Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Synima cordierorum (F.Muell.) Radlk.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers. © Barry Jago
Leaves and dehiscing fruit. © B. Gray
Fruit, two views and dehiscing. © W. T. Cooper
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Radlkofer, L.A.T. (1879) Sitzungsberichte der Mathematisch-Physikalischen Classe der k. Bayer Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Munchen 9 : 513.

Common name



Seldom exceeding 45 cm dbh. White, granular stripes in outer blaze.


Compound leaf rhachis flattened on the upper surface with a ridge running down the middle. Leaflets about 4-14 in the compound leaf, each leaflet blade about 4.5-12.5 x 2-4.5 cm. Leaflet stalks shallowly channelled and the midrib slightly raised on the upper surface. Lateral veins curved inside the blade margin, forming indistinct loops.


Inflorescence about 4-24 cm long, peduncle crispate-tomentose, cymules pedunculate, pedicels about 1.5 mm long. Calyx to about 2 mm long, pubescent. Petals to about 3 mm long, petal scales about 3 mm long, villous. Staminal filaments to about 3 mm long, hairy, attached on the inner side of the yellow disk.


Fruits obovoid, triquetrous at the base, slightly lobed at the apex, about 10-25 x 10-25 mm. Valves hairy on the inner surface. Seeds obovoid, about 9-11 x 6-7 mm. Aril completely enclosing the seed or at least half the seed.


First pair of leaves compound with 3-5 leaflets, leaflets toothed, terminal leaflet usually lobed. Petiole and rhachis winged. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades ovate, apex acute, base cuneate, unequal-sided, margin crenate to serrate, upper surface glabrous. Seed germination time 9 to 93 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ, restricted to the area between Hopevale and Mt Spec. Altitudinal range from sea level to 1100 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

A bushy tree with attractive foliage and colourful new growth. Small white flowers are followed by masses of bright red fruits with black seeds surrounded by yellow aril.

Ratonia cordieri (F.Muell.) F.M.Bailey, The Queensland Flora 1: 299(1899). Ratonia cordieri F.Muell. ex F.M.Bailey, Queensland Flora 1: 299(1899). Cupania cordierorum F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 9: 93(1875), Type: Ad ripas altiores fluviorum sinui Rockinghams Bay affluentium; Dallachy. lecto: MEL 84176 fide Reynolds (1985) Fl. Austr. 25 : 201.
RFK Code
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