Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Sarcomelicope simplicifolia (Endl.) T.G.Hartley subsp. simplicifolia

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Flower. © CSIRO
Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Fruit [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and fruit [not vouchered]. © Aaron Bean
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Hartley, T.G. (1982) Australian Journal of Botany 30: 370.

Common name

Yellow Acronychia; Bauerella; Yellow Aspen; Yellowwood; Hard Aspen


Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh.


Oil dots visible with a lens and leaves aromatic when crushed. Leaf blades about 7.5-14 x 2.5-5.5 cm. Lateral veins forming loops well inside the blade margin with a tendency towards a double series of loops. Leafy twigs and petioles cream or yellowish brown.


Inflorescence not exceeding the leaves, but usually longer than the petioles. Calyx about 2 mm long, petals about 4 mm long. Stamens eight, dimorphic, four long and four short, filaments ciliate on the margins, much broader than the anthers. Stamens inserted outside a cupular disk. Ovary pubescent, about 1-1.5 mm diam.


Fruits globular, about 10-15 mm diam., apex acute to obtuse, base rounded to truncate. Calyx and corolla persistent. Seeds about 5-7 mm long, testa about 0.6-0.9 mm thick.


Cotyledons elliptic, about 7-10 mm long. Oil dots small, visible with a lens. First pair of leaves trifoliolate, lateral leaflets much smaller than the middle leaflet. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades elliptic or obovate, lateral leaflets unequal-sided, teeth inconspicuous occurring mainly on the apical half of the leaflet blade; oil dots small and numerous; petiole winged. Seed germination time 36 to 77 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range from 400-1100 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites. Also occurs on Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island.

Natural History & Notes

The bark of this species contains a number of alkaloids. One of these alkaloids, viz. acronycine, has a particularly broad spectrum of anti-tumor activity. Collins et al. (1990).

Acronychia simplicifolia (Endl.) Steud., Nomenclator Botanicus : 747(1841). Sarcomelicope simplicifolia (Endl.) T.G.Hartley, Australian Journal of Botany 30: 369(1982). Bauerella simplicifolia (Endl.) T.G.Hartley, Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 56: 168(1975). Bauerella simplicifolia (Endl.) T.G.Hartley subsp. simplicifolia, Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 56: 168(1975). Acronychia simplicifolia (Endl.) Steud. subsp. simplicifolia, Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 51: 209(1970). Vepris simplicifolia Endl., Prodr. Fl. Norfolk : 89(1833), Type: Norfolk Island, Bauer, 5 Dec. 1804. Acronychia endlicheri Schott, Fragmenta Botanica Rutaceae : t. 2(1834), Type: Habitat in insula Norfolk. (Bauer.). Acronychia baueri f. majoriflora Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 848(1928), Type: Queensland: Brisbane River, A.DIETRICH s.n. Melicope simplicifolia Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 842(1928), Type: Nordost-Queensland: in der regenwaldern bei Harveys Creek verbreitet (DOMIN XII. 1909, I. 1910). Acronychia baueri Schott, Fragmenta Botanica, Rutaceae : 5(1834), Type: Habitat. .. (Bauer). Jambolifera baueri (Schott) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 1: 102(1891). Acronychia baueri Schott f. baueri, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 848(1928).
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