Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Elaeodendron australe Vent. var. australe

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit, side view and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Ventenat, E.P. (1825) Prodromus 2: 10.

Common name

Blush Boxwood; Boxwood, Blush; Plum, Red-fruited Olive; Red Olive Berry; Red Olive Plum; Red-fruited Olive Plum; Plum, Red Olive


A small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh.


Midrib slightly raised on the upper surface. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Leaf blades about 5-10 x 2-5 cm. Petioles channelled on the upper surface. Leaf bearing twigs four-angled. Stipules small and inconspicuous. Twigs distinctly 4-angled, sometimes shortly 4-winged.


Flowers small. Petals about 2.5 mm long. Disk fleshy, relatively large. Ovules 1 or 2 per locule.


Fruits ovoid or broadly ellipsoidal, about 14-24 mm long. Exocarp orange-red but turning black at maturity. Endocarp thick, hard and stony. Endosperm white. Embryo pale green, cotyledons flat, about 8 mm wide, much wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons thick and leathery, about 24-26 x 14-16 mm, margins recurved at the base, petioles glabrous, about 2 mm long. First pair of leaves obovate, margins toothed. Stipules small, about 1 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic to obovate, marginal teeth small, more numerous towards the apex. Stipules triangular to somewhat falcate, about 1.5-2 mm long. Seed germination time 40 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 400-1000 m. Grows in drier rain forest associated with Kauri Pine (Agathis robusta).

Natural History & Notes

Stem bark material of this species exhibited anti-tumor activity. Collins et al. (1990).

Cassine australis (Vent.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 1: 114(1891). Cassine australis (Vent.) Kuntze var. australis, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 895(1928). Elaeodendron australe Vent., Jardine de la Malmaison 2 : 117(1805), Type: originarie de la Nouvelle Hollande. Elaeodendron australe Vent., Jardine de la Malmaison 2: 117(1805), Type: originaire de la Nouvelle Hollande. Elaeodendron integrifolium (Tratt.) Sweet, Sweet's Hortus Britannicus : 110.(1830). Cassine integrifolia (Tratt.) Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 895(1928). Portenschlagia integrifolia Tratt., Archiv der Gewachskunde : t 284(1812). Portenschlagia australis (Vent.) Tratt., Archiv der Gewachskunde 5: 16(1818), Type: The plate t. 219, Archive der Gewachskunde 5 (1818) 47.
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