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Garcinia mestonii

Family

Clusiaceae

Botanical Name

Garcinia mestonii F.M.Bailey

Bailey, F.M. (1889) Report on New Plants, Preliminary to General Report on Botanical Results on Mestons Expedition to the Bellenden-Ker Range: 2. Type: Bellenden-Ker Range at an altitude of 2000 feet.

Common name

Meston's Mangosteen

Stem

A small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh. Bark exudate variable but usually quite obvious.

Leaves

Leaf blades about 5.5-7.5 x 1.5-2.5 cm, petioles about 6-7 mm long, slightly grooved on the upper surface. Oil dots visible with a lens. Latex canals long and sinuous (resembling lateral veins) run across the underside of the leaf blade at a lower angle to the midrib than the lateral veins. Leaf blade drawn out into a conspicuous drip tip at the apex. Midrib raised on the upper surface.

Flowers

Female flowers: Flowers about 6-7 mm diam., pedicels about 3-4 mm long. Calyx lobes four, two outer enclosing two inner lobes. Lobes +/- hemispherical, about 3-4 mm diam., outer slightly larger than the inner. Petals +/- orbicular, about 3-3.5 mm diam. Ovary 8-locular. Ovules 1 per locule. Stigma obscurely 8-lobed.

Fruit

Fruits depressed globular, about 40-50 x 50-60 mm. Calyx lobes four, persistent. Stigma persistent. Seeds about 13 x 10 mm.

Seedlings

Numerous cataphylls produced before the first true leaves. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves ovate, glabrous; streaky oil dots visible with a lens. Stipules small, triangular, dark red, about 0.5 mm long. Exudate clear, meagre or not visible.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, seldom collected, known only from collections made on the slopes and foothills of the Bellenden Ker Range and the Cape Tribulation area but also reputed to occur at Mossman Gorge. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. Grows along creeks in lowland areas and in well developed upland and mountain rain forest.

Natural History

'Fruit of this tree were gathered in the ripe state by Messrs. Meston and Whelan on their first ascent of Bellenden Ker in 1889, and they describe the fruit as possessing a sharp, pleasant, acid flavour and very juicy, about 3 in. in diameter.' F.M. Bailey (1899).

NEQ

X

Tree

X

RFK Code

889