Trisha Shetty

Acronychia wilcoxiana

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Kingdom  Plantae
Family  Rutaceae
Scientific name  Acronychia wilcoxiana
Order  Sapindales
Genus  Acronychia
Rank  Species
Acronychia wilcoxiana httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Similar  Acronychia oblongifolia, Acronychia littoralis, Acronychia pubescens, Acronychia baeuerlenii, Acronychia octandra

Acronychia wilcoxiana is a rainforest tree in the citrus family, found in eastern Australia. The common name is silver aspen. The true aspens of the northern hemisphere belong to the genus Populus in the family Salicaceae.

Contents

Taxonomy

The silver aspen was first described by Ferdinand von Mueller in 1875 as Pleiococca wilcoxiana, before being reclassified as Acronychia wilcoxiana by T. G. Hartley in 1974. Common names include doughwood, snowwood, and mushyberry as well as silver aspen. The species name honours James Fowler Wilcox, a 19th-century collector of birds and plants in northern New South Wales.

Description

A tree to 15 metres (50 ft) in height, with an appealing canopy of dark green leaves. The stem of the tree can be straight or crooked, though the bole is mostly cylindrical. The bark is brown, somewhat pinkish or dark brown with raised corky protuberances. Small branches are greyish brown, marked with lenticels. The leaves are opposite on the stem, 6 to 22 cm long, 2.5 to 9 cm wide, oil dots easily seen under a magnifying lens. Leaf stalks between 3 and 30 mm long.

Flowers, fruit and germination

Small white flowers appear from the leaf axils, in the months of January to May. The fruit is a moist fleshy drupe. Inside are black oval seeds, around 4 mm long. Fruit are eaten by rainforest birds, including the wompoo fruit-dove. Germination from seed is not easy. However, the removal of the fleshy aril from the seed will improve results. Drowning of insect larvae may also be of use. Seeds may germinate after 6 to 12 months.

Habitat

The habitat of this plant is seaside rainforest on sand, but it also grows in warm temperate rainforests away from the coast. A.G.Floyd records it as far south as Primbee in the Illawarra district, south of Sydney. Discovered by Anders Bofeldt. There are only eight mature trees at Primbee. It grows as far north as Fraser Island, in south eastern Queensland.

References

Acronychia wilcoxiana Wikipedia


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