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Xylocarpus J.Koenig

Naturforscher (Halle) 20 (1784)
Name Status

Scientific Description

Common name. Cedar Mangroves. Family Meliaceae.

Family Meliaceae, Subfamily Swietenioideae, Tribe Xylocarpeae.

Habit and leaf form. Trees. ‘Normal’ plants. Leaves cauline. To 1–30 m high. Halophytic. Not heterophyllous. Leaves medium-sized; alternate; spiral; leathery; petiolate; with ‘normal’ orientation; compound; pinnate; paripinnate. Leaflets (2–)4–8(–10); 3.5–17 cm long. Lateral leaflets opposite. Leaflets ovate, or elliptic, or oblong, or obovate; cordate, or cuneate at the base, or rounded at the base; flat. Leaflet margins flat. Leaf blades neither inverted nor twisted through 90 degrees; dorsiventral; pinnately veined. Mature leaf blades adaxially glabrous; abaxially glabrous. Leaf blade margins entire; flat. Leaf anatomy. Hairs absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers functionally male, or functionally female. Unisexual flowers present. Plants monoecious. Plants not viviparous; homostylous. Floral nectaries present. Nectar secretion from the disk.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. Inflorescence few-flowered. Flowers in panicles. Inflorescences compound. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences axillary. Flowers pedicellate. Pedicels sometimes conspicuously swollen near calyx. Flowers bracteate. Bracts persistent. Flowers small; regular; 4 merous; cyclic. Floral receptacle without a gynophore. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 8; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 4; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; lobed. Calyx lobes about the same length as the tube. Calyx glabrous; valvate; exceeding the corolla; unequal but not bilabiate. Corolla present; 4; 1 -whorled; polypetalous; contorted; regular; white and cream, or pink. Petals elliptic, or oblong, or obovate. Corolla members entire. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 8. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal; coherent (filaments fused into a tube); 1 - adelphous; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 8; remaining included; all more or less similar in shape; diplostemonous. Anthers separate from one another; all alike. Gynoecium 4–5 carpelled. The pistil 4–5 celled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 2–5 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; simple (short); apical. Stigmas 1; 1 - lobed; discoid. Placentation axile. Ovules 3–4(–6) per locule.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit 60–250 mm long; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules valvular. Dispersal unit the seed. Cotyledons 2. Seedling. Germination cryptocotylar (Pennington & Styles (1975)).

Geography, cytology, number of species. Paleotropical. Native of Australia, or adventive. Endemic to Australia, or not endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, or Northern Territory, or Queensland. Northern Botanical Province. Found in mangrove swamps and coastal woodlands, the seeds float just below the surface of the sea and are widely dispersed in currents. Xylocarpus was one of the first genera of trees to colonise Krakatoa after its eruption in 1883 (Harms 1940, in Mabberley et. al. 1995:372. 2n=52. A genus of 3 species; 2 species in Western Australia; 0 endemic to Western Australia.

Etymology. From the Greek for "wood" and "fruit".

B. Richardson, 8 September 2016

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Koch, B. L.; Wilson, A. J. G.; Western Australian Herbarium 1992. Flora of the Kimberley region. Western Australian Herbarium.. Como, W.A..