Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cryptocarya cocosoides B.Hyland

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Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Habit, flower, stamen, staminode, gland, fruit, seedling. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Hyland, B.P.M. (1989) Australian Systematic Botany 2: 177. Type: B. Gray 297, State Forest Reserve 700 Gillies L.A. 16.ii.1977 (QRS, holotypus).

Common name

Coconut Laurel; Laurel, Coconut


Strong coconut (Cocos nucifera) odour in the blaze.


Twigs fluted, densely clothed in tortuous, brown, erect hairs which persist until the twigs are quite old. Leaf blades about 7.3-15 x 2.5-5.5 cm. Underside of leaf blade hidden by a dense covering of straight and tortuous, brown, appressed and erect hairs when young but less so when older when glaucousness becomes apparent. Midrib depressed or flush with the upper surface. Petioles flat or channelled on the upper surface. Oil dots visible with a lens. Crushed leaves and twigs emit a strong odour (citronellol).


Inflorescence paniculate, scarcely exceeding the leaves. Flowers probably emit an unpleasant perfume but it is difficult to be sure because of the overpowering odour of the twigs and leaves. Lower half of the perianth tube glabrous on the inner surface. Tepals about 1.6-2.5 mm long, pubescent on the outer surface. Ovary and style glabrous.


Fruits globular or depressed globular, about 14-15 x 16-17 mm. Cotyledons white or cream.


First pair of leaves broadly ovate or cordate, about 42-52 x 30-50 mm, glaucous on the underside. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade glaucous below; reddish brown hairs occur on the petiole and extend onto the midrib on the upper surface of the leaf blade; crushed leaves have a strong coconut odour; oil dots very small, difficult to see, visible only with a lens. Seed germination time 24 to 46 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the Atherton Tableland and surrounding mountain ranges perhaps extending to the Mt Lewis area. Altitudinal range from 750-1150 m. Grows in well developed upland and mountain rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

This species has occasionally been logged and converted to sawn timber. Wood specific gravity 0.65-0.75. Hyland (1989).

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