Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Sarcotoechia serrata S.T.Reynolds

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Fruit, dehiscing and arillous seed [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Fruit, dehiscing and arillous seed [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Fruit, dehiscing and arillous seed. © W. T. Cooper
Leaves [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Reynolds, S.T. () Flora of Australia 25: 201. Type: Gadgarra, Qld, Sept. 1954, K.J.White 895 (flower); holo: BRI; loc. id., 14 Dec. 1981, B.P.M.Hyland 11412 (fruit); para: BRI, QRS.

Common name

Fern Leaved Tamarind; Native Fern Tree; Tamarind, Fern Leaved; Ferny Tamarind


A small tree seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh.


Leaflets about 6-12 in the compound leaf, each leaflet blade about 2-5.5 x 1.2-2.5 cm, sessile or with very short stalks. Blade margin prominently toothed almost to the point of being classed as lobed; midrib raised on the upper surface. Terminal buds and young shoots clothed in pale brown, tortuous, +/- erect hairs which darken with age. Leafy twigs longitudinally grooved.


Inflorescence about 0.5-1 cm long, pedicels about 3-5 mm long. Calyx 2 mm long, lobes narrowly ovate. Petals ovate or acuminate, about 2 mm long. Stamens usually eight, filaments hairy on the lower half, about 2.5-3.5 mm long, inserted inside the disk.


Fruits transversely ellipsoid or obovoid, about 12-23 x 12-25 mm, usually 2-lobed, 2-locular, valves thin, silky inside. Aril minute, confined to the base of the seed. Seeds slightly flattened, ovoid or ellipsoid, about 14-17 x 12-13 mm.


First pair of leaves with 5-9 leaflets, terminal leaflet present, leaflets deeply toothed or lobed. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflets lobed, hairy on the upper surface along the midrib; petiole and rhachis of compound leaf and leaflet stalks hairy, rhachis winged, especially at the younger stages. Seed germination time 14 to 27 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the Atherton Tableland. Altitudinal range from 650-1000 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed upland rain forest usually on soils derived from basalt.

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