Elaeodendron australe

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Red olive berry
Elaeodendron australe var australe near Milton.JPG
Red olive berry at Yatteyattah Nature Reserve, Australia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Celastrales
Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Elaeodendron
Species: E. australe
Binomial name
Elaeodendron australe Vent.
Synonyms
  • Cassine australis (Vent.) Kuntze
  • Elaeodendron australe var. angustifolium Benth.
  • Elaeodendron australe var. integrifolium (Tratt.) DC.

Elaeodendron australe is a shrub or small tree growing from Tuross Head (35° S) near Moruya, New South Wales to central coastal Queensland. Common names include red olive berry, red fruited olive plum and cassine. It occurs in eucalyptus and rainforest ecotone areas, and in littoral rainforest or dry rainforests in Australia. An unusual thick leaved form occurs at Mount Kaputar National Park and nearby western slopes and dry tableland gorges.

Elaeodendron australe was previously included in the Cassine genus, however, now it is considered that only three African species belong to Cassine.[1] E. australe is easily identified by the brilliant red or orange fruit on the tree or fallen below the tree.

Description[edit]

Growing to 8 metres tall and 20 cm in width. The trunk is straight and slightly flanged at the base. The outer bark is dark brown with pustules, somewhat wrinkled in older trees.

Leaves are wavy edged, or toothed, opposite on the stem. Sometimes not toothed at the basal end. Leaves are veiny, thick, egg shaped or sometimes long and thin.

Flowers are pale green, unscented with four petals, occurring in cymes, forming from August to November. Fruit are a bright orange or red drupe, 15 mm long. The inner capsule contains one or rarely two pointed seeds. Fruit is ripe March to July. Fruit often persists on the tree for many months. Seed germination is very slow, but reliable with around a 25% success rate after twelve months.

Uses[edit]

Because of the attractive fruit and small size, it is suitable as an ornamental plant.

References[edit]