Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Blepharocarya involucrigera F.Muell.

Click/tap on images to enlarge
Male flowers. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Female flower. © UNSW
Persistent involucre and fruit. © CSIRO
Habit and persistent involucre. © CSIRO
Involucre, three side views and fruit. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1879) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 11: 16. Type: In montibus rupestribus ad ostium fluminis Endeavour River; Persietz. syn: MEL; iso: BRI.

Common name

Bollygum; Bollygum, North Queensland; Bollygum, Northern; North Queensland Bollygum; Northern Bollygum; Rose Butternut


Normally a well formed tree usually producing a clear resin which can cause allergic reactions.


Twigs exuding a small quantity of clear resin. Numerous pale brown lenticels on the twigs. Upper surface of the compound leaf rhachis +/- flat and the margins angular or slightly winged, particularly below the basal pair of leaflets. A rib usually visible on the underside of the basal part of the compound leaf rhachis and then running down the twig to the next pair of leaves. Leaflet blades about 5-15 x 1.5-4.5 cm.


Flowers crowded, more or less in dense heads surrounded by a number of bracts. Male flowers: Flowers about 2-2.5 mm diam., sepals about 1 x 1 mm, petals about 1.5 x 1 mm. Anthers about 0.5 mm long, filaments about 1.5-2 mm long. Female flowers: Flowers about 1.5 mm diam., tepals about 1.5 mm long. Style and stigma about 1.5 mm long.


Individual fruits about 7-10 x 4-5 mm, green, ripening brown, margins fimbriate with pale hairs. Fruits borne in a capsule-like involucre of long linear bracts. 'Capsules' about 20-30 x 15-20 mm. Inverted umbrella-shaped clusters of bracts, about 2-3 cm diameter, normally present beneath mature trees.


Cotyledons about 16-18 x 6-7 mm, asymmetrical at the base. First pair of leaves lanceolate, about 30-37 x 10-13 mm. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves simple, lanceolate, apex long acuminate, petiole long and slender. Seed germination time 6 to 12 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurring as a widespread species in both CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 800 m. Growing to a large tree in well developed rain forest but often occurring as a small tree in marginal situations particularly in the northern part of its range. Often found in what appear to be even-aged stands.

Natural History & Notes

This species produces a quite decorative timber resembling that of Flindersia brayleyana. The finished polished timber can look quite similar to that of Flindersia brayleyana and there is some evidence that timber of Blepharocarya involucrigera was sold by enterprising sawmillers as Flindersia brayleyana. Sawmill workers and other people can be severely affected by dermatitis and other allergic reactions after coming in contact with this species. Any part of this species can cause a reaction in sensitised individuals.

Formerly used in the manufacture of barrels (cooperage). Swain (1928).

Wood specific gravity 0.56. Cause et al. (1989).

RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.