Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Toechima pterocarpum S.T.Reynolds

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

Reynolds, S.T. (1985) Flora of Australia 25: 202. Type: Bushy Creek, Julatten, Qld, 16 37 S, 145 20 E, 10 Jan. 1983 G. & N.Sankowsky 231 (fruit); holo: BRI.

Common name

Bushy Tamarind; Orange Tamarind; Tamarind, Bushy; Tamarind, Orange


A small tree usually less than 30 cm dbh.


Compound leaf petiole +/- flat on the upper surface and the rhachis ridged, leaflets about 6 per leaf, each leaflet blade about 5.5-12.5 x 2-3.5 cm. Midrib and lateral veins raised on the upper surface of the leaflet blade. Domatia are shallow pits on the underside of the leaflet blade.


Inflorescence about 17-24 cm long, approximating the leaves, pedicels about 3 mm long. Male flowers: Flowers about 4-5 mm diam. Calyx lobes about 1 mm long. Petals about 1-2 x 1-1.5 mm with a hairy gland or spur attached to the inner (adaxial) surface. Stamens 8, each about 3 mm long, staminal filaments woolly, about 3 mm long, anthers about 0.25 mm long. Female flowers: Calyx lobes about 1.5 mm long, ovate, ciliolate. Petals obovate or ovate, about 2.5-3 mm long with two woolly scales on the inner surface, each scale with a bright yellow-orange gland at the apex. The two scales are together about as large as the petal to which they are attached. Staminodes present.


Fruit broadly obovoid, 3-lobed, broadly winged from the base to the apex. Capsule + wings about 1.5-2.5 x 1.5-3 cm, glabrous inside and out. Seeds about 10-12 x 6 mm. Aril +/- 2-lipped, reflexed on one side and confined to the base of the seed.


First pair of leaves compound with four leaflets with sparsely toothed margins. Terminal leaflet reduced to a linear appendage. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades +/- elliptic, margins sparsely but coarsely toothed; compound leaf petiole shallowly channelled on the upper surface but the rhachis ridged on the upper surface; midrib slightly raised on the upper surface of the leaflet blade; terminal bud clothed in pale, prostrate hairs. Seed germination time 17 to 23 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, known only from collections from the Mossman and Julatten areas. Altitudinal range from sea level to 450 m. Grows in well developed rain forest but also persists on farmland after clearing of the rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

A very ornamental small tree once thought to be rare, now commonly cultivated for the very showy red capsules it produces. Flowering and fruiting when only a shrub.

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