Aceratium ferrugineum

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Aceratium ferrugineum
Aceratium ferrugineum - shows the flowers size.jpg
Flowers, cultivated plant at Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane, 11 Dec 2011, by Tatiana Gerus
Aceratium ferrugineum (Rusty Carabeen)- flowering tree.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Oxalidales
Family: Elaeocarpaceae
Genus: Aceratium
Species: A. ferrugineum
Binomial name
Aceratium ferrugineum

Aceratium ferrugineum is a species of medium-sized trees, commonly known as rusty carabeen, constituting part of the plant family Elaeocarpaceae.[1][2] They grow naturally only (endemic) in the Wet Tropics rainforests of north eastern Queensland, Australia.[2]

Within the Wet Tropics region rusty carabeen trees grow only in the restricted areas of luxuriant, mature, mountain rainforest on the Mount Carbine Tableland between Black Mountain and Mt Spurgeon, and on Mt Lewis.[2][3] There they grow on soils built from granite parent materials.[2]


Mature trees have fluted trunks and grow to 30 m (100 ft) tall. The leaves occur opposite each other, when new have dense rusty hairs all over them which persist on the underside and the top midrib, and measure 7.5 cm–16 cm × 3.5 cm–7.5 cm (3.0 in–6.3 in × 1.4 in–3.0 in). Near the ends of new growing branches grow racemes of pink flowers, each approximately 20 mm (0.8 in) long. They produce bunches of yellow–orange–red, oval shaped fruits measuring 30 mm–45 mm × 18 mm–28 mm (1.18 in–1.77 in × 0.71 in–1.10 in).[2][4] Their fibrous ripe flesh smells like ripe watermelon.[3]

Although not yet well known, the trees have some popularity in cultivation, for example in Brisbane.[citation needed]

Fruiting, cultivated plant at Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane, 11 Dec 2011, by Tatiana Gerus


  1. ^ a b "Aceratium ferrugineum C.T.White". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Hyland, B. P. M.; Whiffin, T.; Zich, F. A.; et al. (Dec 2010). "Factsheet – Aceratium ferrugineum". Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants. Edition 6.1, online version [RFK 6.1]. Cairns, Australia: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), through its Division of Plant Industry; the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research; the Australian Tropical Herbarium, James Cook University. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Breeden, Stanley (1992). Visions of a Rainforest: A year in Australia’s tropical rainforest. Illustrated by William T. Cooper. Foreword by Sir David Attenborough. (first ed.). East Roseville: Simon & Schuster Australia. page 150, paragraph 5. ISBN 0731800583. 
  4. ^ Cooper, Wendy; Cooper, William T. (June 2004). "Aceratium ferrugineum C.T.White". Fruits of the Australian Tropical Rainforest. Clifton Hill, Victoria, Australia: Nokomis Editions. p. 157. ISBN 9780958174213.