Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cryptocarya melanocarpa 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: 196. Type: B. Gray 2968, Gillies Highway - Boar Pocket Road Junction, 3.ii.1983 (QRS, holotype).


Usually a small tree not exceeding 40 cm dbh.


Twigs fluted, clothed in mainly tortuous, brown, erect hairs which persist even on the older twigs. Leaf blades about 6.5-13.5 x 2-5.5 cm, glaucous on the underside, clothed in mainly straight, white or pale brown, appressed hairs which persist even on the older leaves. Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Petioles channelled on the upper surface. Oil dots visible with a lens.


Inflorescence paniculate, not exceeding the leaves. Flowers unpleasantly perfumed. Lower half of the perianth tube glabrous on the inner surface. Tepals about 1.3-1.8 mm long, pubescent on the outer surface. Ovary and style glabrous.


Fruits globular or depressed globular, about 8-10 x 9-10.5 mm. Cotyledons white, occasionally cream.


First pair of leaves ovate or cordate to almost orbicular, about 16-22 x 13-19 mm, glaucous on the underside. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade glaucous on the underside, hairy on the upper surface along the midrib and main lateral veins; oil dots very small, visible only with a lens. Terminal bud, stem and petiole densely covered in short upright hairs. Seed germination time 71 to 311 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from 700-1100 m. Grows in well developed upland and mountain rain forest on a variety of sites.

Natural History & Notes

Fruit eaten by King Parrots, Metallic Starlings and Fruit Pigeons. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

This species scarcely grows large enough to produce millable logs and it is most unlikely that it has ever been utilized. Wood specific gravity 0.75-0.80. Hyland (1989).

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