Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit, four views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
1st leaf stage, cotyledons absent, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Sprengel, C.P.J. (1824) Systema Vegetabilium 1 : 826.

Common name

Currant Tree; Bignay; Bignay China Laurel; Currantwood; Cherry, Herbert River; Cherry, Wild; Chinese Laurel; Herbert River Cherry; Wild Cherry; Salamander Tree


Blaze layering usually quite conspicuous, consisting of alternate cream and pink layers.


Leaf blades about 5-12 x 2.5-7 cm. Lateral veins forming loops well inside the blade margin. Petiole slightly channelled on the upper surface. Stipules small and inconspicuous and shed early. Domatia, if present, are tufts of hair.


Male and female flowers about 2 mm diam. Disk hairy in both male and female flowers.


Fruits large, about 12-25 mm long.


Cotyledons elliptic to almost orbicular, about 12-14 x 9-10 mm, base cuneate to obtuse, apex obtuse. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves hairy on both the upper and lower surfaces along the midrib; scattered hairs visible with a lens elsewhere; petiole hairy; stipules filiform, about 10-12 mm long, hairy. Seed germination time 168 to 178 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. Grows in the drier types of rain forest and on rain forest margins. Also occurs in Asia and Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

The fruit of this species is used in North Queensland to make jams or syrups and was once very popular and sought after.

However, some people apparently find the fruits bitter and completely inedible. Henkin & Grillis (1977).

Stilago bunius L., Mant. : 122(1767), Type: India, Bunius sativus Rumph. amb. 3. p. 204, t. 131. Antidesma dallachyanum Baill., Adansonia 6: 337(1866), Type: Dallachy (1864), Rockhampton, Dalrymph Cape (herb. F. Muell.!). Antidesma dallachyi F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 6: 183(1868), Type: Queensland, Rockingham Bay, J. Dallachy.
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