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Phaleria clerodendron

Family

Thymelaeaceae

Botanical Name

Phaleria clerodendron (F.Muell.) Benth.

Bentham, G. (1873) Flora Australiensis 6: 38. Type: ?.

Synonyms

Drymyspermum clerodendron F.Muell., Fragmenta 7: 1(1869), Type: Rockingham Bay, Qld, J. Dallachy s.n.

Common name

Scented Phaleria; Apple, Rosy; Scented Daphne; Rosy Apple

Stem

Usually grows into a small or medium-sized tree but occasionally flowers and fruits as a shrub. Bark extremely strong and fibrous when stripped.

Leaves

Twig bark strong and fibrous, emitting an unpleasant odour when stripped. Leaf blades about 9.5-19 x 3-7.2 cm.

Flowers

Flowers pleasantly perfumed. Perianth petaloid. Perianth tube (hypanthium) much longer than the lobes, tube about 25 mm long, lobes about 4-5 mm long. Stamens eight in two whorls of four, one above the other on the perianth tube (hypanthium), the upper whorl opposite the lobes. Stigma capitate, thicker than the style.

Fruit

Fruits globular or depressed globular, sometimes laterally compressed, about 25-35 x 35-50 mm. Endocarp somewhat fibrous. Seeds variable up to about 20 x 17 mm. Fruit borne on the trunk and larger branches.

Seedlings

A pair of cataphylls each about 8-14 x 1 mm, are produced before the first true leaves. First pair of true leaves lanceolate or ovate, about 5-6.5 x 1.5-2 cm, glabrous. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves narrowly ovate, apex acuminate, base cuneate, seedling completely glabrous. Cataphylls sometimes occur among true leaves.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 900 m. Grows in well developed lowland and upland rain forest.

Natural History

Fruit eaten by Cassowaries. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

A shrub or small tree that deserves to be more commonly cultivated. Beautifully perfumed white flowers are produced on the stem and branches and are followed by large red fruits.

NT

X

NEQ

X

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)

X

Tree

X

RFK Code

340