Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Terminalia arenicola Byrnes

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Flowers. © Barry Jago
Flower. © Barry Jago
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit, side views, cross section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Byrnes, N.B. (1977) Contributions from the Queensland Herbarium 20: 35. Type: North Kennedy District: Townsville 3 Dec. 1971, N. Byrnes 2442, (holotype, CANB 226580; isotypes, DNA, NT, BRI, L, K, NSW, LAE).

Common name

Brown Damson


May be deciduous; leafless for a period in September or October.


Leaf blades about 10-20 x 6-14 cm. Two flat glands usually visible on the underside of the leaf blade near its junction with the petiole. Domatia are foveoles often with hairs at the orifice.


Inflorescence as long as or shorter than the leaves, bracts narrowly triangular, about 1 mm long, caducous. Perianth tube appressed pubescent to thinly pilose, lobes triangular, about 2.5 x 2 mm, glabrous or thinly pilose. Staminal filaments glabrous, about 2 mm long. Disk villous. Style glabrous.


Mature fruits glabrous, ovoid, about 25-40 x 17-25 x 14-18 mm, with a short beak, slightly compressed, sometimes with lateral angles. Seed about 12 x 2 mm, cotyledons convolute.


Cotyledons much wider than long, about 20 x 35-40 mm, rounded at the base, apex +/- truncate, upper surface with a few hairs towards the base. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves obovate, apex acute or shortly acuminate, base attenuate, hairy on the upper surface; oil dots small, numerous, visible with a lens; petiole, stem and terminal bud densely clothed in long reddish brown hairs. Seed germination time 73 to 165 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Natural distribution now difficult to discern because of cultivation. Grows in beach forest close to sea level. Commonly cultivated on beaches in NEQ as it provides very good shade. Unfortunately the flowers produce a fetid odour which most people find unpleasant. This species has many of the characteristics of T. catappa which is a widespread strand tree and it is surprising that T. arenicola does not have a similar distribution.

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