Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Buckinghamia celsissima F.Muell.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. © Barry Jago
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit, dehisced fruit and seeds. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1868) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 6: 248. Type: In silvis montium prope sinum litoreum Rockinghams Bay; J. Dallachy. Six Mile Creek, 11 Jan. 1865, J. Dallachy, lecto: MEL. Fide Foreman (1995).

Common name

Ivory Curl Tree; Ivory Curl; Oak, Spotted Silky; Spotted Silky Oak; Silky Oak; Ivory Curl Flower


Oak grain in the wood and a corresponding pattern in the inner blaze.


Oak grain in the twigs. Leaf blades about 8-16 x 3-7 cm. Small oils dots visible with a lens. Numerous lenticels usually present on the twigs.


Inflorescence +/- ferruginous-pubescent, but tepals clothed in paler hairs. Tepals about 7-10 mm long. Hypogynous gland one, horseshoe-shaped in cross section. Ovules 4. Style about 15-20 mm long.


Follicles about 1.5-3 cm long. Seeds flat with a narrow marginal wing.


Cotyledons about 10-14 mm long, petioles short, about 1 mm long, margin uneven at the apex, much shorter on one side of the midrib. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade +/- linear with some hairs on upper surface, younger leaves densely hairy, petiole densely hairy. Terminal bud clothed in brown hairs. Seed germination time 38 to 45 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, widespread in the area. Altitudinal range from 200-1000 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites but is probably most frequently found in drier rain forest often associated with Kauri Pine (Agathis robusta).

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Cornelian Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

Widely cultivated in a variety of situations from street trees to gardens and known for the ease of culture, the good form and the mass flowerings it produces.

Produces a useful general purpose timber with a conspicuous oak grain.

Wood specific gravity 0.93 Cause et al. (1989).

RFK Code
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