Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Planchonella obovata (R.Br.) Pierre

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers. © Barry Jago
Leaves and flowers. © Australian Plant Image Index (APII). Photographer: M. Fagg.
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Pierre, J.B.L. (1890) Notes Botaniques Sapotacees : 36.

Common name

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


Bark somewhat fissured but without loose flakes.


Petioles and twigs produce a milky exudate. Leaf blades about 5.5-16 x 3-9 cm. Midrib raised on the upper surface of the leaf blade and lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin.


Sepals rounded or broadly ovate, about 2-3 x 2-3 mm, puberulous outside, but glabrous on the inner surface. Corolla about 3-5 mm long. Stamens inserted slightly below the middle of the corolla, filaments about 2-3 mm long, anthers about 1 mm long. Staminodes variable in shape, about 1-1.5 mm long. Ovary about 1 mm long, ferruginously hirsute. Style about 1.5-2 mm long.


Fruits obovoid or globose, about 10-15 x 10-15 mm. Seeds 1-5 per fruit, obliquely fusiform, about 8-12 x 2-3.5 x 2-3.5 mm. Testa features unknown, hilum about 1 mm wide and as long as the seed.


Cotyledons ovate or elliptic, slightly unequal-sided, about 20-25 mm long, +/- 3-veined towards the base, midrib raised on the upper surface. First pair of leaves ovate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade obovate, apex acute to obtuse, base cuneate or attenuate, lower surface clothed in pale or brown often medifixed prostrate hairs. Seed germination time 13 to 33 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range very small, usually found just above sea level. Grows in beach forest on sandy shores and rocky headlands. Also occurs in Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

Sometimes grows into a tree which produces millable logs.

Produces a useful general purpose timber.

Wood specific gravity 0.72. Cause et al. (1989).

Pouteria obovata (R.Br.) Baehni, Candollea 9 : 324(1942). Sideroxylon obovatum (R.Br.) Sm., Rees' Cyclopaedia 32 : (1816). Achras obovata (R.Br.) Benth., Flora Australiensis 4: 283(1868). Sapota obovata (R.Br.) Radlk. ex Holle, These Erlange : 17(1892). Sersalisia obovata R.Br., Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 530(1810), Type: New Holland, Banks & Solander. B. v.s. Sideroxylon argenteum Thunb., Prodromus Plantarum Capensium : 36(1794), Type: (not cited). Sideroxylon brownii F.Muell., Systematic Census of Australian Plants : 92(1883), Type: Australia.
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