Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Elaeocarpus bancroftii F.Muell. & F.M.Bailey

Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves and Flowers. © B. Gray
Flower. © Barry Jago
Fruit, three views and endocarp. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1886) Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 2: 142. Type: On the Johnstone River; Dr.Bancroft, jun.

Common name

Johnstone River Almond; Ebony Heart; Grey Nut; Kuranda Quandong; Nutwood; Quandong, Kuranda; Nut Tree


Bark rough on large trees and wood quite hard.


Leaf blades leathery, about 8-13 x 2.5-5 cm with about 5-8 lateral veins on each side of the midrib. Old leaves turn red prior to falling.


Sepals about 14-17 mm long. Petals rounded but with about 3-5 shallow lobes or teeth at the apex. Stamens about 45-50. Ovary hairy.


Fruits large, about 40 mm or more in diameter. Endocarp thick, hard and horny +/- circular in transverse section, three or 4-sutured. The rat-eaten remains of the seed coats (endocarp) are normally present beneath mature trees.


Cotyledons elongate, about 30-40 mm long, fleshy. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elongate-elliptic, about 12-15 cm long, glabrous; margin crenate or serrate with about 12-18 teeth on each side of the leaf blade; stipules elongate-triangular, hairy on the outside. Seed germination time 48 to 724 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, widespread from near Cooktown southwards to about Tully. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1200 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites.

Natural History & Notes

Seeds were extracted and eaten by Aborigines and special 'Nut-stones' were sometimes left beneath the trees and used to crack the very hard endocarp.

Fallen fruit eaten by Cassowaries. Seed eaten by native rats. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

A slow growing tree with horticultural potential for parks and larger gardens. Produces large white flowers.

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