Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Placospermum coriaceum C.T.White & W.D.Francis

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Flowers. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Leaves and Flowers. © B. Gray
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

White, C.T. & Francis, W.D. (1924) Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 35: 79. Type: Mount Alexander, near Daintree, North Queensland, ex Queensland Herbarium, without collectors name (flowering specimens, type).

Common name

Oak, Rose Silky; Rose Silky Oak; Plate Seeded Oak


Large black or dark red speckles often apparent in the outer blaze. Fine, inconspicuous oak grain in the wood and a corresponding lace-like pattern in the inner blaze.


Lateral veins scarcely visible on the under surface of the leaf blade but forming loops just inside the blade margin. Leaf blades about 8-25 x 1.6-4.3 cm, usually thick and fleshy.


Flowers borne singly on a pedicel up to 15 mm long. Tepals glabrous, up to 15-18 mm long. Hypogynous glands 3-4, filiform. Ovary sessile, about 5 mm long. Ovules about 20-24.


Fruits ovoid but laterally compressed, about 3.5-4 x 3 cm. Seeds, numerous in each fruit, seed plus marginal wing about 1.2-1.4 x 2.5-3.2 cm. Embryo about 6 x 16 mm.


Cotyledons resemble small butterfly wings, each cotyledon +/- reniform, broadly cuneate at the base, about 15-18 x 25-45 mm. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic to narrowly elliptic, apex acute or acuminate, base cuneate or attenuate; terminal bud clothed in prostrate, pink or reddish hairs. Seed germination time 42 to 70 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1200 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites. This species is favoured by disturbance and will successfully invade eucalypt forest in the absence of fire.

Natural History & Notes

A large tree in nature. The juvenile plants have large and attractive leaves and are becoming popular as indoor plants.

Produces a useful general purpose timber but despite the fact that it is a member of the Proteaceae it does not exhibit a conspicuous oak grain.

Wood specific gravity 0.69 Cause et al. (1989).

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