Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Doryphora aromatica (F.M.Bailey) L.S.Sm.

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Flowers. © Barry Jago
Fruiting receptacle splitting to release plumed fruit. © W. T. Cooper
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Smith, L.S. (1958) Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 69: 48.

Common name

Net Sassafras; Sassafras, Northern; Sassafras; Sassafras; Grey Sassafras; Northern Sassafras; Northern Grey Sassafras


Blaze odour strong, closely resembling sarsaparilla.


Leaf blades about 6.5-12 x 2-4 cm, emitting an aromatic odour when crushed. Numerous small oil dots visible with a lens. Young twigs (particularly on coppice shoots) almost square in transverse section. Lateral veins looping inside the blade margin. About 5-17 teeth on each side of the leaf blade.


Flowers about 10 mm or more diam. when fully open. Two glands at the base or attached to the base of each anther (laterally or perhaps towards the outer edge). Anthers with an extremely long awl-like appendage at the apex.


Fruiting receptacle +/- lageniform or obpyriform, splitting to release what appears to be plumed seeds (actually plumed fruits). Plumes about 15 mm long overall with individual hairs also attached to the fruiting carpel itself.


Cotyledons +/- orbicular. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic, apex mucronate, margin serrate; oil dots small, numerous, visible with a lens. Leaves emitting an aromatic odour when crushed or broken. Seed germination time 88 to 150 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, widespread throughout the area. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1200 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites but probably reaches its best development on soils derived from basalt. In mountain rain forest this species tends to grow along creeks and in gullies and is not found on ridge tops.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Macleay's Swallowtail and Blue Triangle Butterflies. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

Stem bark material of this species was active against tumor cell cultures. Collins et al. (1990).

Produces a useful but rather dull, short-grained timber. Wood specific gravity 0.56. Cause et al. (1989).

Daphnandra aromatica F.M.Bailey, A Synopsis of the Queensland Flora, Supplement 1 : 46(1886), Type: Qld. Johnstone River, 1885, T.L. Bancroft,; Holo: BRI; Iso: K, Mel, ?NSW.
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