Darlingia ferruginea

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Darlingia ferruginea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Genus: Darlingia
Species: D. ferruginea
Binomial name
Darlingia ferruginea
Darlingia ferruginea J.F.Bailey

Darlingia ferruginea, commonly known as the brown silky oak, is a rainforest tree of the family Proteaceae from Northern Queensland.

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

Queensland botanist John Frederick Bailey described Darlingia ferruginea in 1899.[1] The species name is the Latin adjective ferruginea "rusty", and refers to the rust-coloured fur on the stems and leaves.[2]

Molecular analysis indicates Darlingia ferruginea and its relative D. darlingiana join Floydia prealta as members of the subtribe Floydiinae within the subfamily Grevilleoideae in the family Proteaceae.[3]

Common names include brown silky oak, rose silky oak,[1] and rusty silky oak.[4] Its everyday name in the local Dyirbal language was gurray, though a more general word gurruŋun "oak tree" (also applied to Cardwellia sublimis and Helicia australasica) was used in the taboo [Dyalŋuy] vocabulary.[5]


Darlingia ferruginea grows as a tall tree in its native rainforest habitat, forming part of the canopy and reaching 30 m (100 ft) in height, though likely to only grow a third this size in cultivation. The trunk is not buttressed.[2] The initial leaves are entire but juvenile leaves are lobed, reaching 70 cm (28 in) long. The leaf veins and undersurface, and stems are covered with fine rust-coloured hairs.[2] Adult leaves are entire and measure 20-46 long by 5–21 cm wide.[4] Flowering is in winter and early spring, the inflorescences are 14–22 cm long.[6]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Darlingia ferruginea is found in montane rainforests from altitude 650 to 1300 m on the Atherton Tableland.[4]

Uses and cultivation[edit]

Darlingia ferruginea has potential as a specimen tree in parks, and has showy flowers and foliage. It is readily propagated from seed or cuttings.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Darlingia ferruginea J.F.Bailey". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  2. ^ a b c d Wrigley, John; Fagg, Murray (1991). Banksias, Waratahs and Grevilleas. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. p. 150. ISBN 0-207-17277-3. 
  3. ^ Weston, Peter H.; Barker, Nigel P. (2006). "A new suprageneric classification of the Proteaceae, with an annotated checklist of genera" (PDF). Telopea. 11 (3): 314–344. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-11-16. 
  4. ^ a b c Hyland, B. P. M.; Whiffin, T.; Zich, F. A.; et al. (Dec 2010). "Factsheet – Darlingia ferruginea". 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 2 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Dixon, Robert Malcolm Ward (1990). Anthropological Linguistics. 32 (1/2): 1–56. JSTOR 30028138.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Darlingia ferruginea". Flora of Australia Online. Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australian Government.