Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cryptocarya clarksoniana B.Hyland

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Fruit, three views, cross section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Habit, flower, anther, staminode, gland, fruit, seedling. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Hyland, B.P.M. (1989) Australian Systematic Botany 2: 175. Type: B. Gray 2966, State Forest Reserve 700 Gadgarra, 3.ii.1983 (QRS, holotypus).

Common name

Clarkson's Laurel


A small tree less than 30 cm dbh. Blaze odour often noticeable but difficult to describe.


Twigs +/- terete or slightly fluted, clothed in straight, white or pale brown, appressed hairs when young, eventually becoming almost glabrous. Leaf blades about 5.5-15 x 2-5 cm, green on the underside, clothed in straight, white or pale brown, appressed hairs when young but soon becoming almost completely glabrous. Midrib raised or +/- flush with the upper surface. Petiole flat or shallowly channelled on the upper surface. Oil dots visible with a lens.


Inflorescence paniculate, not exceeding the leaves. Flowers pleasantly perfumed or without any obvious perfume. Perianth tube usually pubescent over the entire inner surface. Tepals about 1.1-1.8 mm long, pubescent on the outer surface. Ovary and style glabrous.


Fruits globular or ellipsoid, about 14-15 x 11-13 mm. Cotyledons cream.


First pair of leaves lanceolate or elliptic, about 40-65 x 13-25 mm, green on the underside. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade glabrous on the underside or with very short and inconspicuous hairs, visible only with a lens, upper surface glabrous; oil dots small, numerous, visible only with a lens; petiole hairy. Seed germination time 19 to 335 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the area between Cooktown and Kurrimine. Altitudinal range from sea level to 1100 m. Grows in drier rain forest and is often associated with Kauri Pine (Agathis robusta).

Natural History & Notes

This species has no commercial value as it seldom grows large enough to produce millable logs. Wood specific gravity 0.94. Hyland (1989).

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