Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Syncarpia glomulifera (Sm.) Nied. subsp. glomulifera

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Leaves, flowers and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Bean, A.R. (1995) Austrobaileya 4(3): 340.

Common name

Luster; Red Luster; Turpentine


Bark thick and fibrous.


Pale brown oil dots visible with a lens. Leaf bearing twigs and petioles clothed in short, pale hairs which become almost black with age. Leaf blades about 3.5-6.5 x 1.6-3.2 cm.


Flowers aggregated into dense heads, about seven flowers per head, peduncles about 20-25 mm long, individual flowers sessile. Calyx lobes and petals densely pubescent. Ovary apex densely pubescent.


Fruits aggregated into heads, about seven individual fruits per head. Individual fruits sessile, densely pubescent, calyx lobes persistent at the apex. Seeds small, about 1.5-2 x 0.5 mm. Cotyledons rolled lengthways.


Cotyledons about 2 x 3-4 mm, apex truncate, base cuneate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic, apex acute, base cuneate, upper surface with a few scattered, pale hairs; oil dots scattered, visible with a lens; petiole, stem and terminal bud clothed in long pale hairs. Seed germination time 12 to 36 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 300-1100 m. Grows in wet sclerophyll forest and on rain forest margins.

Natural History & Notes

Much valued for use as wharf piles particularly when used with the bark still attached. Also used as sleepers. Swain (1928).

Wood specific gravity 0.94. Cause et al. (1989).

Nania glomulifera (Sm.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 1: 242(1891). Syncarpia glomulifera (Sm.) Nied., Die Naturlichen Pflanzenfamilien 3(7) : 88(1893). Metrosideros glomulifera Sm., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 3: 269(1797), Type: New South Wales, Port Jackson, in 1791, D. Burton s.n.; holo: LINN.
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