Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Codonocarpus attenuatus (Hook.) H.Walter

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Walter, H. (1909) Engler's Das Pflanzenreich Heft 39 : 78.

Common name

Bellbush; Bellfruit Tree; Native Poplar


Bark on the lower stem pale, soft and corky. Bark on the upper stem and branches smooth and green. Blaze odour not pleasant but difficult to describe.


Leaf blades soft and pendulous, about 9 x 1.2-1.4 cm, venation difficult to distinguish. Petioles about 1.3-2 cm long. All vegetative parts completely glabrous. Stipules small and inconspicuous, about 0.5 mm long.


Features not available.


Fruits pendulous, +/- bell-shaped, about 15-18 x 13-14 mm, consisting of 45-60 closely packed fruiting carpels which dehisce at maturity to release the seeds. Fruiting carpels (samaras) about 15-18 mm long, spinning like helicopter blades when released into the air. Seeds about 3 mm long, testa rugose, aril or caruncle cream. Embryo U-shaped, cotyledons about as wide as but longer than the radicle.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ not known, but probably between 500-780 m. Grows in disturbed areas particularly burnt areas of monsoon forest and vine thickets.

Natural History & Notes

This species is suspected of poisoning stock but the evidence is not conclusive (Everist 1974).

Codonocarpus australis Moq., Prodromus 13(2): 39(1849). Gyrostemon attenuatus Hook., Botanical Miscellany 1 : 243(1830), Type: Queensland,Near the Brisbane River, A. Cunningham & C. Fraser s.n.
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