Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Alectryon oleifolius subsp. elongatus S.T.Reynolds

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and fruit. CC-BY: APII, ANBG.
Trunk and bark. CC-BY: APII, ANBG.

Reynolds, S.T. (1987), Notes on Sapindaceae, V. Austrobaileya 2(4): 337.

Common name

Western Rosewood


Shrub or small tree to 13 m, branches drooping. Bark dark grey, rough throughout; buds and young stems with white appressed hairs, stems becoming hairless.


Leaves simple, alternate, drooping or pendulous. Stipules absent. Petiole 5-15 mm long. Leaf blade linear or narrow-elliptic to sub-falcate, 5-18 cm long, 4-18 mm wide, base tapered, margin entire, apex acute to acuminate. Pinnately veined with 20-25 pairs of main lateral veins, obscure both sides. Domatia absent. Leaf blade green to glaucous and hairless to sparsely hairy both sides.


Inflorescence axillary, thyrsoid or paniculate to 9 cm. Flowers functionally unisexual, plants monoecious, to 4 mm diameter. Calyx whitish, yellow, green or red, sepals fused basally, petals absent. Male flowers with 6-8 stamens with a rudimentary ovary; female flowers with staminodes; ovary superior with 2-4 locules.


Fruit a dry to leathery capsule, compressed globose, usually 2-lobed, to 9 mm diam. Fruit dehiscent, each lobe splitting irregularly to release one black seed with a red to orange cupular aril. Aril red to orange, granular, fleshy, covering seed more than halfway.


No data available for these features.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ and CEQ, distributed inland from Townville to north west of Canberra (in NSW). Occasionally found in dry vine thicket communities, most commonly found in open communities. Two outlier specimens in the Kowanyama area (Cape York Peninsula, NEQ) have an atypical leaf form with much shorter obovate leaves > 1 cm wide and with fruit with a sparse indumentum of appressed hairs.

Heterodendrum microcalyx Radlk. Actes du Congres International de Botanistes .. Amsterdam for 1877: 119 (1879) Type: "Flinders river". Heterodendrum floribundum E.Pritz. Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis 15: 358 (1918). Type: "in Australia centrali prope Hermannsburg ad flumen Fincke, leg. Strehlow 1906–1908, no. 43. Heterodendrum oleifolium var. microcalyx (Radlk.) Domin. Beitrage zur Flora und Pflanzengeographie Australiens. Bibliotheca Botanica 22(89): 902 (1927).
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