Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Syzygium divaricatum (Merr. & L.M.Perry) Craven & Biffin

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Leaves and Flowers. © B. Gray
Fruit, side views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Leaves and fruit [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and fruit [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
Seedling. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
Flower, oblique view showing anthers. © CSIRO
Flower, oblique view. © CSIRO
Flower, side view. © CSIRO

Craven, L.A., Biffin, E. & Ashton, P.S. (2006) Blumea 51(1): 137.

Common name

Cassowary Satinash; Cassowary Gum; Satinash, Cassowary; Smaller Cassowary Satinash; Watergum


A thin, orange, brown layer usually visible just outside the subrhytidome layer.


Leaf blades rather thin, about 7-19 x 2.5-7.5 cm, petioles swollen, about 0.4-1.5 cm long, grooved on the upper surface. Two intramarginal veins usually present, the inner one about 2-7 mm from the margin. Oil dots visible with a lens. Midrib depressed on the upper surface.


Inflorescence bracts deciduous, absent at anthesis. Calyx tube (hypanthium) + pedicel about 3-5 mm long, calyx tube (hypanthium) about 2-4 mm diam., calyx lobes (difficult to distinguish from the petals) rounded, about 1-2 mm diam. Petals +/- orbicular, about 1-2 mm diam., oil dots difficult to distinguish, fewer than ten per petal and concentrated towards the base. Outer anther filaments about 1-2 mm long, anthers wider than long, about 0.2-0.3 x 0.4 mm, gland not visible. Placentas confined to the apex of each locule. Ovules pendulous, about four per locule. Style about 1.5-2 mm long, shorter than the stamens.


Fruits depressed globular to broadly turbinate, attaining about 50-60 mm diam., with a distinct calyx rim or tonsure-like scar at the top, calyx lobes deciduous or at least not obvious, pericarp leathery to almost woody in texture. Seed attaining about 30-40 mm diam., cotyledons fused, +/- ruminate or at least texturally different towards the centre because of the haustorium-like intrusion from the apex of the fruit.


Cataphylls about 4-7 pairs, opposite or subopposite. At the tenth leaf stage: seedlings completely glabrous, leaves elliptic or lanceolate, apex acute, base cuneate to attenuate, double intramarginal vein present; oil dots small, rather sparse, visible only with a lens. Seed germination time 136 to 864 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the area between Cape Tribulation and Tully. Altitudinal range from sea level to 750 m. Grows in well developed lowland and upland rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

This species produces millable logs and the timber is marketed as Cassowary Satinash, a useful general purpose structural timber. Wood specific gravity 0.70. Hyland (1983).

Acmena divaricata Merr. & L.M.Perry, Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 19: 17(1938), Type: North Queensland, Daintree River, S. F. Kajewski 1479; holo: A, iso: BRI, MEL.
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