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Vegetative features in identification of a native tree or shrub can be divided into a number of categories. They include; leaf, flower, fruit, bark characteristics and the size, shape and form, collectively called the habit of the plant. Comprehensive 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 Australian rainforest areas deserve. 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.
Narrow-leaved Orangebark Maytenus silvestris
This native shrub or small tree is found in moist tall forests adjacent to rainforests and in dryer open forests dominated by Eucalyptus species (Picture 1). Freshly exposed bark is an orange-brown in colour turning to grey brown with age and has a firm texture (2). Small greenish white flowers measure around 4 to 5 mm in diameter with five broadly rounded petals. They are held on individual flower stalks or small racemes (3). The fruit (a capsule) is ovoid in shape and up to 7 mm in length, turning orange in colour when ripe (fruit shown is still immature). The remaining flower calyx at the base and the persistent style at the top of the fruit make good identification characteristics (4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 8 cm in length, narrow at less than 15 mm in width, mostly lanceolate in shape, showing entire margins towards the base but often with a few spines towards the apex, dark green on top, hairless, rather thick and stiff in texture. Leaf apex shape is acute, base shape is cuneate. Venation is fine but visible and the short petiole measures only 2-3 mm in length. Distribution: NSW south coast to Qld.
Note: This species intergrades with the Orange Bark Maytenus bilocularis (same page), where both species share a habitat. See Flower Characteristics Page and Leaf Characteristics Page for information on terms 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
Narrow-leaved Wattle Acaia linearifolia
This tall shrub or small tree reaches up to 10m in height and becomes very noticeable due to its beautiful bright yellow flower display appearing over winter into early spring (Picture 1). Bark on branches and trunk is relatively smooth, but can be rough at the base of older trees, it is greyish brown in colour with a firm texture (2). Up to 20 globose (rounded) flower heads measure less than 1 cm in diameter and are arranged along an axis up to 8 cm long (racemose) (3). Narrow phyllodes with an alternate arrangement are; up to 14 cm in length, 15 mm to 40 mm in width, mostly straight or slightly curved, hairless, strong and stiff in texture. The phyllode apex shape is acute showing a fine, offset tip (mucro), and towards the base a definitive swelling (gland) is visible. The center vein is obvious, but no laterals are visible (4 & 5). Distribution: NSW central tablelands and western slopes, but grown elsewhere as an ornamental and naturalising outside its original habitat. Note: Very similar to the Cascade Wattle A.adunca
See Flower Characteristics Page and Leaf Characteristics Page for information on terms used.
Native Cascarilla Croton verreauxii Other names: Green Native Cascarilla
This attractive shrub or small tree is a common occurrence along the margins of different rainforest types and moist regenerating forests. When receiving ample sunlight it can attain a height of 10m or more, but as an understorey species it is more often a multi-stemmed shrub less than 5m high (Picture 1). Bark on older trunks becomes fissured and somewhat scaly and is mid to dark brown in colour (2). Small flowers are held along short racemes up to 6 cm in length appearing at the very end of young branches over the summer months. They are yellowish green in colour with 5 pointed sepals and prominent stamens being the main features (3). The rounded fruit is a capsule reaching up to 6mm across with 3 separate lobes (segments) and changes from green to a yellow brown when fully mature. It is covered in short and very fine hair and contains a single, cream colored seed in each lobe (4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are: up to 14 cm in length with finely toothed margins, lanceolate or elliptic in shape, hairless, dark green, very glossy on top, lighter green, also glossy beneath, soft and smooth in texture. Leaf apex is mostly acute ending in a rounded tip, base shape varies from cuneate to more rounded. The slender petiole (leaf stalk) can grow to 5 cm in length and features 2 clearly visible glands on small stalks at the joint with the leaf blade. Venation is more visible on lower leaf surface (5). Distribution: From NSW south coast to southern Qld.
Native Frangipani Hymenosporum flavum
The Native Frangipani Hymenosporum flavum is medium sized tree species reaching a height of up to 20m within subtropical and warm temperate rainforests and adjacent sclerophyll forests (Picture 1). Bark on mature specimens is brown in colour with the weathered top layer turning grey; texture is hard and furrowed (2). Superb flowers are white in colour when opening changing to a bright yellow with maturity and are arranged in small panicles. Flowers which are nicely scented measure up to 5 cm in diameter and bloom over spring (3). The fruit is a flattened capsule; brown in colour, hairy on the outside, up to 4 cm in length and contains numerous winged seeds (4). Simple leaves appear in a whorl of up to 4 leaves below the growing bud turning alternate when maturing and are; up to 15 cm in length, obovate to oblanceolate in shape with entire margins, dark green and glossy on top, paler green below, soft, thin, smooth and hairless. Leaves (especially on their underside) on juvenile and new growth on mature specimens are hairy. Apex is short acuminate, base shape is attenuate. Mid vein and laterals are slightly impressed on upper leaf surface and raised below. Distribution: NSW south coast to Qld. The species is often planted as an ornamental tree for its attractive flowers.
Native Gardenia Atractocarpus benthamianus
On fertile soils this handsome tall shrub or small tree grows to a height of up to 12 m. It is found as an understorey species within warm temperate and subtropical rainforests up to an altitude of a 1000m (Picture 1). Bark is a reddish, light brown in colour with a firm but flaky texture (2). White scented flowers appear in late winter to early spring within the glossy foliage (3). Up to 6 flower buds and 4 to 5 emerging leaves are enclosed in a stipule, being two jointed sheaves covered in very fine hair (4). Simple leaves are arranged either in a whorl beneath the growing bud or alternate. They are; oblanceolate to elliptic in shape with entire margins, up to 18 cm long with a short acuminate apex, thin and soft to touch. Lower leaf surface features a prominent center vein covered in fine hair and domatia as small cavities with hairy bristles are visible along it (5). Distribution: NSW mid-north coast to southern Qld. See Leaf Characteristics Page for explanations of terms used.
Native Guava Rhodomyrtus psidioides
Small to medium sized tree species with a dense canopy attaining 20 m or more in height (Picture 1). Here a multi stemmed trunk is featuring a scaly grey, pink to pale brown colored bark. The growth habit of the Native Guava Rhodomyrtus psidioides within rainforests is more straight and erect (Pictures 1 & 2). Flowers measure up to 15 mm in diameter showing 5 white petals and numerous stamens topped by bright yellow anthers. They are held in small racemes and bloom over the summer months (3). The fleshy fruit resembles a small Guava in shape, is a yellowish green in colour and reaches 25 mm in length, it is a berry by classification and contains numerous small seeds (4). Growing buds and young branches are covered in fine hair. Leaf arrangement is opposite. Simple leaves are; lanceolate to elliptic in shape, up to 12 cm long with entire margins, dark green and glossy on top, paler and glossy beneath and emit a fruity smell when crushed. Leaf apex is acute base shape is rounded. Mid vein raised and yellowish on lower surface (5). Distribution: Mainly in subtropical rainforests from central coast of NSW to central Qld.
Native Hydrangea Abrophyllum ornans
The healthy specimen shown is growing in disturbed littoral (close to the beach) rainforest, where normally this species is more common as an understorey species within subtropical and warm temperate rainforest. It is an upright shrub or small tree reaching less than 10 m in height and prefers moist location in gullies and along creek banks (Image 1). Bark is grey to light olive/brown in colour and has a firm texture with rounded blisters showing on the surface (2). The attractive fruit is a rounded berry measuring up to 8 mm in size and turns a dark purple/black when fully ripe. It is held on panicles towards the end of younger branches and ripens over autumn and winter (3). Leaves with an alternate arrangement are only retained towards the end of branches and are; up to 20 cm in length, oblanceolate to more elliptic in shape, dark green, glossy on top, lighter green, sparsely hairy beneath, thin and soft in texture. Margins show fine irregular spaced teeth with callous (hard) tips which are more likely to be present towards the apex. Leaf apex is acuminate ending in a fine point, base shape is attenuate. The mid rib and lateral veins are sunken on the upper surface, strongly raised and slightly hairy on the lower surface. The strong and finely hairy petiole can reach up to 5 cm in length (4 & 5). Distribution: From NSW south coast to northern QLD. Note: Similar in appearance to Cuttsia Cuttsia viburnea (See Page 3).
Native Nutmeg Myristica globosa Other names: Queensland Nutmeg
Depending on location this small to medium sized tree can attain heights of up to 25m and is found in different tropical rainforests types, but as an understorey species under a dense rainforest canopy it may only reach a height of 15m (Image 1). Bark is light to mid-brown in colour and rough in texture due to small irregular ridges, running horizontal and vertically (2). Fruit appears singly or in small clusters of up to 4 from leaf axils along branches and fully ripens in late winter to early spring (3). The fruit is a capsule splitting lengthwise to reveal a single black seed when fully ripe, which is covered in a fleshy, bright red colored and lace-like aril emitting a strong nutmeg scent. The capsule measures up to 3 cm in length turning an orange/brown colour when mature and is covered in fine, woolly hair (4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 20 cm in length with entire margins, elliptical to slightly obovate in shape, dark green on top, pale whitish green below, hairless, smooth with a firm texture. Leaf apex is acute ending in a blunt tip, base shape is cuneate. Venation is prominent on both surfaces with up to 20 pairs of laterals turning more yellowish brown on older leaves (5). Distribution: Tropical Qld, NT & WA.
Native Olive Olea paniculata
Small to medium sized rainforest tree species growing to a height of 25m (Image 1). Bark is grey brown in colour with small whitish blisters being a useful feature in identification (2). Fruit resembles the shape of an olive and is a green colour turning black with age, small at up to 10mm long. A thin layer of fruit flesh encloses a hard pale brown seed (Photos 3 & 4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 8 cm long with entire margins, broad elliptic to ovate in shape, hairless, smooth and soft in texture. Leaf apex is acute or short acuminate with a fine point, base shape is rounded. Domatia as swellings along center vein are very conspicuous on both leaf surfaces and a good identification feature (5). Distribution: NSW central coast to central QLD.
Native Rosella Hibiscus heterophyllus
The Native Rosella Hibiscus heterophyllus is a shrub or small tree less than 10m in height preferring a drier environment with good light conditions on margins of rainforests or within tall forests and regrowth (Picture 1). Bark on mature trees is a grey brown in colour, rough but missing the sharp and stout prickles found on trunks of young specimens where the bark colour is green (2). Striking flowers up to 8 cm in diameter bloom in early spring and feature five white and pink fringed petals with the center being a dark crimson red (3). Sharp prickles cover branches, young stems and petioles. Flower buds, stalks and young shoots are finely white hairy. Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 15 cm in length with finely toothed margins, varied in shape from the deeply three lobed leaf shown in picture 5 to long elliptic or lanceolate with a fairly firm and rough texture. Leaf or lobe apex is acute, base shape is rounded. Venation is clearly visible on both surfaces with main veins being sometimes slightly hairy and showing a few small prickles (4&5). Distribution: NSW central coast to QLD. Identification: Similar to Pink Hibiscus Hibiscus splendens listed on this page below.
See Flower Characteristics Page and Leaf Characteristics Page for information on terms used.
Native Tamarind Diploglottis australis
Tall slender subtropical rainforest tree occurring from the south coast of NSW to central QLD, often seen as regrowth due to extensive spreading of its seed by a range of birds (Image 1 & 2). Bark is firm and mostly smooth, dark grey in colour (White coating is due to lichen growth, image 3). Fruit turns from a yellow to an orange-brown colour when ripening and is eagerly sought by rainforest bird species (4). A compound leaf features up to 16 large leaflets which are mainly oblong in shape; up to 30 cm long with entire margins and a hairy underside (5). (See Leaf Characteristics Page for an explanation of definitions used.)
Descriptions and all images copyright ©2016 by www.allcreativedesigns.com.au world wide rights reserved.
Needle Shaggy Pea Podolobium aciculiferum
This upright shrub can reach 3 to 4 m in height and is common in Eucalypt dominated forests from the coastline to higher altitudes. As the common name implies it is covered in thin needle-like spines making it relatively easy to identify (1). Trunks and older branches of mature plants lose their spines and bark becomes finely rough with a granular texture. Bark colour on old growth is brown (2).Bright yellow or more orange colored flowers are characteristic for the pea bean family (Fabaceae) and measure about 1 cm in diameter. The are borne individually on long, curved stalks or short racemes appearing along young branches and bloom over spring an summer (3). At first small pods are light green in colour and covered in whitish hair, but become hairless and darker green when fully mature. They reach about 1 cm in length and contain between 2 to 4 cream colored seeds (4).Young branches are light green in colour, covered in fine, white hair and pairs of sharp spines. Simple leaves vary between an opposite (more likely) and an alternate arrangement. They are; up to 2.5 cm in length (including needle tip), broadly lanceolate to ovate in shape with fine crenate margins, dark green, semi-glossy, hairless on top, paler green, sparsely hairy beneath, strong, stiff and slightly rough in texture. Leaf apex is acute ending in a needle-like tip, base is broadly wedge-shaped (5). Distribution: From NSW south coast to central Qld. Note: Similar in appearance to the Prickly Shaggy-pea (Podolobium ilicifolium), which has lobed leaves.
Newry Golden Wattle Acacia chrysotricha
This elegant native tree species with a very small distribution range can reach a height of 15m and occurs most often in open tall forests (Picture 1). Bark is dark brown in colour, firm and rather smooth with shallow longitudinal fissures (2). New emerging foliage is a bright yellow green with a fern like appearance (3). Sprays of golden yellow flowers held on long raceme bloom for a short time in mid winter (4). Bipinnate compound leaves with an alternate arrangement feature up to 15 pinnae holding more than 20 leaflets each which are; very small up to 4 mm in length, oblong in shape, soft and finely hairy (5). Distribution: Kalang River Catchment NSW mid-north coast.
Norfolk Island Pine Araucaria heterophylla
The natural distribution of this stately tree is restricted to Norfolk Island, but it is a common ornamental tree planted along Australia's foreshore and in many other parts of the world. The distinctive symmetrical shape (habit) and impressive height of more than 50m makes identification of this species relatively easy (1). Bark on older specimen is very rough, flaky in texture and grey-brown in colour (2). The male cone develops at the very end of branchlets and reaches up to 10cm in length (3). The female cone disintegrates on the tree and the fallen individual cone scales, containing the edible seed, can be collected beneath the tree. The seed shown in the middle of the image measures about 4 cm in length. Leaves of mature trees, arranged in a whorl formation, are; claw-like in shape, up to 10mm long, hard and prickly to touch (5). Distribution: Norfolk Island, about 1400 km east of the New South Wales north coast. Note: Closely related to the Hoop Pine A.cunninghamii (Page 7) and the Bunja Pine A.bidwillii (Page 2), all conifers but not true pine trees.
To locate trees by botanical name or to find related species go to:Species List Botanical, which also shows all family names.
Northern Acradenia Acradenia euodiiformis Other names: Bonewood
Under ideal conditions this species is a medium sized tree reaching a height of up to 25 m. The specimen shown is standing on rich volcanic soil within warm temperate rainforest beneath Black Booyong Argyrodendron actinophyllum. The trunk of older specimens shows some fluting and minor buttress roots (Picture 1 & 2). Bark is cream in colour, rather soft and spongy in texture with corky blisters and ridges on older specimens (2). Small white flowers are; borne on long panicles up to 25 cm in length, measure about 5 mm in length with 5 petals, bloom over spring and are nicely scented (3). Groups of up to 5 fruits yellowish green in colour and showing ribs on the outside are held on a single stalk. They are a capsule at up to 10 mm in length and 6-8 mm across containing a flattened light brown seed (4). Palmate compound leaves are made up of 3 leaflets (rarely 2 or 5) and are; up to 20 cm in length, mostly elliptic in shape with entire and wavy margins, dark green and glossy on top, light green and shiny beneath with a smooth and slightly leathery texture. Leaflet apex is acuminate ending in a rounded point and base shape is cuneate (5). Distribution: NSW mid-north coast to southern QLD. See Flower Identification and Leaf Identification Page for information on terms used.
Northern Guioa Guioa acutifolia Other names: Glossy Tamarind, Sharp Leaf Guioa
This small or sometimes medium sized tree can grow to a height of 20m or more, when occurring in more open forest. As an understorey species within tropical and subtropical rainforests it is more likely to be smaller in height with a dark green, glossy and dense foliage on a often crooked trunk (Picture 1). Bark is grey in colour and is smooth in texture becoming rougher and somewhat scaly on older specimens (2). Small individual flowers a held on racemes measuring more than 20 cm in length or long panicles with 1 or 2 low branching divisions. Flowers emit a sweet scent and bloom over late winter into spring (3). The quick maturing fruit is a capsule with 2 or 3 prominent and flattened lobes reaching up to 1 cm in length, it will change from green to a yellow colour when fully ripe (4). Compound leaves consist of up to 8 separate leaflets which are; up to 17 cm in length, elliptic to more lanceolate in shape with entire margins, hairless, dark green, glossy on top, paler whitish green beneath, relatively thin and soft in texture. Leaflet apex is acute ending in a fine tip, base shape is cuneate. Short leaflet stalk (petiolule) is swollen and brown in colour. Mid rib is strongly raised on lower leaflet surface, other venation is fine but clearly visible. There is one pronounced domatium visible from both surfaces along the center vein towards the base of the leaflet (5). Distribution: From southern to northern Qld.
Northern White Lilly Pilly Acronychia laevis Other names: Glossy Acronychia
Small native tree species attaining a height of up to 15 m found in different types of rainforests (Picture 1). Bark has got a fairly smooth texture with some fine fissuring and is a grey brown in colour (2). Attractive cream and yellow flowers up to 2cm across are followed by vivid colored fruit, which changes from magenta to a blue mauve tone with ripening (Pictures 3 & 4).Simple (1-foliate) leaves with an opposite arrangement (or slightly offset) are; mostly obovate in shape, up to 8 cm long with entire margins, hairless, very glossy on both surfaces, smooth, firm in texture and emit a pleasant scent when crushed. Leaf apex is rounded or notched (emarginate), base is wedge-shaped (cuneate). The length of the leaf stalk varies from a few milimetres to 2 cm and shows a noticeable swelling where joining to the leaf blade. Fine reticulate venation is visible on both surfaces. Distribution: From northern NSW to north Qld (5).
Odour Bush Mallotus claoxyloides Other names: Green Kamala, Smell-Of-The-Bush
This large native shrub or small tree less than 10m in height originates in subtropical and drier forms of rainforests (Image 1). Bark is a green to grey in colour, hard with corky blisters and fine fissures (2).The Odour Bush Mallotus claoxyloides also called Green Kamala is strongly scented especially when flowering and can be smelled from a distance (3). Clusters of highly perfumed small yellow flowers bloom in late autumn on the NSW north coast (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 16 cm in length with irregularly toothed margins or sometimes nearly entire, mostly broad elliptic in shape, medium thick and soft to the touch. Upper leaf surface is mid green in colour with few hairs showing, lower surface is densely covered in whitish fine, short hair. Apex is acute with a blunt or rounded point. Venation is clearly visible and raised on lower surface (5). See Leaf Characteristics Page for explanations of terms used.
Oliver's Sassafras Cinnamomun oliveri Other names: Camphorwood
Widespread medium size tree species growing in different types of rainforests along Australia's east coast (Photo 1). Bark is strongly scented, firm and greyish in colour (2). Simple leaves are up to 16 cm long with a firm and leathery texture, featuring entire wavy margins and emit a strong camphor smell when crushed. Leaf arrangement is mostly opposite. (Photos 3,4 & 5).
Orange Bark Maytenus bilocularis
This species has the ability to reach the height of a small tree, but is more likely to be a shrub less than half that size. It occurs as an understorey species on the margins of different rainforests types and within moist tall forests (1). The outer bark is thin papery and weathers to grey brown, whereas fresh bark is orange to reddish brown in colour (2). Up to 5 small flowers are held on small racemes appearing towards the end of young branches. They are cream and pale green coloured, and measure only 3 to 5 mm across (3). The fruit is an ovoid (pear-shaped) capsule 3 to 6 mm long, which turns from green to yellow at maturity. It splits into 2 valves (segments) to release black seeds covered in a thin orange aril (4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 7 cm long, elliptic in shape with up to 7 prickly teeth on either side, glossy, dark green above, paler beneath, hairless, stiff and strong in texture. Mid rib, lateral and net veins are clearly visible on both surfaces (5). Distribution: NSW mid-north coast to QLD. Note: This species hybridises with the Narrow-leaved Orange Bark Maytenus silvestris (top of page) when species share a habitat.
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Phillip Island Hibiscus Hibiscus insularis
This sturdy shrub is probably the rarest of more than 30 different Hibiscus species native to Australia. It is an endangered plant only occurring on uninhabited Phillip Island, which is part of the Norfolk Island group, and has a subtropical climate (Picture 1). Bark on older stems is grey brown in colour and has a flaky surface texture (2). Large gorgeous flowers measure 8 cm or more in diameter and feature 5 petals, cream white with green hues at first changing to a reddish colour with maturity. In the center a ring of crowded stamens with pink filaments and orange anthers surrounds 5 prominent styles (3). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are: only up to 5 cm in length, ovate (egg-shaped) with lobed margins, glossy dark green on top, dull pale green beneath, hairless and soft in texture. Leaf apex is acute ending in a blunt tip, base shape is obtuse (rounded). Palmate venation is clearly visible on both leaf surfaces (4 & 5). Distribution: Phillip Island, Norfolk Island group (not Phillip Island off Victoria). Worthwhile growing, plants are available from online nurseries.
Pine Mountain Corkwood Erythrina numerosa Other names: Pine Mountain Coral Tree
Medium sized and deciduous native tree species growing in drier types of forests up to a height of 25m (Picture 1). The trunks' diameter is large when compared to the height of the tree and features sharp and strong spines (2). Bark for the exceptions of scattered corky blisters is fairly smooth, rather firm and a light greenish grey in colour (3). Compound leaves are alternately arranged and mostly clustered towards the end of branches and consist of three leaflets (trifoliate) which are; up to 10 cm long and 12 cm wide, triangular in shape with entire or shallow lobed margins, mid green, semi glossy on top, paler beneath, hairless (except for new growth) fairly thin and soft in texture. Apex is acute and base shape is cordate. The strong petiole is up to 15 cm long, petiolules are up to 4 cm in length (4 & 5). Distribution NSW north coast to north QLD.
Pink Cherry Austrobuxus swanii
The Pink Cherry is a subtropical rainforest tree species reaching a height of about 20m with a limited distribution range (Picture 1). Distinctive bark is a reddish brown colour with a scaly and flaky texture (2). Old leaves within the dark green and very glossy foliage turn red (3). Tiny but very interesting flowers are followed by inconspicuous small fruit, black in colour and about 6mm long (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are lanceolate to elliptic in shape and up to 10 cm long with finely toothed margins. The leaf apex can be emarginate (notched) or runs into a blunt point. Center vein on lower leaf surface is raised and often coloured a pale yellow, lateral veins are faint on both surfaces (Pic 5). See our Leaf Characteristic Page for explanations of terms. Distribution: Fairly uncommon from NSW mid-north coast to southern QLD.
Pink Euodia Melicope elleryana Other names: Pink Doughwood
Small to medium sized subtropical rainforest species growing to height of 20m (Picture 1). Free standing specimens are more compact and smaller with foliage reaching the ground (2). Bark is a light grey in colour; fairly spongy and soft with longitudinal ridges on older specimens (3). Fruit hanging in small bunches are capsules up to 8 mm across, a dark blue to black colour when ripe (4). Palmate compound leaves with an opposite arrangement are made up of three leaflets (trifoliate) which are; broad elliptic or more ovate in shape, up to 16 cm long with entire margins, dark green, glossy on top, hairless or slightly hairy, semi-glossy beneath, very smooth and soft in texture. Leaflet apex is short attenuate, base is broadly wedge-shaped (5). Distribution: From NSW north coast to north Qld.
See also White Euodia Melicope micrococca (Page 7).
Pink Hibiscus Hibiscus splendens Other names: Pink Cottonwood
The Pink Hibiscus is a single stemmed and multi-branched native shrub growing to a height of 4m under good light conditions, in shady positions it will have a more straggly appearance (Picture 1). Bark on the trunk is firm and a reddish brown in colour, rough but missing the sharp and stout prickles of younger branches (2). Stunning flowers will last a week or more and close up overnight being white with pink fringes at first turning pink all over with maturity. They are up to 8 cm in diameter and bloom in spring with the center being a dark crimson red (3). Alternately arranged simple leaves are; up to 18 cm in length with finely toothed margins, varied in shape from deeply lobed to elliptic or lanceolate, whitish hairy on both surfaces with a rough texture. Leaf or lobe apex is acute, base shape is rounded. Petiole is up to 6 cm in length, hairy and can feature the odd prickle (4). Veins are raised on lower leaf surface with main veins being hairy and rarely showing small prickles(5). Distribution: NSW central coast to QLD. In identification this species differs from the Native Rosella Hibiscus heterophyllum (same page, above) by featuring less prickles on leaves and petiole, being softer in texture and flowers turning pink with maturity.
To locate trees by botanical name or to find related species go to:Species List Botanical, which also shows all family names.
Pink Laceflower Tree Archidendron grandiflorum Other names: Tulip Siris, Fairy Paint Brush
This small native tree occurs as an under-storey species within and on margins of subtropical and littoral rainforests, where it can reach a height of 10 to 15 m. This species is rather uncommon in its natural habitat and individual trees might only be found a fair distance apart. Encountering a mature specimen in full flower gives meaning to the name of Fairy Paint Brush (Picture 1). Young bark is brown in colour turning grey with age (white colouring is due to lichen), texture on older specimens becomes rough, furrowed and scaly (2). Grandiose flowers Archidendron grandiflorum are protected by white to yellowish petals opening to reveal a multitude of white (at base) to dark pink (at top) stamens which can measure up to 5 cm in length and are topped by yellowish anthers. Flowers are short lasting and will deteriorate quickly when it rains, they are held in tight clusters of up to 6 individuals at end of branches. A pronounced green calyx is less than a 1 cm long and petals measure up to 2 cm in length (3). Large bipinnate compound leaves can feature up to 3 pairs of pinnea with 4 to 8 leaflets each, where leaflets increase in size towards the end. They are; mostly between 3 to 8 cm in length (sometimes longer), elliptic, wide lanceolate to ovate in shape with entire broadly undulating margins, mostly hairless, dark green and glossy on top with a thin, papery but strong texture. Leaflet apex is long acuminate, base shape is broadly cuneate to rounded. Noticeable upright glands at leaflet intersections and along rachis are a helpful identification feature (Pictures 4 & 5). Distribution: From to NSW mid-north coast to north QLD. See also White Laceflower Tree Archidendron hendersonii Page 12.
Pink Walnut Endiandra sieberi Other Names: Hard Corkwood
This small to medium sized native tree is found mainly as an understorey species in different types of rain and wet scleropyhll forests (Picture 1). The bark despite the corky look it is rather firm in texture, grey with a pink hue in colour and with maturity develops deep furrows (2). Flowers on long panicles are 5 to 7 mm in diameter featuring 6 white petals with a yellow and red center (3). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 10 cm in length with entire margins, elongated elliptic in shape, dark green and glossy on top, mid green and shiny beneath, hairless, smooth and rather leathery in texture. Leaf apex ends in a blunt point, base shape is cuneate. Mid vein is prominent white to pale yellow in colour, fine reticulate venation is visible on lower leaf surface. Distribution: NSW south coast to QLD.
Plum Myrtle Pilidiostigma glabrum
This attractive native shrub reaches a height of 4 to 5m and is found as an under-storey species within subtropical rainforests but also in open dryer forests and in proximity to the coast (Picture 1). The bark of the Plum Myrtle Pilidiostigma glabrum is distinctive with its scaly texture on older branches being a good identification feature. Bark on young stems is smooth in texture and a reddish (to purple) brown in colour (2). The purple/black fruit measures up to 18mm in length and is topped by the remaining sepals of the flower (3). Single gorgeous white flowers can reach 2.5 cm in diameter and are held on stalks up to 2 cm long (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are: up to 10 cm in length with entire margins, mostly elliptic in shape, rather glossy and smooth on both sides. Leaf apex is short acuminate, base shape is cuneate. The mid-vein is pronounced whereas lateral and net veins are faint but do not extend to the leaf edge (intramarginal venation) (5). Distribution: From the NSW mid-north coast to central QLD. Note: This native species is very suitable for suburban backyards. See Leaf Characteristics Page for explanations of terms used.
Poison Peach Trema tomentosa var. viridis Other names: Native Peach, Peach-leaved Poison Bush
This adaptable shrub or sometimes small tree has a very wide distribution range from temperate to tropical climates. It can reach up to 5m in height mostly on a single stem/trunk with an upright shape (Picture 1). Bark is grey to light brown in colour and has a firm and slightly rough texture due to numerous blisters (lenticels) covering the surface (2). Green/white colored flowers are small only measuring a 3 - 4 mm in diameter and emerge from axillary buds on single stalks or in small cymes (3). The fruit (a drupe) changes from green to a glossy black in colour when fully ripe and is globose in shape (globe shaped). It can reach up to 5 mm across and contains a single hard seed (4). Simple leaves with a regular alternate arrangement are; up to 9 cm in length, lanceolate or more ovate in shape with fine serrated margins, bristly hairy on both surfaces, thin and soft with a rough texture. Leaf apex is acute ending in a fine point, base shape is rounded. Venation is very noticeable, being three veined from the base and raised on the lower leaf surface. Distribution: From Vic. to northern QLD and in tropical Asia.
Port Jackson Cypress Pine Callitris rhomboidea Other names: Oyster Bay Pine, Port Jackson Pine
This native conifer has a wide distribution range and is adaptable to different environments occurring within and on margins of cooler rainforest types and in drier more open tall forests. It is a shrub or small tree normally less than 10m in height with an attractive and dense foliage (Picture 1). Bark is brown in colour with older bark weathering to grey, deeply furrowed and rough in texture (2). The indehiscent cone (before opening) is dark, greyish brown in colour and measures about 2 cm across. When fully ripe it will harden to a woody consistency and split into 6 separate segments (valves) (3). The dark brown colored seed is enclosed in a papery wing , which irregular in shape and size can reach 5 mm in length (4). Tiny scale-like leaves only measure a few mm in length and are a dark green sometimes bluish green in colour (5). Distribution: TAS, VIC, NSW & QLD.
Prickly Ash Orites excelsus Other names: Mountain Silky Oak
Found in mountain areas along the Great Dividing Range the Prickly Ash Orites excelsus can grow to a height of 40 m or more (Picture 1). Bark is green grey colour on younger specimens changing to a more light brown with cream coloured patches when maturing (2). The whitish grey colour of the lower leaf surface contrasts with the shiny, glossy upper leaf surface. Simple leaves are; up to 18 cm long on adult trees with prickly, irregular toothed margins, a stiff texture and mainly lanceolate in shape. Leaves on younger specimen are deeply lobed and up to 25 cm long (Pictures 3,4 & 5). Distribution: From the mid-north coast of NSW to south QLD.
Python Tree Gossia bidwillii Other names: Ironwood
The Python Tree or Ironwood is medium sized tree species reaching a height of up to 20m and occurs in a range of different forest types (Picture 1). The straight and often channeled trunk features a very ornamental bark which is a good initial identification characteristic of this species. Irregular patches of bark change from a light green to a dark green and then turn a coppery brown in colour before shedding (2). Myrtle-like inflorescence is held on small but numerous racemes with up to 6 individual flowers each appearing on young branchlets over spring and are pure white in colour Pictures 3 & 4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 10 cm in length, ovate to broad elliptic in shape with entire and often undulating margins, hairless, dark green and rather glossy on their upper surface, only slightly paler and also shiny beneath with a soft and polished texture. Leaf apex is acute to short acuminate ending in a blunt or sometimes sharper point; base shape is mostly rounded. Petiole is strong and grooved on top ending in flattened nodes on young branches. Mid-vein is slightly raised on both surfaces, otherwise venation is faint (Pictures 4 & 5). Distribution: NSW central coast to QLD.
QuandongElaeocarpus grahamii (No common name is recorded but Quandong is used)
This small to medium sized tree species is often multi-trunked with a well developed branch work starting at low heights, it occurs within tropical rainforests of northern QLD (Picture 1). Bark is grey or more olive green in colour, firm with a slightly rough texture due to fine vertical ridges (2). Flowers are very characteristic to the Elaeocarpus (Quandong) genus, they are; pure white in colour, scented, bell shaped with frilled petals and measure about 15 mm in length. They are held on very sticky racemes (3). The shiny blue fruit measures up to 12 mm in length and contains a single grooved and woody seed (4). Simple alternately arranged leaves are; obovate in shape, up to 15 cm in length with regularly toothed margins and a soft texture. Leaf apex is acute ending in a blunt point, base shape is rounded. Venation is prominent on both surfaces with the mid vein being slightly hairy. The strong petiole is about 4 cm in length and covered in fine, brown hair, also evident on young stems (5). Distribution: North QLD.
Queensland Maple Flindersia brayleyana
The natural habitat of this tall tree is tropical low and upland rainforest, where it can reach a height of up to 40m. In the past this tree has been extensively logged for its very attractive and easily worked timber, but remaining stands are now protected within national parks(1). Bark on the column like trunk of mature specimens is shades of grey with patches of light brown in colour, firm and finely rough in texture due to fine fissures and a covering of small blisters (lenticels) (2). The fruit, a hard elongated capsule splitting into 5 separate segments (valves), is typical for the genus Flindersia. Capsules reaching up to 10 cm in length are held on crowded drooping panicles. Each valve contains a number of flattened seeds surrounded by a translucent papery wing (3 & 4). The large pinnate compound leaf consists of up to 10 leaflets, which are; up to 20 cm long, elliptic or ovate in shape with undulating margins, dark green, glossy above, paler green beneath, smooth and strong in texture. Prominent leaflet stalks (petiolules) are up to 3 cm long and a yellowish colour. Distribution: Tropical North Qld.