Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Flindersia brayleyana F.Muell.

Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers and buds. © Barry Jago
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit, side view, dehiscing and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Habit, fruit, seed. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Flower bud, side view, calyx & hairy petals. © CSIRO
Flower, bird's-eye view, petals, stamens & hairy filaments. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1865) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 5: 143. Type: Ad flumen Herberti. J. Dallachy.

Common name

Maple, Queensland; Silkwood; Red Beech; Queensland Maple; Maple; Maple Silkwood


Bark frequently marked with vertical lines or fissures containing lenticels.


Leaflet blades about 8-18.5 x 3.3-7.5 cm. Oil dots numerous and conspicuous, almost touching one another. Midrib slightly raised on the upper surface.


Sepals ovate-triangular, about 0.5 mm long. Petals oblong-elliptic to elliptic, about 2.5-3.5 mm long. Hairs on petals simple, rarely absent. Glandular disk bright orange, flounced. Ovary clothed with appressed, simple hairs. Ovules 1 on each side of the placenta.


Capsules about 6-10 cm long, outer surface almost smooth or shallowly sculptured. Seeds winged at both ends, radicle terminal. Remains of the fruit frequently present under large trees.


Cotyledons oblong, about 4-6 x 2 cm. Oil dots clearly visible with a lens. First pair of leaves simple, elliptic, then usually at least one trifoliolate leaf before the tenth leaf stage. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades elliptic, glabrous, veins about 7-10 each side of the midrib; oil dots visible to the naked eye; stalk of the middle leaflet longer than those of the lateral leaflets. Seed germination time 8 to 14 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in NEQ, restricted to the area between the Windsor Tableland and Mt Spec near Townsville. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1150 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites but reaches its best development in upland and mountain rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

This species produces a very good quality and very decorative cabinet timber. Because of World Heritage listing of North Queensland rainforest this timber is now in very short supply. Attempts to grow this tree in plantations generally end in failure. Although young plantations grow rapidly, the architecture of large trees and crown shyness means that it is not possible to economically grow large trees which will produce timber of cabinet quality.

During the Second World War (1939-1945) the timber of this species contributed significantly to the war effort as it was sought for use in aircraft. It was used to manufacture propellers and for plywood used in the Mosquito bomber aircraft. The timber was also used in rifle stocks and today it is also used for beautiful decorated stocks on sporting rifles and shotguns.

Formerly used in the manufacture of cigar boxes, window frames, barrels (cooperage). Swain (1928).

A useful shady addition to parkland or as a street tree. Masses of white flowers are followed by pendulous fruits that are star-like when open.

The timber of this species can cause dermatitis.

Wood specific gravity 0.57 Cause et al. (1989).

Flindersia chatawaiana F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agricultural Journal 5(4): 387(1899), Type: Cardwell to Herberton, J.F. Bailey.
RFK Code
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