Davidsonia pruriens—Davidson's Plum—CUNONIACEAE

Davidsonia pruriens

Link to Images on Flickr.

Habitat—Grows in various types of well developed rainforest.

Distribution— Endemic to Australia, occurs in north–eastern New South Wales and into north–eastern Queensland, widespread but never abundant. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 800 m.

Description—Small tree to 6 meters.

Local occurrences

Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney and Raintrees Diamond Beach

Leaves.—Compound, alternate, toothed with a narrow wing along the leaf axis, mostly 8 to 40 cm long; leaflets 5 to 9. Adult leaves usually 60 to 120 cm long, rachis scarcely winged; upper lateral pinnae mostly lanceolate to oblong, with 15 to 27 pairs of secondary veins. Leaflet blades about 6 to 28 by 3 to 10 cm, ± sessile, margins irregular with both large and small teeth intermingled. Stipules persistent, large and conspicuous, cordate to orbicular.

Davidsonia pruriens
Davidsonia pruriens

Inflorescence.— Open, paniculate, usually more than 30 cm long, pink; anthers oblong at anthesis, 1.8 to 3.0 mm long; pyrenes (when fertile, i.e. containing a seed) 2.0 to 2.7 cm long, 2.5 to 2.9 cm wide with a prominent dorsal crest 3.0 to 6.0 mm long; Stamens alternating with an equal number of glandular nectaries. Ovary densely clothed in erect hairs. Ovules about 5 to 7 in each locule.


Fruit.— A purple drupe about 3 to 5 by 4 to 6 cm, containing one or two flat pyrenes with fimbriate or lacinate margins. The pyrenes are often assumed to be seeds, but careful dissection of a pyrene will usually reveal a solitary seed.


Davidsonia pruriens