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Polyalthia michaelii

Family

Annonaceae

Botanical Name

Polyalthia michaelii C.T.White

White, C.T. () -: . Type: Johnstone River, Rev. N. Michael..

Common name

Canary Beech; Pine, China; China Pine; Beech, Canary; Currywood

Stem

Subrhytidome layer almost black. Blaze darkening to orange red or pinkish brown on exposure.

Leaves

Leaf blades about 8-13 x 3.5-5.5 cm. Oil dots visible with a lens. Lateral veins curving inside the margin but not forming definite loops. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped.

Flowers

Calyx lobes +/- deltoid, about 1-2 mm long, but recurved and difficult to measure. Inner petals larger than the outer, inner petals about 25 x 6 mm. Stamens about 60. Ovaries about 20.

Fruit

Fruiting carpels +/- globular to pyriform, about 30-55 x 30-40 mm, on a stalk about 15-20 mm long. Seeds about 25-35 x 20-25 mm, one per fruiting carpel. Embryo minute.

Seedlings

At the tenth leaf stage: leaves ovate, apex acuminate, upper surface glabrous; very small oil dots may be visible with a lens; petiole, stem and terminal bud clothed in short pale hairs.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the area around the Bellenden Ker Range and Mt Bartle Frere on the catchments of the Mulgrave, Russell, North and South Johnstone Rivers. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 750 m. Usually grows in lowland rain forest but ascending to the edge of the Atherton Tableland.

Natural History

Food plant for the larval stages of the Green Spotted Triangle, Pale Green Triangle and the Green Triangle Butterflies. Sankowsky & Neilsen (2000).

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

Produces a useful general purpose timber.

Wood specific gravity 0.62. Cause et al. (1989).

NEQ

X

Tree

X

RFK Code

346