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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Subfamily: Grevilleoideae
Genus: Finschia

See list

Finschia is a genus of three recognised species of large trees, constituting part of the plant family Proteaceae. They grow naturally in New Guinea and its surrounding region, in habitats from luxuriant lowland rainforests to steep highland forests.[1][2][3]

They naturally grow up to about 35 m (115 ft) tall in rainforests. Across various parts of New Guinea and the surrounding region's islands, collectively the three species have known distributions in Papua New Guinea and West Papua, the Bismarck Archipelago, the Solomon Islands, the Aru Islands, Palau and Vanuatu.

Considering the various sources of evidence of their growing in districts from rainforested city surrounds through to villages and to places far from cities' basic facilities or herbaria for botanical science, it is not surprising that official national herbaria hold numerous specimens of un-described, potentially new species, for example in Papua New Guinea's national herbarium in Lae.[1][2]

Botanists from European backgrounds have scientifically described the current three species as they obtained good enough herbarium dried specimen collections. In their written descriptions of the three species, they briefly comment about potential new species or segregate species, that they have seen on expeditions or refer to in other botanist's collections and descriptions.[1]:192

People from the region of New Guinea, working professionally, such as in government or science, have published written reports of some of the knowledge and uses of these species of trees. Also, the European botanists' writings allude briefly to the same facts, that societies living naturally in forest locations in this region know very well their own well established uses of these trees—regardless of unknown European scientific names; uses such as planted, long-term food tree–crops around villages. The cooking and eating of the seeds of some varieties of these trees, after their planting and establishment as valued food tree–crops, has been described in published written form in reports, articles and books.[1]:eg.192 [2][3]

Published scientific morphology and anatomy observations place them within the subtribe Hakeinae (tribe Embothrieae) and correlate them most closely with some species of Grevillea, then after that with Hakea.[4][5] Dutch botanist H. O. Sleumer included them within the Grevillea genus in 1939 and in his 1958 Flora Malesiana (Proteaceae) description as again Finschia.[1][3] In 2009 the first step was reported in the still early studies of their genetics.[6][7]

Reported by botanists, these species of large trees often have remarkable large stilt roots growing out from up the trunk, sometimes from as high up as 1.8 m (6 ft) off the ground.[1]:192 [2][3]

Known species[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g White, Cyril T. (July 1949). "Finschia—a genus of "nut" trees of the Southwest Pacific". Pacific Science. (Repository page linking to PDF full text). University of Hawai'i Press. 3 (3): 187–194. ISSN 0030-8870. Retrieved 22 Mar 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Foreman, Don B. (1995). "Proteaceae". In Conn, Barry J. Handbooks of the flora of Papua New Guinea. (Digitised, online, freely available via Vol. 3. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. pp. 221–270. Retrieved 22 Mar 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Sleumer, Hermann O. (1958). "Finschia". Flora Malesiana (Digitised, online). Series I, Spermatophyta : Flowering Plants. Vol. 5 Proteaceae. Leiden, The Netherlands: Rijksherbarium / Hortus Botanicus, Leiden University. pp. 159–164. Retrieved 27 Mar 2013. 
  4. ^ 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 2009-10-02. Retrieved 22 Mar 2013. 
  5. ^ Catling, D.M. (2010). "Vegetative anatomy of Finschia Warb. and its place in Hakeinae (Proteaceae)" (PDF). Telopea. 12 (4): 491–504. Retrieved 22 Mar 2013. 
  6. ^ Sauquet, Hervé; Weston, Peter H.; et al. (6 Jan 2009). "Contrasted patterns of hyperdiversification in Mediterranean hotspots". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106 (1): 221–225. doi:10.1073/pnas.0805607106. PMC 2629191Freely accessible. PMID 19116275. Retrieved 22 Mar 2013. 
  7. ^ Mast, Austin R.; Milton, Ethan F.; et al. (1 Mar 2012). "Time-calibrated phylogeny of the woody Australian genus Hakea (Proteaceae) supports multiple origins of insect-pollination among bird-pollinated ancestors". American Journal of Botany. 99 (3): 472–487. doi:10.3732/ajb.1100420. PMID 22378833. Retrieved 22 Mar 2013. 

External links[edit]