Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Pleioluma laurifolia (A.Rich.) Swenson

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Illustration of leaves and dissected flower. © Northern Territory Government
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Swenson, U., Nylinder, S. & Munzinger, J. (2013) Taxon 62(4): 764.


Tree to c. 20 m tall; bark dark grey or brown, smooth or slightly fissured.


Leaves alternate and scattered; petiole 1-2.5 cm long; lamina elliptic to narrowly elliptic or oblanceolate, (4.5) 8- 15 (23) cm long, (1.5) 2.5-5 (8) cm wide, apex acuminate or mostly so, glabrous or almost so except for hairs confined to the midrib, discolorous.


Inflorescence an axillary, (1-) 2-8-flowered cluster, pedicels 4-14 mm long, with whitish hairs or glabrous. Sepals 5, ovate, ca. 2 mm long, hairy, the hairs whitish or pale brown. Corolla 2.5-3 mm long, creamy white; lobes 5, c.1-1.5 mm long, apices truncate. Stamens 5, ca. 2 mm long, attached just above the base of the tube. Staminodes 5, oblong, attached just below the sinus. Ovary beset with long hairs; style ca. 2 mm long, glabrous.


Fruit obovoid, 14-20 mm long, ca.12 mm diam., glabrous except for scattered long hairs near the base, smooth, initially green but near-mature fruit drying brown (perhaps black when fully mature). Seeds 2-4, fusiform, tending to be 3-angled, with 1 or 2 surfaces flat and the remainder rounded, 11-13 mm long, shiny, brown.


Seed germination time 22 days. Cotyledons ovate, about 18-30 x 10-12 mm, petioles about 2 mm long. First pair of true leaves elliptic, margins entire. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade obovate, apex acute to shortly acuminate, base cuneate, upper surface glabrous or with a few pale brown, prostrate hairs along the midrib near the base; undersurface with a few pale brown, prostrate hairs along the midrib near the base; lateral veins about ten each side of the midrib; petiole, stem and terminal bud clothed in prostrate to spreading, brown hairs.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 60 m. Grows in spring-fed rain forest. Possibly also in Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

Description from Flora of the Darwin Region (Jessup & Short, 2011).


Sersalisia laurifolia A.Rich., Voyage of the Astrolabe. Botanique 2: 84, t. 31 (1834), Type: "Crescit in Novâ-Hollandiâ loco vulgò dicto baie Morton. Vidi unicum specimen communicatum a clar. Fraser.".  Planchonella laurifolia (A.Rich.) Pierre, Notes Botaniques - Sapotacees 1: 36 (1890).  Sideroxylon laurifolium (A.Rich.) Engl., Die Naturlichen Pflanzenfamilien T. IV 1 (45): 144 (1890).  Achras laurifolia (A.Rich.) F.Muell. ex Benth., Flora Australiensis 4: 282 (1868).  Beccariella laurifolia (A.Rich.) Aubrev., Adansonia ser. 2 3: 335 (1964).  Sideroxylon richardii F.Muell., Systematic Census of Australian Plants: 92 (1882).  Pouteria richardii (F.Muell.) Baehni, Candollea 9: 287 (1942).

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