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Tree identification pictures of Australian East Coast species in full colour and enlarged sizes. Detailed description explaining leaf, bark, flower, fruit and other characteristics are listed for each native tree species. The natural distribution range and special features useful in identification are given for specimen listed on our web pages. All Creative Designs Nambucca & Coffs Harbour® presents native Australian tree images for identification purposes. 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. 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.
Red Ash Alphitonia excelsa Other names: Soap Bush
This frequently encountered tree species, found in regrowth and on margins of different rainforest types, has a relative open canopy and reaches 20m in height. Some exceptional specimens growing within subtropical rainforests can be more than 30m tall (Picture 1). Bark is grey in colour with longitudinal fissures. On older trees the trunk is often fluted and bark becomes furrowed and corky at the base (2) Small creamy white flowers appear in spring and are followed by rounded or ovoid shaped fruit turning black when fully mature (Pictures 3 & 4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 15 cm long, oblong to narrow elliptic in shape with entire margins, hairless dark green on top, hairy greyish white beneath and soft in texture. Leaf stalk (petiole) is up to 20 mm long and light brown in colour. Mid rib and lateral veins are a yellowish green (5). Distribution: South coast of NSW to central Qld. See Leaf Characteristics Page for explanations of botanical 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
Red-barked Sassafras Cinnamomum virens
This small to medium sized tree species is a member of the Laurel family (LAURACEAE) known for their spicy scent and occurs in subtropical and warm temperate rainforests (Photo 1). Bark is red brown in colour with a finely fissured texture and some blisters (2). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 13 cm long, mostly lanceolate or sometimes elliptic in shape with entire margins, dark green and glossy on top, paler and semi glossy below, hairless, scented when crushed with a firm and stiff texture. Apex is acute, base shape is cuneate. Leaves are mostly three-veined in the lower part of the lamina, which is a good identification characteristic. Fine reticulate venation is visible under a lens (3, 4 & 5). Distribution: From the central coast of NSW to southern Qld.
Red Boppel Nut Hicksbeachia pinnatifolia
This beautiful small and relative uncommon subtropical rainforest tree species has an upright and slender growth habit (Picture 1). Bark is light brown in colour, firm and finely fissured (2). The distinctive foliage features large compound leaves able to reach more than 80 cm in length. They show an alternate arrangement and are a characteristic feature in identification of this tree species (Picture 3). Gorgeous purple and dark red flowers appear on the trunk over late autumn and winter (4). Leaves are very deeply lobed, giving the appearance of separate leaflets, with more than 30 lobes possible on the same leaf. Lobes have irregular toothed margins with small spines and are; up to 25 cm long with a dark green and glossy upper surface, hairless with a firm and stiff texture (5). Distribution: NSW mid north coast to southern Qld.
Red Carabeen Geissois benthamii
This native tree species reaches a height of up to 40m and occurs in subtropical and warm temperate rainforests (Picture 1). Older specimens develop beautifully fluted and buttressed trunks with a fairly smooth, reddish brown bark showing small fissures (2). Long flower racemes are up to 20 cm long and hold a large number of stalked white to pale yellow coloured flowers, which blossom in late spring to early summer. New growth flushes in pink-salmon colours turning to a bright red (3). The fruit is a softly hairy and dry capsule up to 20 mm long. It splits along its sides to disperse a number of flattened brown seeds with a small papery wing on one side (4). The large and leafy stipules (on young growth at nodes) are prominent features when identifying the Red Carabeen Geissois benthamii. Trifoliate compound leaves with an opposite arrangement consist of 3 leaflets, which are; up to 20 cm long, elliptic or oblanceolate in shape with toothed margins, hairless, glossy and rather firm. Apex is acute or short acuminate, base shape is cuneate. Petiolules (leaflet stalks) are up to 15 mm long and the strong petiole (leaf stalk) measures up to 10 cm or more. Venation is clearly visible showing prominent curved lateral veins (5). Distribution: NSW mid-north coast to southern Qld. See Leaf Characteristics and Flower Identification Page for explanations of botanical terms used.
Red Cedar Toona ciliata [Toona australis]
The Red Cedar is a magnificent very large tree species with an expansive buttressed root system reaching a height of more than 50m. Best development occurs in subtropical rainforests on nutrient rich soils, but to a lesser extent is also found in drier types of rainforests. Specimens as the one shown are rare these days due to heavy logging since the 1830's for its beautiful timber (Picture 1). Bark on mature trees is a light brown colour with large scales and a rough, flaky texture (2). Small whitish flowers are held on drooping panicles, measure up to 4 mm in diameter and bloom over spring (3). The obovoid (pear shaped) fruit is up to 20 mm long and features 5 lobes (chambers) containing tightly packed winged seeds. Fruit turns browner in colour with maturity, but is often attacked by insects at this stage (4). After a short deciduous time over winter new emerging foliage flushes in red tones. Pinnate compound leaves consist of up to 20 leaflets, which are; up to 14 cm long, mostly ovate in shape with entire margins, hairless, smooth and rather soft in texture. Leaflet apex is short acuminate ending in a fine point and base shape is asymmetric. Venation is clearly visible on both leaflet surfaces (5). Distribution: NSW central coast to Qld.
Red Kamala Mallotus philippensis Other names: Orange Kamala
This small under-storey tree species is a common occurrence on margins of subtropical and within other rainforests types, in regrowth areas and in tall Eucalypt dominated forests. Under favourable conditions the Red Kamala can attain a height of more than 10m and often develops an attractive dense crown (Image 1). Bark on mature specimens is hard with a fairly smooth texture and mostly shades of grey green in colour with patches where fine fissuring exposes a brown under-layer (2). Small greenish yellow flowers are held on racemes, which are up to 20 cm long, covered in fine brown hair and bloom over spring (3). The fruit is a tough and 3 lobed (chambered) capsule, orange to red in colour, which splits lengthwise to reveal 3 hard and brownish coloured seeds (4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 22 cm long, ovate to wide lanceolate in shape with mostly entire margins, mid-green and hairless on top, a greyish green colour and covered in fine hair below, rather thin and soft in texture. Leaf apex is acute, base shape is rounded. The three prominent veins in the lower half of the leaf are a characteristic for the species. The long petiole (leaf stalk), which is hairy and can be more than 8 cm long, is a distinctive feature in identification (5). Distribution: From NSW central coast to Qld. See Flower Characteristics Page and Leaf Characteristics Page for information on terms used.
Red Olive Berry Elaeodendron australe var australe Other names: Red Olive Plum
The Red Olive Plum is a native shrub or small tree less than 10m in height. It occurs naturally as an under-storey species in different types of rainforests and adjacent sclerophyll forest (Picture 1). Bark is firm in texture, a reddish brown in colour and shows shallow vertical fissures and small ridges (2). Fruit (a drupe) is often more globose (globe shaped) than ovoid (olive shaped), bright red (or orange) in colour and measures up to 25 mm in length. A thin fleshy layer covers the hard shelled seed (Pictures 3 & 4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 10 cm long, mostly broad elliptic in shape with crenate or more bluntly toothed margins, dark green and glossy on top, duller and light green beneath with a smooth, strong and slightly stiff texture. Leaf apex is acute ending in a rounded point, base shape is cuneate and only the mid vein is prominent (5). Distribution: From NSW south coast to northern Qld.
Red Sandalwood Adenanthera pavonina Other names: Bead Tree, Red Beantree, Coralwood, Circassan Tree, Zumbic Tree, Barricarri and more.
This medium sized tree species is known under a number of different common names due to its large distribution range across tropical Asia and northern Australia. It can reach a height of more than 20m in its natural habitat of lowland tropical rainforests. Mature trees are deciduous or semi-deciduous for a short time over winter (Picture 1). Bark has a firm and rather smooth texture, but turns rough and flaky around the base of older trees. It is grey with a reddish tinge in colour (2). The fruit is a sickle-shaped pod up to 20 cm long, changing from green to black in colour with full maturity. It will split on two sides, then curl and twist when drying to reveal up to a dozen very hard and bright red coloured seeds. Seeds are very uniform in weight, size and shape making them useful as beads in craft work. Fruit ripens over winter into spring (3 & 4). Large bipinnate compound leaves are up to 40 cm long with up to 6 pairs of pinnae, each holding up to 15 individual leaflets. Leaflets are: between 2 to 4 cm long, mostly oblong in shape with entire margins, hairless when mature, dark green, dull on top, pale green beneath, thin and soft in texture. Leaflet apex and base shape is rounded. Fine venation is more visible on lower leaflet surface (3 & 5). Distribution: Northern tropical Qld, WA & NT and Asia.
Red Tulip Oak Argyrodendron peralatum Other names: Red Crowsfoot
This stately tree can reach a height of up to 50m in its habitat of tropical rainforests, where it often forms the uppermost canopy. The column like trunk on mature trees is often branchless to half or more of its height (Picture 1). Large wing-like buttress roots developing on older specimens are a good identification feature (2). Bark texture is scalier and a more reddish brown in colour compared to that of its close relative the Brown Tulip Oak or White Booyong (Argyrodendron trifoliolatum) (3). Compound leaves feature three leaflets (trifoliolate) which are; up to 18 cm long, mostly elliptic in shape with entire margins, mid green, semi-glossy on top, whitish or silver coloured beneath, (good identification feature), rather thin but strong in texture. Leaflet apex is short acuminate, base shape is cuneate. Centre vein is prominently raised and can be covered in rusty scales on lower leaflet surface, up to 30 pairs of fine laterals veins are showing. The strong petiole (leaf stalk) is up to 10 cm long. Distribution: Tropical east coast of Qld. See also: Black Booyong (Argyrodendron actinophyllum) on Page 1 and White Booyong (Argyrodendron trifoliolatum) Page 12.
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River Bottlebrush Callistemon sieberi [Callistemon paludosus]
The common name implies that this native shrub or small tree prefers a moist habitat along stream banks or within open forests, where mature specimens can reach a height of up to 8m and often develop a weeping foliage. It has a wide distribution range and is a common occurrence on both sides of the Great Dividing Range along Australia's east coast (Picture 1). Bark on the trunk of mature trees is rough, deeply furrowed and hard in texture. It is a light brown in colour first, then weathers to grey (2). Small flower spikes are inconspicuous when compared to other Callistemon species, but are an unusual and attractive pale pink in colour. Individual flowers feature a bundle of pink or sometimes cream coloured filaments less than 1 cm long, which are topped by bright yellow anthers. Tiny petals are rounded in shape and a transparent, whitish green in colour. The green calyx (base), is covered in very fine hair (no flower stalks). The long flowering period lasts from late spring to autumn (3). The fruit is a small cup-shaped capsule measuring less than 5 mm across, with a wide and flat rim at the top. Old capsules will remain on branches for years (4). Simple mature leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 9 cm long, mostly narrow elliptic in shape (widest around the middle) with entire margins, dull grey green on both surfaces, hairless, strong and rigid in texture. Leaf apex shape narrows very gradually into a hard, sharp tip, base shape is cuneate. Venation with exception of the midrib is very faint (5). Distribution: Vic, NSW & Qld.
River She-oak Casuarina cunninghamiana
This medium to tall tree attains up to 40m in height and is commonly found along freshwater courses on most of Australia's east coast, on the Great Dividing range and in drier inland locations (Picture 1). Bark is dark grey, sometimes more brown in colour and has a tough hard texture (2). This species is dioecious, having male and female flowers on separate trees. The female flower (shown before opening) is up to 15 mm in diameter and matures in late summer (3). Spiky cones, shown before opening, are borne on outer branchlets and reach up to 12 mm in diameter (4). Branchlets are up to 30 cm long with tiny scale like leaves up to 5 mm long appearing in whorls of 8 - 10 at internodes spaced less than 1 cm apart (5). Distribution: From southern NSW to northern Qld. 2 subspecies cunninghamiana (shown) and subsp. miodon mainly occurring in NT. This species is protected in NSW.
Rose Butternut Blepharocarya involucrigera Other names: North Queensland Bollygum
Under ideal conditions this species can develop into a tall tree reaching 40m in height, with mature trees developing a dense and rounded canopy (1). Bark has a firm and finely rough texture and is grey with a pink or reddish hue in colour (2). The unusual fruit is enclosed by a number of bracts referred to as an involucre. After opening these bracts become woody and remain on the tree for some time or can be found on the forest floor, which makes them a good identification feature (3). The petiole and to a lesser degree the rachis has a flattened underside and are covered in small blisters (lenticels) (4). The pinnate compound leaf features up to 12 leaflets, which are; up to 15 cm long, elliptic to ovate in shape with entire margins, hairless, dark green when mature, paler green beneath, rather thick and strong in texture. The petiolules (leaflet stalks) are yellow in colour and grooved on the upper surface. Mid rib on lower surface is strongly raised and yellowish. Distribution: Tropical North Qld. Note: This species is reported to cause allergic reactions to some people when touched.
Rose Myrtle Archirhodomyrtus beckleri
This attractive small tree species reaches a height of up to 10m and occurs on margins of subtropical rainforest as an under storey species, or more often as a tall shrub in adjacent tall forests (Picture 1). Bark changes from a fairly smooth texture and a light brown colour on immature specimens (inset picture 2) to a rough, scalier texture and a darker grey brown colour on mature trees (2). The distinctive foliage of the Rose Myrtle is very glossy and arranged in a very orderly fashion (3). Beautifully scented flowers with pure white petals and pink stamens are held on individual stalks or appear in small groups of 3. They arise from axillary buds and appear over spring (4). Simple opposite arranged leaves are; small between 2 to 5 cm long, varied in shape from broad elliptic to obovate with entire margins, dark green and very glossy on top, paler but also glossy beneath, hairless, thin and soft with a polished like texture. Apex is long acuminate ending in a blunt point, base shape is cuneate to rounded. The three-veined pattern starting from the base of the leaf is broadly raised on the upper surface, which is a good identification feature. On the lower leaf surface only the mid vein is clearly visible. Leaves are very pleasantly scented when crushed (5). Distribution: NSW mid-north coast to central Qld.
To locate trees by botanical name or to find related species go to:Species List Botanical, which also shows all family names.
Rose-leaved Marara Ackama paniculata [Calduvia paniculosa] Other names: Soft Corkwood
The Rose-leaved Marara can grow to 30m or more in height and occurs in different types of rainforests. It is often a pioneer species in regenerating forest areas (Picture 1). The bark has distinct variations from the shallow fissured example to the deeply fissured, more irregular texture shown in the inset, both are very soft and corky (Picture 2). Masses of small white flowers held on large terminal panicles turn reddish with age (3). The fruit is a tiny rounded and hairy capsule measuring up to 3 mm in diameter. It is a reddish brown in colour and contains numerous very fine seeds (4). Mature pinnate compound leaves with an opposite arrangement feature up to 7 leaflets, which are; very varied, 12 to more than 20 cm long, mostly elliptic in shape with finely toothed, crenate or nearly entire margins, nearly hairless to very hairy under shady conditions, light to dark green in colour (depending on sun exposure) and rather soft in texture. Leaflet apex is acute, base shape is cuneate. Other identification characteristics are stipule scars at leaf nodes on branchlets and clearly visible domatia along mid-vein on lower leaflet surface. In good sunlight conditions new growth can flush in pink tones (5). Distribution: NSW central coast to tropical Qld.
See Flower Identification and Leaf Identification Page for information on terms used.
Rosewood Dysoxylum fraserianum Other names: Rose Mahogany
This tall native tree species is well known for its beautiful timber and can reach a height of up to 40m in its natural subtropical rainforest habitat (Picture 1). Older specimens feature a scaly, reddish brown bark (2). Pinnate compound leaves with an alternate arrangement consist of 4 to 10 leaflets (mostly 8) which are; up to 12cm long, mainly lanceolate in shape and feature entire margins. Large domatia along the mid vein of the leaflets are a prominent characteristic to assist in identification of this tree species
Rusty Carabeen Aceratium ferrugineum
The Rusty Carabeen has a limited distribution range within upland tropical rainforests and under ideal conditions can reach a height of 30m. This very ornamental tree has the potential to be used in landscaping within subtropical climate zones and will produce flowers and fruit at a young age (1). Bark on younger stems is grey in colour, hard in texture and rough due to fine fissures (2). The fleshy fibrous fruit turns red at full maturity and is covered in fine white hair. It is ellipsoid (oval) or more ovoid (egg-shaped) and up to 5 cm long (3 & 4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 16 cm long, obovate (reverse egg-shaped) with entire margins, dark green, glossy, except for mid rib hairless on top (when mature), paler green and rusty (brown) hairy beneath and firm in texture. Conspicuous venation is densely covered in rusty brown hair and raised on lower leaf surface. Impressed lateral veins on the upper surface add rigidity to the lamina. Leafstalks less than 2 cm long, young branches and new growth are all rusty hairy (5). Distribution: Restricted and endemic to north Qld.
Rusty Pittosporum Pittosporum ferrugineum
This densely foliated shrub or small tree reaches less than 10m in height on a single and often crooked trunk up to 30 cm in diameter. It is naturally found as an understorey species on boundaries and within upland and lowland tropical rainforests (Photo 1). Bark is fairly rough in texture with small ridges and flaky patches showing, it is an underlying cream grey in colour (2). The fruit is a capsule splitting on two sides to reveal up to a dozen seeds, each covered in a very sticky and bright red colored aril. The fruit measures up to 12 mm in length, is irregular rounded or more pear shaped showing a small nipple at the apex and turns yellow or orange with full maturity (3 & 4). Simple leaves are arranged in a whorl of 4 or 5 when emerging, turning to an opposite or sometimes alternate arrangement as the mature. They are; up to 12 cm in length with broadly undulating margins, vary in shape from elliptic to obovate, mostly hairless, dark green, dull on top, paler green, short rusty hairy beneath and soft in texture. Apex is acute ending in a rounded tip, base shape is cuneate. Mid rib and lateral veins are raised on the lower leaf surface and covered in wooly, rusty hair as are the petiole and young stems (4 & 5). Distribution: Tropical Qld (shown) and NT, but has been spreading to subtropical location along the coast in more recent times.
Rusty Plum Niemeyera whitei
The Rusty Plum Niemeyera whitei is an uncommon native tree species due to its' small distribution range and etensive clearing of subtropical rainforests. The largest specimens can be found on fertile and well drained soils in the second strata of undisturbed STRF, there it can attain a height of more than 25m (Photo 1). Older trees develop a fluted trunk and feature a reddish brown bark with longitudinal fissures (2). Very unusual flowers borne on younger branches are a whitish cream in colour and measure up to 20mm across (3). The globular seed is up to 6 cm in diameter, brown in colour and covered by a thin layer of fruit flesh with a purplish black and shiny skin (4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; between 10 to 20 cm in length, elliptic to oblanceolate in shape with entire margins, thick and rather firm, dark green, hairless and semi glossy on top, paler and densely hairy below. Apex is short acuminate, base shape is cuneate. Mid vein and laterals are raised and covered in fine rusty brown hair on lower surface. Petiole is up to 10 mm in length and very hairy as are twigs and young branches (5). Distribution: NSW mid-north coast to southern QLD.
The Hovea longifolia Rusty Pods is a native species with a range of recognized variations. It is an erect shrub growing up to 3 m in height found in moist gullies close to rainforest margins (1). New bark is light-brown in colour turning darker with age and has a firm texture (2). The flower (pea-like and characteristic for the pea/bean family, Fabacae) is a pale mauve in colour with darker veins towards the center. One or two flowers per axillary bud measure up to 12 mm in diameter (3). The fruit is an ovoid shaped pod up to 12 mm in length covered in fine brown hair, as are the old calyx, stems and young branches. It contains mostly two small bean shaped seeds yellowish green in colour (4). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; 4 to 9 cm in length, oblong in shape with entire in-rolled margins, very narrow, not more than 6 mm wide, dark green, glossy, hairless on upper surface, pale green, short woolly hairy beneath, strong and rather stiff in texture. Leaf apex shape is rounded, base is obtuse. Mid vein on upper surface is sunken as are the fine net veins, raised mid vein on lower surface is covered in rusty brown hair (5). Distribution range: Eastern side of the great divide from VIC to QLD.
Sassafras Doryphora sassafras
Doryphora sassafras is often found as an under storey tree species less than 10m tall but under favourable conditions can reach 25m or more in height (Photo 1). Bark has a rather hard texture with a granular surface and is light brown in colour (2). The glossy and scented foliage is a distinctive feature in identification of this species (3). Up to 3 whitish flowers are supported by a common stalk (peduncle) and reach about 2 cm in diameter when fully opened (4). Simple leaves feature an opposite arrangement and are; up to 10 cm long, mostly elliptic in shape with toothed and wavy margins, firm and rather leathery, hairless and glossy on their upper surface. Lower leaf surface is a paler green and moderately shiny. Reticulate venation is quite prominent (5). Distribution: In different types of rainforests from the NSW south coast to central QLD.
Satinwood Nematolepis squamea ssp. squamea
This hardy and adaptable shrub or small tree can reach a height of up to 10m and is found in a wide range of different forest types including rainforests and in close proximity to the coast. The specimen shown is the subspecies N. squamea occurring in NSW. Bark on the often multi-stemmed trunk is grey/brown in colour with a firm and finely rough texture due to blisters and small ridges. Flowering takes place over late winter into spring with crowded panicles of individual flowers appearing from axillary buds along the length of branches. Flowers measure less than 1 cm across when fully opened and show 5 white petals and prominent stamens topped by yellow anthers. Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; mostly long elliptic in shape, up to 10 cm in length with entire margins, dark green on top, silver-white beneath and rather soft in texture. Leaf apex shape is acute, base shape is cuneate. Mid vein is sunken on top and strongly raised below, otherwise venation is not visible. Petiole is less than 1 cm in length and covered in small silvery scales as are flower panicles. Distribution: As different subspecies from Tasmania to QLD.
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Scented Acronychia Acronychia littoralis
The Scented Acronychia is a small under storey tree species with a dense foliage growing only in littoral rainforests (Close to the beach) from the NSW mid-north coast to southern QLD (Photo 1). Often multi-trunked it's bark is grey brown in colour, fairly smooth with fine fissures (Photos 2 & 3). Fruit is globose in shape; up to 25 mm across, cream to yellow in colour and contains a single seed (4). Simple (1-Foliate) leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 15 cm in length with entire margins, mostly obovate in shape, fairly glossy on both surfaces, hairless with a firm and fleshy texture and feature a rounded and notched (emarginate) apex and a cuneate leaf base shape. Leaves are scented (5).
Scentless Rosewood Synoum glandulosum
Found as an under-storey species in different types of rainforests and adjacent sclerophyll forests the Scentless Rosewood Synoum glandulosum grows to height of up to 15m. This common species derives its name from the similarity of its timber to the Rosewood Dysoxylum fraserianum but without being scented (Photo 1). Bark on more mature specimens is rough and furrowed in texture and grey brown in colour (2). The globose shaped fruit matures in late winter to spring and features 3 lobes containing 3 to 5 seeds partly covered in a bright red aril. It measures up to 18 mm in diameter and turns a yellow-orange when ripe (3). Alternately arranged compound leaves consists of up to 9 leaflets which are; mainly oblanceolate in shape, up to 12 cm in length with entire margins, mid-green and rather dull on top, paler beneath, hairless, thin and soft in texture. Leaf apex is acute, base shape is attenuate (4). The strongly raised mid vein has clearly visible hairy domatia along its length helping in identification of this species (5). Distribution: Common from the NSW south coast to QLD. See Leaf Characteristics Page for explanations of botanical definitions used.
To locate trees by botanical name or to find related species go to:Species List Botanical, which also shows all family names.
Shiny-leaved Stinging Tree Dendrocnide photinophylla
This medium sized tree species reaching a height of up to 20m grows in a range of different rainforest types and features a very glossy foliage (Photo 1). Bark on younger specimens is a light grey in colour and changes to a more light brown when maturing. Texture is rather soft and fairly smooth with some horizontal ridges and bumps (2). The fruit is very small and brown sitting on top of very swollen white and fleshy stalks clustered together (3). Simple leaves with an alternate arrangement are; up to 15 cm long, ovate in shape with varied margins from nearly entire to toothed and even crenate. Leaves are fairly thin, soft and feature small stinging hairs mainly on the petiole and main veins and an acute apex (5). Distribution: NSW central coast to southern QLD. Note: Effect of stinging hair is fairly mild compared to that of the Giant Stinging Tree Dendrocnide excelsa (Page 4).
Short-leaved Beetroot Ellatostachys xylocarpa Other names: White Tamarind
The Short-leaved Beetroot or White Tamarind Ellatostachys xylocarpa is a small to medium size native tree species found in drier types of rainforests (Photo 1). Bark on lower trunk is hard, rather smooth with minute longitudinal fissures and dark green to nearly black in colour (2). The three (sometimes 4) valved fruit turns a yellow orange when ripe at up to 2 cm across in size and contains 3 or 4 black seeds (3). Alternately arranged compound leaves feature up to 6 leaflets which are; up to 8 cm long with mainly irregular toothed margins, mostly elliptic in shape, firm to stiff, mid green fairly dull to satin glossy on top and only slightly paler beneath. Young stems, petiole, petiolule and veins on lower leaf surface are covered in fine, white hair. Leaflet apex is acute and base shape rounded. Venation is very prominent on both sides with large and numerous domatia as swellings on lower surface being a good identification characteristic (Photos 4 & 5). Distribution: Upper mid-north coast of NSW to central QLD.
Silky Myrtle Decaspermum humile
Small to medium sized native tree species reaching a height of up to 25m in subtropical rainforests and drier environments over a wide distribution range (Photo 1). Bark is mid to dark brown in colour with a firm texture and prominent longitudinal fissures (2). The fruit is a globose berry, dark purple to black in colour when mature and measures up to 5 mm in diameter (3). Leaves feature a neat opposite arrangement and are; up to 7 cm in length with entire margins which are slightly incurved, broadly ovate in shape, dark green and glossy on top, paler and glossy beneath, hairless, smooth with a soft texture. Leaf apex shape is short acuminate ending in a fine point, base shape is rounded. Petiole is rather short up to 5 mm in length and grooved on top. Mid vein is slightly raised on both surfaces, otherwise venation is faint. Leaves emit a pleasant fruity smell with a hint of nutmeg when crushed (4 & 5). Distribution: From NSW central coast to northern QLD and south-east Asia. See also Grey Myrtle Backhousia myrtifolia (Page 6) and Rose Myrtle Archirhodomyrtus beckleri (This Page). See Leaf Characteristics Page for explanations of botanical definitions used.
Silky Persimmon Diospyros mabacea Other names: Red-fruited Ebony
The Silky Persimmon or Red-fruited Ebony Diospyros mabacea is a small to medium sized subtropical rainforest tree species and is rare due to a very limited distribution range (Photo 1). The dark trunk is a prominent characteristic in identification. Bark is dark nearly black or dark gray, tough and fissured (2). One to five small white flowers are held on short pedicels in axillary joints and are cylindrical in shape blooming in late winter to spring (3). Branchlets are hairy and grow in a zigzag shape with regularly spaced simple leaves in an alternate arrangement, which are; up to 16 cm long, mainly elliptic to oblanceolate in shape with entire margins, dark green and glossy on top, pale green below, smooth and firm. Apex is rounded with a blunt point, base shape is attenuate. Mid-vein is raised on both leaf surfaces. Growing buds are finely hairy (Photos 4 & 5). Distribution: Growing naturally only in the Tweed River Valley of NSW. See Flower Characteristics Page and Leaf Characteristics Page for information on terms used.