Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Ternstroemia cherryi (F.M.Bailey) Merr. ex J.F.Bailey & C.T.White

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves, flowers and buds. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © B. Gray
Fruit, side view, cross section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Bailey, J.F. & White, C.T. (1917) Queensland Department of Agriculture and Stock. Botany Bulletin 19: 3.

Common name

Beech, Cherry; Cherry Beech


Seldom grows beyond 30 cm dbh. Yellowish brown, brittle stripes in the blaze. Blaze colour darkens on exposure.


Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Leaf blades about 6-16 x 3-6 cm, crowded towards the ends of the twigs in groups of three to five. Main lateral veins, (but few other veins), visible on the upper surface of the leaf blade. Leaf blade rather thick and fleshy.


Pedicel about 5-30 mm long but usually 10-20 mm long. Sepals unequal (the outer ones smaller), thick and entire, about 1-3.5 x 2-7 mm. Petals thick, waxy, entire, about 5-12 x 7-12 mm. Stamens about 100-200, anthers +/- forked at the apex, filaments about 1-1.5 mm long. Ovary broadly ovoid-oblong, two ovules per locule. Styles about 1-1.5 mm long.


Fruits globular or ovoid, about 30-50 x 25-35 mm, calyx lobes persistent at the base. Seeds 15-20 mm long. Aril papillose. Embryo U-shaped, cotyledons narrower than the radicle.


Cotyledons small, triangular, about 3-7 x 1-2 mm, without visible venation, appressed to the stem. First pair of leaves elliptic, about 25-55 x 15-35 mm, glabrous. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade obovate, apex shortly acuminate, base attenuate, glabrous, often produced in whorls or pseudowhorls. Cataphylls sometimes produced among true leaves. Seed germination time 20 to 87 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 800 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed lowland and upland rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

A decorative shrub or small tree not commonly cultivated but would be suitable for tropical plantings. Large cream flowers are followed by bright orange fruit that last on the plant for a considerable time.

Garcinia cherryi F.M.Bailey, The Queensland Flora 6: 103(1902), Type: Coen, F.J. Cherry [given by W.R.Barker, Brunonia 3 (1980) 27 as F.J. Cherry s.n., Queensland, Cook District, Coen, BRI 011336.].
RFK Code
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