Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Xanthophyllum octandrum (F.Muell.) Domin

Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower and buds. © Barry Jago
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit, dehiscing fruit and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Domin, K. (1928) Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 860.

Common name

Mareeba Stonewood; Yellow Boxwood; Sovereignwood; Soft Ghittoe; Mealy Barked Yellow Stonewood; Macintyre's Boxwoos; False Jitta; Cheesewood; Boxwood, Yellow; Boxwood, Macintyre's; Milky Jitta


Stem completely lacking any form of buttress. Crown generally thin and sparse.


Leaf blades about 6.5-17 x 2-6.2 cm. About 4-8 main lateral veins on each side of the midrib. One or two, rarely three or more inconspicuous glands often visible on the underside on each side of the midrib, generally towards the base of the leaf blade. Glands generally situated away from both the midrib and the margin of the leaf blade. Petiole often transversely wrinkled but usually grooved on the upper surface.


Inflorescence about 5-20 cm long, usually exceeding the leaves. Sepals pubescent, about 2.5-3.5 mm long, inner larger than the outer. Petals mainly glabrous, villous near the base, about 10 x 2.5-3 mm. Stamens eight. Anther filaments villous and expanded mainly in the lower half, about 5-6 mm long, closely adhering to the basal part of the petals, but without any vascular attachment, anthers about 0.6 mm long. Disk about 0.2-0.3 mm high, margins obscurely lobed. Ovary octangular, villous, about 2-2.5 x 2 mm, stipitate, stipe about 1 mm long. Yellow glandular disk at base of ovary stipe. Ovules about five. Style about 4 mm long.


Fruits depressed globular and laterally compressed, about 13-20 x 15-23 mm. Seeds about 10-12 x 11-13 mm, completely enclosed in the aril. Embryo flat +/- orbicular, about 8 mm diam., cotyledons green, many times wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons obovate or orbicular, about 15-21 mm diam. First pair of true leaves lanceolate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade lanceolate to oblong-ovate, apex acuminate, base cuneate or obtuse, glabrous; petiole and stem glabrous, stem usually somewhat zig-zagged. Seed germination time 38 to 108 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 1600 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites. One of the slower growing rain forest species and large trees are probably quite old.

Natural History & Notes

Fruit eaten by Cassowaries. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

This is a very slow growing species and large trees are thought to be of great age. Produces a useful timber which was once sought for the manufacture of wooden rulers.

Wood specific gravity 0.80. Cause et al. (1989).

Xanthophyllum macintyrii F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 5: 57(1865), Type: Ad sinum Rockinghams Bay. Macintyria octandra F.Muell., Fragm. 5: 8(1865), Type: Rockingham Bay, Dallachy.
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