Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Glochidion sumatranum Miq.

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Male flower and buds. © Barry Jago
Male flower. © Barry Jago
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Female flower, oblique view. © CSIRO
Female flower, side view. © CSIRO

Miquel, F.A.W. (1861) Fl. Ind. Bat. Suppl. : 450. Type: Sumatra ?.

Common name

Cheesetree; Pin Flower Tree; Sumatran Buttonwood; Umbrella Cheesetree; Buttonwood


Dead bark layered.


Leaf blades about 7-13 x 2.5-4 cm. Midrib raised on the upper surface. Leaf bearing twigs mainly glabrous.


Male flowers: Inflorescence pedunculate, usually supra-axillary. Flowers about 3 mm diam. without a disk. Female flowers: Flowers about 2 mm diam., pedicellate. Styles +/- columnar, slightly exserted at anthesis.


Capsules obscurely 10-lobed, flat or concave at the apex, about 7-9 mm diam., resembling a miniature Queensland Blue pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo).


Cotyledons elliptic, about 6-8 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves obovate, apex acuminate, shortly mucronate, base attenuate, glabrous on the upper surface, veins about 5-8 forming loops inside the leaf blade margin; stipules triangular, apex acuminate. Seed germination time 28 to 51 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 800 m. Favoured by disturbance, grows in a variety of habitats from well developed rain forest to fringing forest along creeks through eucalypt forest. Also occurs in Malesia and the Solomon Islands.

Natural History & Notes

Produces a useful general purpose timber.

Wood specific gravity 0.70. Cause et al. (1989).

Glochidion supra-axillare (Benth.) Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 872(1928). Glochidion ferdinandi var. supra-axillaris (Benth.) F.M.Bailey, The Queensland Flora 5: 1424(1902). Glochidion perakense var. supra-axillare (Benth.) Airy Shaw, Kew Bulletin 31: 349(1976). Glochidion perakense Hook.f., The Flora of British India 5 : 317(1888), Type: PERAK; at South Belang, Kings Collector. Phyllanthus ferdinandi var. supra-axillaris Benth., Flora Australiensis 6: 96(1873), Type: Rockingham Bay, Dallachy; Rockhampton, Thozet, OShanesy.
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