Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Planchonella myrsinodendron (F.Muell.) Swenson, Bartish & Munzinger

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Flower and buds. © Barry Jago
Flowers and buds. © Barry Jago
Fruit, side views, cross section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Swenson, U., Bartish, I.V. & Munzinger, J. (2007) Cladistics 23: 222.

Common name

Boxwood, Northern Yellow; Yellow Boxwood; Northern Yellow Boxwood; Yellow Teak; Ash, Black; Black Ash; Boxwood, Yellow


White, granular stripes in the outer blaze under the lenticels. Yellowish, hard, brittle stripes often visible in the inner blaze.


Petioles and twigs produce a milky exudate. Young shoots and terminal buds clothed in small, prostrate brown hairs. Leaf blades about 9.5-16.5 x 3-7 cm. Underside of the leaf blade generally silvery or pale, shiny brown except on old leaves.


Calyx green, covered in golden hairs, sepals broadly ovate to orbicular, about 2-2.5 x 2-3 mm, ferruginously puberulous outside, glabrous on the inner surface. Corolla about 2-3 mm long. Stamens inserted on the basal half of the corolla, filaments about 1-1.5 mm long, anthers about 1 mm long. Staminodes lanceolate, about 0.5-1 mm long. Ovary about 0.5 mm long, ferruginously hirsute. Style about 0.5-1 mm long.


Fruits obovoid to almost cylindrical, about 18-30 x 10-15 mm. Seeds one per fruit, obovoid, about 15-25 x 8-12 mm. Testa hard and woody, hilum about 3-5 mm wide, as long as the seed.


Cotyledons broadly obovate, about 25-30 mm long, midrib slightly raised on the upper surface. First pair of leaves elliptic to narrowly obovate, about 4-7.5 x 1-2 cm. Apex acute, base attenuate, underside pale. Midrib raised on the upper surface. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves narrowly obovate, apex acuminate, base attenuate, upper surface glabrous or with a few hairs near the base on the midrib, lower surface brownish from numerous, prostrate hairs; midrib raised on the upper surface of the leaf blade, about 10-12 lateral veins on each side of the midrib, forming loops inside the blade margin; petiole, stem and terminal bud clothed in rusty brown, prostrate hairs. Seed germination time 15 to 73 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 800 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites. Also occurs in Malesia and the Pacific islands. This species produces fruits in abundance which are eagerly sought by fruit eating pigeons.

Natural History & Notes

Fallen fruit eaten by Cassowaries. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Produces a useful general purpose timber.

Wood specific gravity 0.75. Cause et al. (1989).

Pouteria myrsinodendron (F.Muell) Jessup, Austrobaileya 6: 163(2001). Chrysophyllum myrsinodendron F.Muell., Fragmenta 6: 178(1868), Type: Queensland, Herbert River, J. Dallachy, holo: MEL; iso: BM ex herb. Hance (fide Jessip 2001). Pouteria obovoidea (H.J.Lam) Baehni, Candollea 9: 412(1942). Planchonella obovoidea H.J.Lam, Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de Buitenzorg Series 3 7: 207(1925), Type: Kai: (JAHERI 134!!). Indonesia.
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