Anopterus macleayanus —Macleay Laurel—ESCALLONIACEAE

Anopterus macleayanus

Link to Images on Flickr.

Habitat—Subtropical, Warm-temperate and Cooltemperate rainforest.

Distribution—On the coast and tablelands; North from the Comboyne Plateau in New South Wales to McPherson Range, Queensland

Description—Shrub or small tree to 15 m, stem to 20cm. Young plants are quite striking with their straight, unbranched stems, large toothed leaves & red petioles. Trunk: usually cylindrical when young, becoming more irregular and crooked with age; not buttressed. Branchiets: thick, red on leafy portions, turning green then brown; leaf scars distinct; sparsely hairy. Leaf buds: red, softly scaly, hairless.

Local occurrences

Boorganna Nature Reserve, Boorganna Nature Reserve, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Sea Acres National Park, Tallwoods and Waitui Falls.

Leaves.— Simple, in whorls or pseudo—whorls or alternate, margins toothed, large, fleshy, long and narrow, clustered near the ends of branchlets, mostly 10 to 40 cm long x 2-4 cm wide (juveniles often much larger), apex pointed, base often reddish & tapering into petiole, margins bluntly toothed, upper surface green, somewhat shiny, lower surface paler, usually hairless. Petiole: indistinct or 2.5 cm long, reddish.

Anopterus macleayanus
Anopterus macleayanus Anopterus macleayanus
Anopterus macleayanus

Inflorescence—Attractive dainty, white bell-like, 1 to 1 .5 cm across, in terminal racemes.

Flowering.—October to December.

Fruit—A dry, hard, dark pinkish, ovoid capsule, 2.5 to 4 cm long, 1 to 1 .2 cm diam., 2 valved with persistent sepals; opens from the tip which curls back to reveal up to 16 winged seeds 10 to 20 mm long. Note: Seeds require wind for seed dispersal so tree is found on the edges of the forest or in clearings.