Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition
Alstonia muelleriana Domin
Domin, K. (1928) Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 1081. Type: Endemisch in Nordost-Queensland.Regenwalder bei Lake Eacham und Yarraba (DOMIN II. 1910).
Yellowwood; Hard Cheesewood; Bitterbark; Milkwood, Hard; Milky Yellowwood; Yellow Jacket; Hard Milkwood
Bright yellow layer just beneath the dead bark. Living bark extremely bitter when chewed and may be poisonous.
Flowers about 4.5-5 mm diam. Calyx lobes about 0.8-1.4 mm long, densely pubescent. Corolla tube about 3.2-4.8 mm long, pubescent, lobes about 2.1-3 mm long, with the right margins overlapping, glabrous on the outer surface but pubescent on the inner surface. Stamens inserted near the middle of the corolla tube. Anthers about 0.9-1.1 x 0.3-0.4 mm.
Cotyledons elliptic, about 10-13 x 3-7 mm. First pair of leaves ovate to elliptic, about 15-20 x 6-9 mm, margins entire, both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade clothed in pale-coloured hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves hairy on the upper surface; petioles hairy. Seed germination time 16 to 24 days.
Widespread in NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. This species grows to quite a large tree in rain forest but is also found in marginal situations and is a characteristic species in regrowth areas. It is a resilient species and can cope with fires when young by producing coppice shoots from the base and root suckers. Also occurs in New Guinea.
Apical dominance is maintained in a rather unusual way. One of the branches in the terminal whorl becomes more upright and eventually orthotropic and assumes the role of leader and therefore the mainstem until the next whorl of branches is produced.
Produces a useful general purpose timber.
Wood specific gravity 0.81. Cause et al. (1989).