Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Synima macrophylla S.T.Reynolds

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

Reynolds, S.T. (1985) Flora of Australia 25: 202. Type: Mirwinni, near Mt Bartle Frere, Qld, Dec. 1963, L.J.Webb & J.G.Tracey 8223; holo: BRI.

Common name

Large Leaf Synima; Tamarind, Topaz; Synima, Large Leaf; Topaz Tamarind


A small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh.


Compound leaf rhachis flattened on the upper surface with a ridge running down the middle. Leaflets about 4-10 in the compound leaf, each leaf blade about 9-23 x 5-11 cm. Leaflet stalks channelled and the midrib raised in a groove on the upper surface of the leaflet blade. Lateral veins curving but not forming definite loops inside the blade margin.


Inflorescence spike-like, about 6.5-28 cm long, peduncle tomentose, cymules subsessile, pedicels about 2-4 mm long. Calyx to about 3.5 mm long, pubescent outside. Petals about 2-2.5 mm long, petal scales white, ciliate, usually with a yellow gland at the apex of each scale. Staminal filaments to about 2.5 mm long, hairy, attached on the inner side of the yellow disk. Rudimentary ovary in male flowers quite small.


Fruits subglobose or broadly ellipsoid, keeled at the sutures, about 15-22 mm long. Valves fleshy, villous on the inner surface. Seeds obovoid, about 12-15 x 7-9 mm. Aril covering only the base of the seed.


First pair of leaves pinnate usually with five leaflets, leaflets serrate, terminal leaflet lobed. Petiole and rhachis winged. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades ovate or elliptic, apex acuminate, base obtuse or unequal-sided, upper surface with a few hairs along the midrib near the base; petiole, rhachis, leaflet stalks and stem densely clothed in short, matted hairs. Seed germination time 11 to 33 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the area between Cape Tribulation and Tully. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 900 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites.

Natural History & Notes

Yellow arils eaten by Victoria's Riflebirds and seed eaten by King Parrots. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.