Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Huberantha nitidissima (Dunal) Chaowasku

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves and flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © B. Gray
Fruit, side view, cross section, seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Chaowasku, T., Johnson, D.M., van der Ham , R.W.J.M. & Chatrou, L.W. (2015) Kew Bulletin 70: 26.

Common name

Beech, Canary; Polyalthia; Pine, China; Canary Beech; Shiny Leaf Tree; China Pine


Subrhytidome layer dark, sometimes almost black. Fibrous stripes in the inner blaze form a lace-like pattern corresponding to the fine oak grain in the wood.


Leaf blades about 6-10 x 2.5-4 cm. Oil dots visible with a lens. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped. Lenticels usually obvious on the twigs. Young shoots clothed in prostrate brown silky hairs. Domatia, if present, are tufts of hairs.


Calyx lobes triangular to almost cordate, about 2.5 mm long. Inner and outer petals of similar dimensions, about 15 x 4-5 mm. Stamens about 30. Ovaries about 6-8.


Fruiting carpels ellipsoid, about 8-10 x 6-9 mm, on a stalk about 2-4 mm long. Seeds about 6-7 x 5-6 mm, one per fruiting carpel. Embryo minute.


Cotyledons elliptic, 13-18 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves ovate, apex acute, base obtuse, upper surface hairy at least on the midrib and main lateral veins; petiole, stem and terminal bud clothed in tortuous pale hairs. Seed germination time 77 to 222 days.

Distribution and Ecology

A widespread species in NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in northern Australia from near sea level to 800 m. Usually grows in drier rain forest. Also occurs in New Caledonia and New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Green Spotted Triangle, Pale Green Triangle and the Green Triangle Butterflies. Common & Waterhouse (1981); Sankowsky & Neilsen (2000).

Seldom grows large enough to produce millable logs. Produces a useful general purpose timber.

Wood specific gravity 0.54. Cause et al. (1989).

Unona nitidissima Dunal, Monographie de la Famille des Anonac~Pes : 93(1817), Type: Hab. in Nove Caledonie. (v.s. L. Deless.). Polyalthia nitidissima (Dunal) Benth.Flora Australiensis 1: 51 (1863).
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