Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Chionanthus acuminiger F.Muell.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Fruit, side view, cross section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1873), Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 8(60): 42-43. Type: "Ad sinum Rockinghami; J. Dallachy."

Common name

Olive, Pimply; Pimply Olive


Tree to 12 m tall and 30 cm dbh, sometimes larger. Outer dead bark very pale, almost white, when scraped with a knife.


Leaf blades about 4-9.5 x 2-4.2 cm. Petioles 2-3 mm long. Midrib raised on the upper surface. Lateral veins 5-8 pairs, forming loops inside the blade margin. Leafy twigs white or pale brown about 1 mm diam., lenticels small but usually present.


Inflorescences shorter than the leaves. Petals about 6-10 mm long, +/- linear except near the base. Inflorescences and calyces glabrous or with sparse hairs.


Fruits ovoid, +/- pyriform, about 15-25 x 10-12 mm.


Usually 2-5 cataphylls produced before the first true leaves. First pair of true leaves ovate, leaf blades about 40-55 x 18-27 mm, apex acuminate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade with midrib slightly raised on the upper surface. Seed germination time 34 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ. Altitudinal range from 180-1200 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed rain forest. Most frequently found in upland and mountain areas.

Natural History & Notes

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

This taxon was treated as 'Chionanthus axillaris' in previous versions of the RFK.

RFK Code
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