Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Vanroyena castanosperma (C.T.White) Aubrev.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Fruit, side views. © Stanley Breeden
Fruit, two views, cross section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Leaves [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Aubreville, A. (1963) Adansonia 3: 329. Type: ?.

Common name

Saffron Boxwood; Plum, Yellow; Plum, Poison; Plum, Milky; Yellow Plum; Boxwood, Saffron; Poison Plum; Milky Plum


Bark exudate quite conspicuous. Living bark layer quite thin, about 2-3 mm. Narrow, yellowish, vertical stripes in the blaze.


Petioles and twigs produce a milky exudate. Leaf blades about 4-10 x 1.5-4.9 cm.


Sepals ferruginously sericeous on the inner and outer surfaces. Corolla about 7-12 mm long, usually glabrous on both surfaces but the margins of the lobes minutely ciliate. Stamens attached well below the throat of the tube. Staminodes subulate, about 2 mm long. Ovary about 1.5-2.5 mm diam., densely ferruginously villous. Style about 7.5-11 mm long.


Fruits +/- ovoid, about 40-60 x 30-40 mm. Sepals persistent. Seeds one or two per fruit, about 25-40 x 30 x 25 mm. Testa thick, hard and woody. Hilum about 15-35 x 12 mm.


A few cataphylls are produced before the first pair of true leaves. First pair of true leaves lanceolate, midrib raised on the upper surface, both the upper and lower surfaces mainly glabrous. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade lanceolate to ovate, apex acuminate, base obtuse to cuneate, glabrous; petiole grooved on the upper surface; stem with pale lenticels. Taproot somewhat thickened, lenticels pale, rather large. Seed germination time 26 to 50 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the area between the McIvor River area and Tully. Altitudinal range from sea level to 1200 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites.

Natural History & Notes

Seeds eaten by native rats. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Lucuma castanospermum (C.T.White) C.T.White & W.D.Francis, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 35: 74(1924). Pouteria castanosperma (C.T.White) Baehni, Candollea 9 : 295(1942). Chrysophyllum castanospermum C.T.White, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Stock. Botany Bulletin 21: 12(1919), Type: Upper Johnstone River, C.T. White;.
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