Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Buchanania arborescens (Blume) Blume

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Flowers. © CSIRO
Flowering habit, leaves and inflorescences. © CSIRO
Flower side view, some anthers removed. © UNSW
Flower side view, some anthers removed. © UNSW
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Blume, C.L. von (1850) Museum Botanicum Lugduno-Batavum 1 : 183.

Common name

Jam Jam; Green Plum; Satinwood; Lightwood; Little Gooseberry-tree; Otak Udang; Plum, Green; Buchanania


Inner blaze often layered. Exudate, if present, rather meagre.


Leaf blades about 8-24 x 2.5-7 cm. Midrib raised on the upper surface. The reticulate veins between the main lateral veins appear to form 'drainage patterns' which appear to flow from the midrib towards the leaf blade margin. Petiole swollen at its junction with the twig.


Floral bract oblong, subulate. Flowers about 6 mm diam., sepals about 1.5 x 1 mm, petals about 3 x 1.5-2 mm. Anthers about 1 mm long, filaments about 1.5 mm. Usually five carpels present in each flower, but only one fertile.


Fruits about 8-10 mm diam. Seeds about 6-9 x 6-8 mm, compressed globular. Endocarp +/- 2-ribbed, dark brown, slightly less than 1 mm thick, very hard and difficult to cut.


Cotyledons club-shaped, fleshy, lacking venation, about 5-6 x 5 mm. First pair of leaves ovate, about 25-28 x 14-16 mm. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves obovate, apex +/- apiculate. Seed germination time 13 days.

Distribution and Ecology

A widespread species occurring in WA, NT, CYP and NEQ as far south as the Paluma Range. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 450 m. A characteristic tree of the rain forest and gallery forest along watercourses in northern Australia. Also occurs in Malesia and the SW Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

This species produces large fruit crops in favourable seasons and the fruits are very popular with birds and other forest animals. Torresian Imperial Pigeons (Ducula spilorrhoa) appear to be very appreciative of the fruits of this species.

This plant used medicinally by Aborigines. Cribb (1981).

Produces a useful general purpose timber. Wood specific gravity 0.47. Cause et al. (1989).

Coniogeton arborescens Blume, Bijdragen tot de Flora van Nederlandsch Indie No. 7 : 1156(1827), Type: In calcareis Javae insulae, collector unknown.
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