Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition
Melicope peninsularis T.G.Hartley
Hartley, T.G. (2001) Allertonia 8: 217. Type: Queensland, top of Cape York Peninsula, Lockerbie Scrub, 3 Feb. 1992, G. & N. Sankowsky 1319; holo: BRI; iso: CANB, QRS.
Grows as a small tree to 10 m tall, but may not exceed 30-40 cm dbh. Pale brown stripes often visible in the inner blaze.
Leaflet blades about 7-12 x 3-7.5 cm. Lateral leaflets oblique at the base and +/- sessile, middle leaflet shortly stalked, stalk about 0.2-0.3 cm long. Compound leaf petiole flattened on the upper surface particularly towards the apex. Oil dots numerous. Small flat glands sometimes visible on the underside of the leaflet blades near the base.
Flowers about 4 mm diam. Calyx pubescent on the outer surface but glabrous on the inner surface, calyx lobes rounded. Petals about 4-5 mm long, pubescent on both the inner and outer surfaces particularly towards the base. Anthers about 2 mm long, staminal filaments about 5 mm long. Disk sparsely pubescent. Ovary densely pubescent.
Fruits about 15-16 x 16-17 mm, globular, 4-lobed. surface marked with globular glands. Carpels in dehisced fruit divaricate (spreading). Seeds about 5 x 3 mm. Testa hard, longitudinally ribbed, completely enclosed in an aril or sarcotesta. Embryo about 4 mm long, cotyledons about 3 mm long and much wider than the radicle.
Cotyledons elliptic to obovate, about 15-16 x 8-9 mm, petioles about 1.5-2 mm long. Oil dots numerous but indistinct, the oil dots on the margin impart a toothed appearance to the cotyledon margin. First pair of leaves with leaflets about 11-16 x 5-6 mm, margins dentate to crenate, leaflet stalks very short or nil. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blade elliptic to obovate, compound leaf petiole as long as or longer than the leaflets. Terminal bud clothed in white hairs. Seed germination time 163 to 248 days.
Occurs in CYP, known only from collections made in the Lockerbie area at the tip of Cape York Peninsula and in islands of Torres Strait. Altitudinal range quite small, all collections made at 20 m. Grows in disturbed areas in well developed rain forest on creek flats. May also occur in New Guinea but further work is needed to confirm this assertion.