Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Elaeodendron melanocarpum F.Muell.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flower. © Barry Jago
Flower. © Barry Jago
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruits, transverse section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1862) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 3: 62. Type: Ad portum Denisonii. Eug. Fitzalan.

Common name

False Olive; Black Olive Plum; Plum, Olive; Olive Plum; Plum, Black Olive; Olive, False


Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh.


Leaf blades about 6-13 x 3-7 cm. Midrib slightly raised on the upper surface, lateral veins forming loops well inside the blade margin. Stipules small and inconspicuous.


Flowers small. Perianth three-merous, rarely four-merous. Petals about 1.5-2 mm long. Disk fleshy, relatively large. Ovules 1 or 2 per locule.


Fruits globular, about 15-20 mm diam. Exocarp black. Endocarp thick, hard and stony.


Cotyledons oblong or elliptic, 30-35 mm long, midrib raised. First pair of leaves toothed. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves obovate, apex bluntly acute, teeth mainly on the upper half of the leaf blade; stipules very small, triangular. Seed germination time 32 to 511 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1100 m. Grows in the drier types of rain forest and monsoon forest.

Cassine melanocarpa (F.Muell.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 1: 114(1891). Barringtonia sphaerocarpa C.A.Gardner, WA Forests Department Bulletin 32: 69(1923), Type: Basalt creeks near the Lawley River, WA, 27 July 1921, C. A. Gardiner 1491; holo: PERTH. Cassine glauca (Rottb.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 1: 114(1891).
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