flowers bloom over autumn and winter (3). Simple leaves in a whorl arrangement of 3 to 5 leaves are; up to 14 cm long, mainly elliptic in shape with entire margins, hairless, dark green and very glossy on the upper surface, light green and also glossy on the lower surface. Leaf and petiole which is only up to 4mm long are fleshy and thick. Reticulate venation is pronounced and is a useful feature in identification (4 & 5).
Hoop Pine Araucaria cunninghamii
The Hoop Pine is a very tall Australian conifer which attains a height of up to 60m in its natural habitat of different rainforests types. When competing for light it has a straight trunk which is branchless to more than half of its height with a dark green crown (Image 1 ). Bark on adult trees is dark brown to black in colour with a rough texture and horizontal fissures (2). Foliage is concentrated towards end of branches giving the species its characteristic appearance (3). Brown seeds are up to 3 cm long and covered in the papery layers of the cone scales without being winged themselves (4). On young trees simple leaves are; up to 20 mm long, very closely spaced, oblong sheaf-like in shape with entire margins. Leaves on mature trees are; simple, up to 8 mm long, curved dagger-like in shape with entire margins, dark green and stiff in texture. Arrangement is alternate with leaves spiralling around branches. Leaf apex is acute ending in a fine prickly point, whereas the base joints the branch without a visible petiole (5). Distribution: NSW mid-north coast to Qld.
Hop Bush species Dodonaea megazyga
No common name is recorded for this member of the Hop Bush genus (Dodonaea), which are shrubs rarely more than 4m tall that produce a typical winged capsule. This species is only sparsely distributed and prefers moist locations in open tall Eucalypt dominated forests or occurs on the margins of rainforests. The specimen shown is growing in a mountainous area above 600m altitude (Picture 1). Bark on the trunk is brown in colour weathering to grey and has a rough, stringy texture (2). The fruit is a papery mostly 3-winged (sometimes 2 or 4-winged) capsule measuring about 2 cm across and 1 cm+ long. It changes from yellowish green to pink and finally turns brown at full maturity in early summer (3 & 4). The fern-like foliage consists of pinnate compound leaves up to 20 cm long with more than 20 leaflets and a prominent winged rachis, features helpful in the identification of this species. Leaflets are; up to 3 cm long, lance-shaped (lanceolate) with entire margins, hairless, dark green, dull on top, paler green beneath and rather strong. Except for the mid rib venation is not visible on both surfaces (5). Distribution: From the central coast of NSW to southern Qld. See also: Large-leaf Hop Bush Dodonaea triquetra, below on this page.
Hovea Hovea acutifolia Other names: There are no common names recorded, but Pointed Leaf Hovea and Purple Pea Bush are used.
The Hovea Hovea acutifolia is typically a single stemmed shrub reaching a height of 4m. It occurs on margins of rainforests and within open tall forests (Photo 1). Bark is a light brown in colour with a slightly rough and fine fissured texture (2). This normally inconspicuous shrub is very noticeable in early spring when masses of purple flowers appear. Small clusters of up to 3 flowers are held in nearly every axillary joint along most branches. Flowers show a yellow or green centre and measure up to 12 mm in diameter (3). The fruit pod is up to 20 mm long and contains 1 or 2 bean shaped seeds (4). Evenly spaced alternately (two ranked) arranged leaves are; up to 7 cm long, mostly narrow elliptic in shape with entire margins, dark green and nearly hairless on top, shortly grey hairy beneath with a firm texture. Apex is acute, base shape is attenuate. Petiole is 2 to 3 mm in length. Mid vein is raised and covered in dense rusty coloured hair (as are young stems), laterals and net veins are visible (5). Distribution: NSW central coast to Qld. Note: This species belongs to the family of FABACEAE (Peas & Beans) and as legume has the ability to improve soil nutrients where it is growing. See also Hovea longifolia Rusty Pods Page 9
Ivory Basswood Polyscias australiana
The Ivory Basswood is a densely foliated, tall shrub or small tree reaching less than 10m in height. Its' natural habitat are tropical and subtropical rainforests, where it occurs as an understorey species (Image 1). Bark on often multi-stemmed specimens is cream coloured with a firm texture and some horizontal ridges showing (2). The fruit is arranged in an umbel formation at the ends of very large panicles measuring up to 1m in length. Up to 20 individual fruits can be held on the same umbel. They are rounded in shape, turn from green to a very dark purple with maturity and reach up to 1 cm in diameter (3). Large compound leaves are made up of less than 20 separate leaflets, which are; up to 20 cm long with entire margins, oblong or more ovate than shown, hairless, semi-glossy, smooth, soft but strong in texture. Leaflet apex is acuminate, base shape rounded and sometimes asymmetric. Mid rib and laterals veins are slightly raised on both leaflet surfaces. Leaflet stalk (petiolule) is up to 10 mm long (4&5). Distribution: Central and northern Qld.
To locate trees by botanical name or to find related species go to:Species List Botanical, which also shows all family names.
Ivory Curl Flower Buckinghamia celsissima
This well known tree species with a dense canopy grows up to 30 m in height in its natural habitat at higher altitudes in northern Qld (Image 1). Bark is grey / brown in colour with a firm texture and a granular surface (2). Sprays of striking white flowers cover the tree in early summer on the mid-north Coast of NSW (3). Mature simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 20 cm long, elliptic to obovate in shape with entire margins, hairless, dark green and glossy on top, light green below with a firm texture. Apex is acute, base shape is cuneate to acuminate. Mid vein is raised and a pale yellow colour on both surfaces, lateral veins are numerous and clearly visible. New growth can be pink to red (4 & 5). Distribution: Northern Qld, but extensively used as a street or ornamental tree in NSW.
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Jackwood Cryptocarya glaucescens Other names: Silver Sycamore
This native tree species attains a height of more than 25m within its habitat of warm temperate and subtropical rainforests (Image 1). Bark is coloured a reddish brown and has a firm and fissured texture (2). The dense foliage, which bears a resemblance to the introduced Camphor Laurel Cinnamomum camphora, is a mid green in colour and medium glossy on top with a grey green and often blotchy underside (3). The fruit (a drupe), turns black when fully mature and measures up to 20mm in diameter. It has a very hard texture with a bumpy surface and ripens over winter (4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 12 cm long, elliptic to oblong in shape with entire margins and hairless. Underside of leaf features a grey waxy coating and darker blotches, especially after bruising. Leaves are strongly scented emitting a camphor like smell when crushed. Centre vein, petiole and young branches are identified by their distinctive yellow colour.(5). Distribution: NSW south coast to central Qld. See Leaf Characteristics Page for explanations of definitions used.
Kangaroo Apple Solanum aviculare
The Kangaroo Apple Solanum aviculare is a common multi-stemmed shrub up to 4m tall with a very wide distribution range. It is found in a range of different forest types and also occurs on rainforest margins (Image 1). Bark on mature specimens is a light grey-green colour, fairly rough with small blisters and fine longitudinal fissures (2). Flowers, characteristic for the Solanum genus, are violet to blue in colour with a yellow centre and measure about 3 cm across (3). The fruit, a berry, is up to 3 cm long and turns dark red at full maturity. It contains numerous small brown seeds embedded in a yellowish pulp (4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 20 cm long, varied in shape elliptic or lobed with entire margins, hairless and the same colour green on both surfaces (concolorous), soft and rather thin in texture. Leaf apex is acute and base shape is cuneate to attenuate. Venation is prominent on both sides with mid vein and laterals being noticeably raised on lower surface (5) Distribution: Vic., NSW & Qld.
Karum Tree Millettia pinnata Other names: Wisteria tree, Indian Beech, Poonga Oil-Tree, Pongamia Tree, Indian Pongamia
Due to its far reaching distribution range throughout Asia and northern Australia this species is known under a range of common names. It is a medium sized tree able to reach a height of more than 20m under ideal conditions. This species is reported to have medicinal qualities and the seed is being used in the production of bio fuel (Picture 1). Bark on the trunk of mature trees becomes rough in texture, marked by longitudinal cracks (fissures) and horizontal ridges. Bark colour is brown weathering to grey (2). This species is a member of the pea & bean family (Fabaceae), a legume that produces a flattened woody pod with a smooth outer surface as a fruit. Pods are up to 8 cm long, roughly elliptical in shape with a curved and sharp tip at the apex. Pods will not split open naturally and have to be prised open to reveal one or sometimes two bean-like seed(s) up to 2.5 cm long (3). The pinnate compound leaf consists of an uneven number of leaflets (imparipinnate), normally 5 or 7. Mature leaflets are; up to 25 cm long, broadly lanceolate or ovate with entire margins, hairless, dark green, glossy on top, paler green beneath, firm and strong in texture. Venation is prominent and raised on lower leaflet surface (4 & 5). Distribution: Northern Qld & NT. Note: This species has been listed as an invasive plant in southern Qld.
Kauri Pine Agathis robusta Other names: Smooth Bark Kauri, Queensland Kauri
This stately conifer can attain heights of up to 50m within drier forms of subtropical and tropical rainforests, but being a valuable timber tree has made specimens of this size a rarity nowadays. The very straight and column-like trunk on mature trees is often branchless to more than half its height (1). Weathered bark is grey in colour, hard and rather smooth in texture. It is shed in thin flakes exposing the fresh brown coloured bark (2). Male cones are made up of numerous tiny scales, turning from green to brown with full maturity. Cones measure up to 10 cm in length and between 1 to 1.5 cm in diameter. They mature over late winter into spring, often lasting for month beneath tree, making them a good identification feature (3). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 12 cm long with entire margins, varied in shape from ovate to lanceolate or elliptical, dark green, glossy on top, pale green beneath, hairless, strong, thick and leathery in texture. Leaf apex is acute ending in a sharp point, base shape is cuneate to nearly rounded. Fine parallel venation is visible on both surfaces (4 & 5). Distribution: Northern Qld and a small population in south-east Qld.
Koda Ehretia acuminata
One of only a limited number of deciduous Australian trees. It can reach a height of 25 to 30m supported on a stout and often crooked trunk. This species has a very wide distribution range stretching from warm temperate to tropical forests (Image 1). Bark on older specimens is rough, fissured and a light grey in colour (2). Large numbers of individual flowers, held on long drooping panicles, measure less than 0.5 cm in diameter and feature 5 pure white petals (3). Masses of fruit (a drupe) develop from late summer into autumn and turn yellow-orange when fully mature (fruit shown is still immature). Drupes are globular in shape and up to 5 mm across (4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; 10 - 12 cm long, oblong or sometimes more elliptic in shape with fine serrated margins, hairless and smooth in texture. Leaf apex is acuminate, base shape is varied from cuneate to more rounded. Clearly visible venation is impressed on upper and raised on lower leaf surface (5). Distribution: From southern NSW to northern Qld. See Flower Characteristics Page and Leaf Characteristics Page for information on terms used.
'Kurrajong' Commersonia viscidula [Androcalva viscidula]
This sturdy and multi-stemmed shrub reaches a height of 3m. It is very adaptable and occurs in a range of different environments including tall Eucalypt forests, open woodlands and heath lands. There is no common name recorded for this species, but Kurrajong is sometimes used. Recently this species was placed into a new genus Androcalva which also includes Commersonia fraseri (see Brush Kurrajong Page 2). The name Kurrajong is also used for some Brachychiton species such as the Dwarf or Little Kurrajong (B. bidwillii) (1). Bark is dark brown to nearly black in colour, firm in texture and marked by irregular horizontal blisters (lenticels) (2). Attractive flowers are borne on cymes or panicles that are reddish brown in colour and covered in long whitish hair. White petals are spatulate (spoon-shaped) and 3 to 4 mm long, 5 pale pink sepals (of calyx) are ovate in shape with an acute tip and hairy beneath as are flower buds (3 & 4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 11 cm long, ovate with serrated margins, dark green, sparsely hairy on top (mature leaves), densely whitish and bristly hairy beneath. The hairy petiole is up to 15mm long. Six or seven pairs of lateral veins are rather straight and raised on the lower leaf surface (5). Distribution: NSW & Qld. See Flower Characteristics Page and Leaf Characteristics Page for information on terms used.
Lacebark Tree Brachychiton discolor Other names: Lace Bark Tree, Lace Kurrajong, White Kurrajong
This native species prefers drier forms of rainforests or well drained locations on margins of subtropical rainforests. It can reach a height of 30m on a straight trunk and is one of relatively few deciduous trees on Australia's east coast (Image 1). Bark on younger trees is light green in colour and shows a network of fine fissures giving a lace-like effect. On older trees the outer surface bark of the lower trunk turns to grey and becomes furrowed (2). The fruit is a densely brown hairy follicle which may irritate skin and eyes on contact. It measures up to 20 cm in length and will split at one side only to disperse numerous seeds tightly packed in rows (3). Simple leaves on mature trees have an alternate arrangement and are; up to 20 cm long with 3 or 5 wide lobes, hairless (except for veins), dark green and dull on top, whitish beneath due to a dense cover of fine furry hair, thick and firm in texture. Apex of lobes are acute, leaf base shape is truncate. The straight and stiff leaf stalk (petiole) is hairy and up to 20 cm in long. Palmate venation is clearly visible (4 & 5). Distribution: From NSW mid-north coast to northern Qld. Similar in appearance to the Flame Tree Brachychiton acerifolius (See Page 5).
Lance Beard Heath Leucopogon affinis [Leucopogon lanceolatus]
Under ideal conditions this robust shrub develops a sturdy trunk and reaches a height of up to 3m. It is a very adaptable and widespread species that inhabits different types of forests and woodlands from coastal to mountainous regions (1). Bark on the base of trunks is greyish brown, rough and furrowed (2). The small white and hairy flowers are borne on spikes which are up to 10cm long. The small fruit (a drupe) changes from green to yellow and finally red at full maturity. It reaches a length of about 3mm and shows the persisting flower sepals at the base and the remaining style at the apex (3 & 4). Simple leaves emerge in a whorl and change to alternate arrangement thereafter. They are; up to 5cm long, more elliptical (widest at the middle) than lance-shaped with entire margins, hairless when mature, the same colour green on both surfaces (concolorous), strong and firm in texture. Up to seven impressed longitudinal veins are visible on the upper leaf surface. Distribution: Vic., NSW and subtropical Qld, also occurs naturally in SA and Tas. See Coastal Beard Heath (L. parviflorus) on Page 3.
Large-leaf Hop Bush Dodonaea triquetra Other names: Common Hop Bush
This very adaptable shrub has a wide distribution stretching from warm temperate to tropical climates and is commonly found in different habitats ranging from coastal locations to mountainous areas. It is up to 3m tall and occurs as an understorey species on the margins of different types of rainforests, including remnants of (subtropical) littoral rainforest and in drier more open Eucalypt dominated forests (1). Bark on older stems is brown in colour, tough and stringy in texture (2). Flowers are borne on panicles at the very end of young branches (terminal), supported by stalks (pedicels) up to 10 mm long (lengthening up to 3 cm at fruiting stage). Mostly 8 stamens are the dominant feature as the perianth with 4 tiny triangular sepals is rather in conspicuous. Short filaments are topped by linear anthers up to 5 mm long, which change from yellow to brown with maturity (3). The fruit, a papery capsule with mostly 3 wings, is characteristic for the genus and measures up to 15 mm in width and length. The capsule changes from green to a yellowish brown colour when fully ripe (4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 12 cm long, elliptic in shape with entire margins, hairless, dark green, dull on top, paler green beneath and soft in texture. Leaf apex is acute; base shape very gradually narrows into the short petiole. Mid rib and curved laterals are raised on lower leaf surface (5). Distribution: Vic., NSW to North Qld. Note: The genus Dodonaea contains about 70 species worldwide with 60 of them being confined (endemic) to Australia; a number of species such as Dodonaea viscosa are used in landscaping. See also: Hop Bush species Dodonaea megazyga above.
Lemon Myrtle Backhousia citriodora Other names: Lemon Ironwood
This medium sized tree can reach up to 20m in height within its natural habitat of subtropical rainforests. Whereas under full light conditions it will be a smaller tree with a dense and rounded crown (Image 1). Bark is a dark brown in colour and on older specimens becomes very rough and deeply furrowed (2). A beautiful fragrant flower display takes place over spring with masses of individual white flowers being arranged in umbels (3). The fruit has the appearance of a flower due to five rounded sepals (remains of the flower) surrounding the small capsule. It measures up to 5 mm in length and is divided in two longitudinal sections containing a number of tiny seeds (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 15 cm long, elliptic in shape with finely crenate or nearly entire in-rolled margins, hairless, thick, strong in texture and lemon scented when crushed. Leaf apex is acute, base shape is cuneate and petiole is up to 1.5 cm long. A strong midrib and straight lateral veins are more visible on the lower leaf surface (5). Distribution: South to north Qld. Note: This species is used as an ornamental tree in landscaping further south along the east coast and is cultivated on commercial plantations for its essential oil.
Little Evodia Melicope rubra Other names: Mueller's Evodia
This tall shrub or small tree reaches a height of 6m and occurs on margins of low- and upland tropical rainforests. Despite its suitable size and handsome appearance this species is not widely used as an ornamental plant. For a tropical species it is relatively hardy and can be grown in frost-free areas as far south as the central coast of NSW. The common name Little Evodia might be confusing as it belongs to the genus Melicope, which includes the Pink and White Euodia (1). Bark is a reddish brown in colour and marked by vertical irregular ridges (2). The attractive pink flowers are borne on small umbels emerging from older branches below the foliage. The conspicuous stamens consist of white and curved filaments twice as long as the petals, which are topped by a pale pink or more beige, articulated (jointed) anthers (3). The segmented fruit is up to 35mm long and about 30mm across, features a citrus-like skin and contains shiny black, egg-shaped seeds up to 4mm long (4). Compound leaves consists of 3 leaflets (trifoliate), which are; up to 11cm long, lanceolate in shape with entire, broadly undulate margins, hairless, dark green, glossy on top, paler beneath and scented when crushed. Petiolules (leaflet stalks) are only 2 to 3mm long, whereas the straight petiole (leafstalk) is circa 5cm long and grooved on the upper surface (5). Distribution: Tropical North Qld.
Long-leaved Bitter Bark Petalostigma triloculare Other names: Forest Quinine
Depending on conditions this species is a multi stemmed shrub or small tree up to 15m tall. It is found on margins of subtropical rainforests or in more open tall forests (Images 1 & 2). Bark is brown in colour with regular longitudinal fissures and a firm texture (3). Long-leaved Bitter Bark can produce an abundance of fruit (capsules), ripening in late autumn. It is a dark orange in colour when fully mature and measures up to 20 mm in diameter (4). Stems, petioles and underside of leaves are covered in fine whitish hair. Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 8 cm long, elliptic in shape with entire margins, medium glossy on upper surface, grey green beneath and silky in texture (4 & 5). Distribution: NSW mid-north coast to central Qld.
Long-leaved Native Olive Notelaea longifolia Other names: Large Mock-Olive
This native shrub or small tree species reaches less than 10m in height and has a wide distribution range in different types of rain and other tall forests (Picture 1). Bark is quite rough with blisters and small fissures; colour is a dark grey (2). The Long-leaved Native Olive also called Large Mock-Olive shown is Notelaea longifolia, occurring from the NSW central coast to southern Qld. Flower buds appear in mid to late winter and develop into a black coloured olive shaped fruit, (a drupe) up to 15 mm long (3 & 4). Opposite arranged simple leaves are; up to 15 cm long, lanceolate to narrow elliptic in shape with entire margins, firm, smooth and quite leathery in texture, nearly hairless (compared to other forms), dark green, satin glossy on top and lighter green underneath. Apex is long acute with a fine point, base shape is cuneate. Venation is visible on both sides (5). Special identification characteristics are 2 or 3 fine hairy axillary (growth) buds stacked together in leaf axils. Distribution: (Three different forms) from NSW south-coast to central Qld.
Long-leaved Paperbark Melaleuca leucadendra Other names: Weeping Paperbark, Broad-leaved Teatree
The first image is showing the Long-leaved Paperbark Melaleuca leucadendra in a tropical lowland paperbark forest and swamp. Here this species is a tall tree and can attain a height of more than 40m whereby in drier and less fertile environments it may only reach 20m (1 & 2). Bark is a whitish grey in colour, soft and papery in texture (3). The fruit is a woody capsule less than 5mm in diameter. Mostly groups of 3 capsules are attached directly to the stem without a stalk. They are spaced at intervals of 1 to 2 cm apart and contain a large number of fine light brown seed (4). Alternately arranged adult simple leaves are; up to 18 cm long, narrow lanceolate in shape with entire margins, rather thick and firm. Apex narrows very gradually into a fine point, base shape is attenuate and sometimes oblique. Venation is rather faint showing 3 to 5 longitudinal veins (5). Distribution: Coastal tropical Qld. See also Paperbark Melaleuca quinquenervia Page 8. See Leaf Characteristics Page for explanations of definitions used.
To locate trees by botanical name or to find related species go to:Species List Botanical, which also shows all family names.
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Long-leaved Wax Flower Philotheca myoporoides Other names: Long-leaf Wax-flower
This very adaptable and handsome shrub inhabits dry open forests, woodlands and heaths in cool temperate to subtropical climates. Under favourable conditions, it develops a compact upright shape and reaches a height of up 2.5m (Picture 1). Bark is dark brown, thick and becomes fissured and to some extent scaly on older stems (2). Up to 6 individual flowers are supported by a primary stalk (peduncle) up to 2cm long. The attractive and prolific flowers feature 5 broadly elliptical shaped petals of wax-like consistency. Petals are less than 1cm long, white on the upper, pink, (changing to white with maturity) and ridged (keeled) on the lower surface. The curved and at first flattened filaments of the stamens are characteristically covered with long soft hairs (pilose) (3 & 4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 11cm long (often shorter), varied in shape, oblong, elliptic or oblanceolate (reverse lance-shaped) with entire margins, hairless, covered in tiny bumps (glands), somewhat fleshy and leathery in texture. Leaves are fruit-like scented when crushed and sessile, i.e. miss a leaf stalk (5). Distribution: Widespread in eastern Vic., NSW and less common in southern Qld. Note: This species and other members of the genus are ideal (low maintenance) native ornamental shrubs. See Flower Characteristics Page for explanations of definitions used.
Macadamia Macadamia tetraphylla Other names: Rough-shelled Bush Nut, Queensland Nut, Bauple Nut, Prickly Macadamia
This tree together with the Macadamia integrifolia are the two parents of today's modern (grafted) varieties growing in commercial plantations in many parts of the world. Its natural habitat of subtropical rainforests in proximity of the coastline are rare nowadays, making this tree an endangered species in the wild. It is a tree of medium height reaching less than 20m and features a dense, dark green foliage forming a rounded crown (Image 1). Bark is brown in colour with a finely rough texture due to small vertical wrinkles and horizontal ridges (2). Drooping racemes grow up to 25 cm in length and hold numerous small cream coloured flowers appearing over late winter into spring (3). The fruit is a round follicle up to 3 cm in diameter, which turns brown before splitting at one side only to reveal a rough shell containing the very palatable seed (sometimes 2). (4). Simple leaves are arranged in a whorl of 4 (mostly, sometimes only 3) and are; more than 20 cm long with prickly toothed margins, narrow oblong (slightly wider at the top) in shape, hairless, dark green, glossy on top, strong and stiff in texture. Leaf apex is short acuminate ending in a sharp tip, base shape is attenuate. the short petiole is only a few millimetres long. Distribution: Restricted to coastal northern NSW and southern Qld.
Macaranga Macaranga tanarius Other names: Nasturtium Tree, David's Heart, Heart Leaf, Bullocks Heart, Blush Macaranga
The Macaranga is a tall shrub or small tree less than 10m in height, but some specimens competing for sunlight within rainforests may reach 12 - 15m. It prefers better light conditions at forest margins or in regrowth areas after logging. It is used in landscaping for its manageable size, hardiness to full sunlight, attractive foliage and flowers (Image 1). Mature trees feature a stout, often twisted and irregular trunk which is covered in a firm and brown coloured bark (green, pink and white colours are caused by mosses and lichen). The surface shows small wart like bumps and horizontal scars left by detached branches (2). Unusual yellowish green flowers are held on long panicles with dioecious trees bearing male or female flowers only. The size of the frilled bracts surrounding a number of individual flowers is more than 1 cm in length, indicating that a female inflorescence is shown in the picture (3). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 25 cm long, rounded in shape with entire margins, mid-green, hairless on upper surface, grey-green and finely hairy beneath (more so on younger leaves) with a soft texture. Leaf apex is mucronate (rounded with a short sharp point), base shape is rounded. The strong petiole measures up to 30 cm in length and is attached towards the centre of the leaf blade (lamina). The palmate venation is very noticeable on both leaf surfaces (4&5). Distribution: From NSW north-coast to northern Qld.
Macleay Laurel Anopterus macleayanus
The Macleay Laurel is an attractive and unusual under storey tree species found in different types of rainforests. In undisturbed subtropical rainforests it can reach a height of 15m or more (Image 1). Mature specimens feature a distinctive bark which is red brown in colour and covered in warts (2). Beautiful white flowers are up to 10 mm in diameter and bloom in early spring (3). The fruit is a pointed capsule measuring up to 4 cm in length, which is beige in colour and contains more than a dozen flat winged seeds about 2 cm long (4). The growing bud and fleshy petioles on young shoots are coloured bright red and are good identification characteristics (5 inset). Large simple leaves arranged in a whorl of up to 5 leaves below the growing bud are; up to 35 cm long, mostly oblanceolate in shape with finely toothed margins, hairless, dark green and glossy on top, paler and glossy beneath with a smooth, firm texture. Leaf apex is acute, base shape is acuminate. Petiole up to 30 mm long changes colour to green on older leaves (5). Distribution: NSW mid-north coast to Qld. See Flower Characteristics Page and Leaf Characteristics Page for information on terms used.
Maiden's Blush Sloanea australis Other names: Blush Alder
This beautiful tree grows to a height of up to 30m with buttress roots developing on older specimens and occurs within subtropical rainforests (Image 1). Bark on mature trees is dark brown in colour with furrows and blisters (2). Stunning sprays of white flowers with yellow centres bloom in spring (3). The fruit capsules ripening in late summer contain up to three seeds covered in a red aril. Old seed capsules found around the base of this tree can help in identification of this species (4). Simple (1-foliolate) leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 20 cm long, mostly obovate in shape with toothed or crenate margins, dark green and glossy on top, lighter green below, hairless, strong and firm in texture. Leaf apex is short acuminate ending in a blunt point; base is tapering into a rounded end. Petiole is up to 30 mm long and features a pronounced pulvinus. Mid rib, laterals and net veins are pronounced and raised on lower leaf surface (5). (See Leaf Characteristics) Distribution: From the south-coast of NSW to subtropical Qld. Young shoots and petioles are not covered in hair compared to its relative the Yellow Carabeen (Sloanea woollsii) Page 12.
Maiden's Wattle Acacia maidenii
The Maiden's Wattle is a common and widespread native tree species reaching a height of up to 20m under favourable conditions. It can be a tall multi-stemmed shrub in dry and exposed environments (Picture 1). Bark is a greyish brown in colour and rather stringy and fissured on older specimens (2). Attractive flower spikes up to 8 cm long feature bright yellow buds opening into white and cream coloured flowers which turn a pale yellow colour when maturing (Pictures 3 & 4). Simple leaves (phyllodes) with an alternate arrangement are; up to 16 cm long with entire margins, mostly narrow elliptic in shape and sometimes curved, mid-green and rather dull on top, similar below, hairless with a firm and slightly stiff texture. Leaf apex is acute ending in a fine point, base shape is cuneate. Venation is rather faint with up to 5 longitudinal main veins showing (5). Distribution: Vic., NSW & Qld. See Leaf Characteristics Page for explanations of definitions used.
Marbled Baloghia Baloghia marmorata Other names: Jointed Baloghia
The Jointed or Marbled Baloghia Baloghia marmorata is a rare native shrub or small tree below 10m in height occurring in subtropical rainforest (Image 1). Bark is cream to light brown in colour with a firm texture and fine fissures (2). Clusters of white flowers are held on stems up to 18 cm in length together with two opposite leaves normally less than 10 cm long (3). 3 or 4 simple leaves are clustered below the growing bud, changing to an alternate arrangement when maturing (4). Leaves are; up to 15 cm long with entire margins, long elliptic to oblanceolate in shape, glossy on both surfaces, hairless, medium thick and leathery. Apex is mostly short acuminate, base is attenuate in shape. Petiole is up to 5 cm long, slender but strong and stiff. The mid vein is raised on lower surface in the bottom half of the leaf only (5). Distribution: Rare in northern NSW to southern Qld.
Milk Bush Neisosperma poweri Other names: Red Boat Tree
As an under-storey species within subtropical rainforests this tall shrub or small tree can reach 10m in height under favourable conditions (Image 1). Bark is light brown in colour and densely marked by small blisters (lenticels) (2). Attractive white flowers are held on small panicles appearing at the very end of young branches. They bloom over mid to late summer and measure up to 1 cm in length (3). Broken petioles (leaf stalks) and branchlets exude a generous amount of white latex turning sticky on exposure (4). Leaves with an opposite arrangement (or irregular in whorls of 3) are; up to 12 cm long on mature specimens, obovate in shape with entire margins, dark green on top, light green beneath, hairless and smooth in texture. Lateral venation is faint all over but more visible on the upper surface, whereas the mid rib is pronounced on both surfaces (5). Distribution: From north coast of NSW to upland subtropical rainforests in northern Qld. Note: Similar to the Banana Bush Tabernaemontana pandacaqui in appearance. See Page 1.
Murrogun Cryptocarya microneura Other names: Brown Jack
This native species is a regular occurrence in warm temperate and subtropical rainforests. It can survive low intensity fires when growing in drier open eucalypt dominated forests. Under good light conditions it is able to reach a height of 20m or more, but beneath a dense rainforest canopy it is often reduced in size (Image 1). The trunk on mature specimens can be fluted or is often crooked. Bark on young trees is furrowed with a soft, corky texture and grey in colour changing to brown with a more scaly texture on mature trees (2). Flowering in some years can be profuse turning the whole tree to a creamy, yellow colour. Individual flowers measure up to 5 mm across when opened with no visible distinction between the calyx and the corolla. They are held on large and intricately branched panicles appearing towards the end of young branches and flower over spring (3). The fruit (a drupe) turns from green to black with full maturity and shows a finely wrinkled surface texture. It is rounded to slightly more oval in shape with a pointed tip at the apex and measures up to 12 mm in length (4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 12 cm long, mostly elliptic in shape with entire margins, hairless, dark green glossy on top, paler, whitish green below, firm and slightly leathery in texture. Young leaves, especially on juvenile trees have a white waxy covering on their underside. Leaf apex is acuminate ending in a rounded tip, base is wedge shaped (cuneate). Midrib is yellowish or whitish in colour and a bit crooked, up to 6 or 7 mostly uneven pairs of lateral veins also yellowish or whitish in colour (5). Distribution: From NSW south coast to central Qld. See Flower Characteristics Page and Leaf Characteristics Page for information on terms used.