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Cecropia peltata

Family

Urticaceae

Botanical Name

Cecropia peltata L.

Linnaeus, C. von (1759) Systema Naturae, Editio Decima 2: 1286. Type: Jamaica.

Common name

Trumpet Tree; Snakewood

Weed

*

Stem

Fast growing tree to 20 m tall. Stems distinctly hollow, sometimes with pores that enable ants to enter and nest. Stilt roots may be present from 1 m up trunk. Leaf scars are obvious.

Leaves

Large leaves resembling paw-paw, with 12 deep lobes up to halfway towards base, margins wavy. Midrib distinctly raised near base but flat towards midle and apex. Underside pale, minutely hairy; top side darker, scabrous. Stipules large, bifurcate, hairy, to 15 cm long, green turning pale brown when about to fall. Base of petiole is swollen and has a mass of glands turning black with age, where ants feed.

Flowers

Male and female flowers occur on different plants. Male flowers in umbellate culsters of spikes 10-18 cm long in culsters of 3-9. Female flowers in spikes 17-30 cm long, in clusters of 2-4.

Fruit

Fruit cylindrical, ovoid to oblong-ovoid, somewhat flattened, 3.3-3.7 mm long, with soft, sweet flesh around many small seeds.

Seedlings

Features not abailable.

Distribution and Ecology

Only known naturalised occurence was near Mission Beach, the plants were destroyed. Most likely to be found in wetter habitats such as riparian zones and dry rainforest remnants.

Natural History

Introduced Class 1 weed species, rarely naturalised in North Queensland. Occasional garden plants are found in Mackay, Cairns and Brisbane. Qld Govt (2008).

NEQ

X

Tree

X

RFK Code

1179