Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Darlingia darlingiana (F.Muell.) L.A.S.Johnson

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Flowers and flower buds. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Flowers. © Barry Jago
Fruit, dehiscing fruit and seeds. © W. T. Cooper
Leaves and dehisced fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledons and 6 leaves. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Johnson, L.A.S. (1962) Contributions from the New South Wales National Herbarium 3(3): 93.

Common name

Brown Silky Oak; Silky Oak; Rose Silky Oak; Oak, Silky; Oak, Brown Silky; Oak, Rose Silky


Oak grain in the wood. A dark red, lace-like pattern in the blaze, corresponding to the oak grain in the wood.


Oak grain in the twigs. Leaf blades about 12-40 cm long. Midrib generally raised on the upper surface.


Flowers produce a rather strong heavy perfume which some people do not find pleasant. Flower bracts less than 5 mm long. Tepals about 25-30 mm long. Hypogynous glands globular, four. Ovules 4. Ovary clothed in golden hairs.


Follicles about 4.5-7 x 2-3 cm. Seeds flat, about 4-6.5 x 2-3 cm, wing about 3-10 mm wide, embryo about 17-35 x 10-20 mm.


Cotyledons about 30-35 x 12-15 mm. First pair of leaves simple, margin entire or lobed. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade with a few hairs on the midrib on the upper surface; terminal bud clothed in prostrate, brown hairs. Seed germination time 17 to 21 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, widespread throughout the area. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1150 m. This species is favoured by disturbance and is a characteristic component of rain forest regrowth. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites.

Natural History & Notes

An upright tree commonly cultivated for the profuse flowering and large attractive leaves.

Produces a useful timber with an oak grain.

Wood specific gravity 0.77 Cause et al. (1989).

Darlingia spectatissima F.Muell., The Journal of Botany 4 : 268(1866), Type: from N.E. Australia. Darlingia spectatissima F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 5: 152(1865). Darlingia spectatissima F.Muell. var. spectatissima, Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 11: 231(1930). Helicia darlingiana F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 5: 24(1865), Type: In silvis ad sinum Rockingham Bay. Dallachy.
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