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Idiospermum australiense

Family

Calycanthaceae

Botanical Name

Idiospermum australiense (Diels) S.T.Blake

Blake, S.T. (1972) Contributions from the Queensland Herbarium 12: 5. Type: ?.

Synonyms

Calycanthus australiensis Diels, Bot. Jahrb. 48: 10(1912), Type: Qld, Russel River, Harvey Creek, 6 June 1902, Diels 8548. Holo: B destroyed. Neo: Harvey Creek, 19 Jul. 1998, S. Worboys SJW346. Holo: BRI.

Common name

Idiot Fruit; Ribbonwood; Idiospermum

Stem

Blaze darkening on exposure. Living bark very bitter when chewed and probably quite poisonous.

Leaves

Leaf blades about 10-17 x 3.5-5.5 cm. Lateral veins slightly raised on the upper surface, curved throughout their length, but not forming definite loops.

Flowers

Tepals about 12-14 mm long, numerous, about 30-40, variable, changing from bracts to sepals-petals-stamens-staminodes-carpels as the centre of the flower is approached. Anther connective extending beyond the anthers, both laterally and apically.

Fruit

Fruits large, depressed globular, about 5-5.5 x 6-6.5 cm. Seeds large, about 4-5 x 5-6 cm. Cotyledons three or four, large, thick and fleshy.

Seedlings

Cotyledons three or four, greenish brown, remaining at ground level until well after the tenth leaf stage. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade oblong to ovate, apex acuminate, base obtuse, glabrous; petiole glabrous.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, occurs in the area between Hutchinson Creek and the Daintree River and the foothills of the Bellenden Ker Range and Mt Bartle Frere. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 200 m. Grows in well developed lowland rain forest.

Natural History

Based on field evidence this species is poisonous to cattle. Everist (1974).

The fruits of this species are poisonous to cattle. (http://www.wettropics.gov.au/lm/green_dinosaur.ht m)

Other parts of this species are also likely to be poisonous.

NEQ

X

Tree

X

RFK Code

620