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Auranticarpa ilicifolia



Botanical Name

Auranticarpa ilicifolia L.Cayzer, Crisp & I.Telford

Cayzer, L.W., Crisp, M.D. & Tellford, I.R.H. (2000) Aust. Syst. Bot. 13: 912. Type: ?.


Pittosporum sp. (Bamaga BH 3986 RFK), : (), Type: ?.


A small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh. Blaze odour obvious but difficult to describe. Parts of the blaze darken to greenish-grey on exposure. Bark exudate slightly sticky.


Twig bark cream or pale brown and spongy or papery. Leaf blades often quite large, up to 18 x 6 cm. Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Leaf blade margin pale. Leaves aromatic when crushed resembling the odour of crushed eucalypt leaves. Petiole may produce a clear exudate.


Flowers about 12-14 mm diam. Calyx about 4 mm long. Petals recurved, about 8 mm long. Anther filaments about 8-10 mm long. Style not obvious, stigmas short, +/- sessile.


Fruits globose, 2-lobed and 2-locular, about 9-10 mm diam. Stigma persistent at the apex. Seeds 1-2 per locule. Embryo minute, less than 0.5 mm long, cotyledons about 1/4 of the length of the embryo.


Cotyledons narrow lanceolate, about 21 x 3-5 mm, venation more obvious on the underside with about 12 veins on each side of the midrib, intramarginal vein visible. Both the upper and lower surfaces clothed in glandular hairs but rather scattered on the lower surface. First pair of leaves toothed with 4 or 5 teeth on each side, teeth serrate, finely pointed. Midrib raised on the upper surface. Upper and lower surfaces clothed in glandular hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade margin coarsely toothed, resembling holly (Ilex aquifolium), each tooth drawn out into a fine tip about 2 mm long. Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Freshly broken roots emit an odour like that of celery (Apium graveolens).

Distribution and Ecology

Probably endemic to CYP. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 100 m. Grows as an understory tree in monsoon forest and dry rain forest.

Natural History

Although a tree in nature this species has outstanding horticultural potential. Easily grown in cultivation it has attractive foliage and the bunches of white flowers are produced in profusion.





RFK Code