Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cerbera floribunda K.Schum.

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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit, side view and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Seedling, cotyledons and 6 leaves, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage, cotyledons still attached, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Seedling, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Schumann, K.M. (1889) Die Flora von Kaiser Wilhelms Land : 111. Type: II. Augusta-Station: Hollrung n. 717, 849. Schone Grashugel am Auguste - Flusse.

Common name

Cassowary Plum; Rubber Tree; Plum, Cassowary; Milkwood, Grey; Cassowary Plum Tree; Grey Milkwood


Exudate rapid and copious.


Petioles produce a milky exudate. Leaves crowded towards the ends of the rather stout twigs. Leaf blades about 9-30 x 2-5 cm, petioles about 3-4 cm long. Lateral veins about 13-20 on each side of the midrib.


Flowers about 2.5-3 cm diam., centre pink to reddish. Sepals about 5-6.5 mm long. Corolla tube about 8-12 mm long, lobes about 7-15 mm long.


Fresh fruits produce a milky exudate when cut. Fruits about 9-11 x 4.5-5.5 cm. Endocarp thick, woody and fibrous.


Cotyledons linear to elongate-elliptic, large, about 50 x 15 mm. First pair of leaves lanceolate, about 6-7 x 1.5 cm, glabrous, margins smooth. At the tenth leaf stage: numerous small pale lenticels occur on the stem. Stems and petioles produce a milky exudate. Seed germination time 17 to 299 days.

Distribution and Ecology

A widespread species in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to about 500 m. Usually grows in lowland rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

Fallen fruit eaten by Cassowaries. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Cerbera odollum auct. non Gaertn., J. Bot. S. 32: 61(1923).
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