Acronychia oblongifolia

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White aspen
Acronychia oblongifolia fruit & leaf1.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Acronychia
Species: A. oblongifolia
Binomial name
Acronychia oblongifolia
(A. Cunn. ex Hook.) Endl. ex Heynh.

Acronychia oblongifolia, commonly known as white aspen, is a small to medium-sized rainforest tree of the Rutaceae (citrus) family endemic to eastern Australia, distributed from Queensland to Victoria. The true aspens of the northern hemisphere belong to the genus Populus in the family Salicaceae.[1] A. oblongifolia has green foliage and white succulent fruit appearing over winter to late spring.

Taxonomy[edit]

The white aspen was first described by Allan Cunningham in 1834 as Cyminosma oblongifolia,[2] before being reclassified as Acronychia oblongifolia by German botanist Gustav Heynhold in 1840. The specific name, from the Latin folium "leaf", refers to the oblong shape of the leaves.[3] Common names include common acronychia and yellow wood as well as white aspen.[4] The trade name is hard aspen.[5]

Description[edit]

Acronychia oblongifolia grows as a shrub or medium-sized tree and can reach 27 m (89 ft) in height.[6] The trunk is dark brown and generally smooth, although can have fine wrinkles, fissures or pustules.[5] The leaves are arranged oppositely on the stem and measure 3–12 cm (1–4.5 in) long and 1–5 cm (0.5–2 in) wide, oblanceolate, leathery, dark green and aromatic. Flowers are 1 cm (0.5 in) across, followed by white, yellow or purplish edible berries,[3] which are round and measure 0.8–1.2 cm (0.31–0.47 in) across, and have a four-lobed apical tuft of hairs.[6] The fruit are ripe between May and November (to January in Victoria) and are consumed by the green catbird, regent bowerbird, satin bowerbird, pied currawong, topknot pigeon, white-headed pigeon and wompoo fruit dove.[5]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Found from Gympie in central Queensland south through New South Wales and into eastern Victoria,[3] its natural habitat is rainforest and rainforest margin.[6] Mostly shrubby, places where Acronychia oblongifolia reaches tree size include the rainforest of the McPherson Range on the New South Wales/Queensland border, and Mitchell River Gorge in Victoria.[5]

Cultivation[edit]

Acronychia oblongifolia is fairly readily cultivated in a well-drained soil and sunny aspect, and benefits from extra water and fertiliser. It is somewhat frost tender when young. It is propagated by seed or cutting.[3] Reported have a taste akin to orange,[5] the berries are pleasantly piquant and aromatically flavored, being used in preserves.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "technology transfer fact sheet: Populus spp." (PDF). Forest Products Laboratory: R&D USDA. Madison, Wisconsin: United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "Cyminosma oblongifolia A.Cunn. ex Hook.". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  3. ^ a b c d Elliot, W.R.; Jones, D.L. (1982). Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants: volume 2 A-Ca. pp. 142–43. ISBN 0-85091-143-5. 
  4. ^ "Acronychia oblongifolia (A.Cunn. ex Hook.) Endl. ex Heynh.". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Floyd, A.G., Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia, Inkata Press 2008, ISBN 978-0-9589436-7-3 pp. 346-47.
  6. ^ a b c "Acronychia oblongifolia". PlantNET - NSW Flora Online. Retrieved 2010-09-12.