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Genus Cryptocarya Family Lauraceae

Description: Trees or shrubs.

Leaves alternate, rarely subopposite, reticulum usually distinct and areolate, rarely obscure.

Inflorescence cymose, racemose or paniculate, axillary, usually at the end of branches and often appearing terminal. Flowers bisexual, 3-merous. Perianth segments 6. Stamens 9, anthers 2-locular; the outer 2 whorls dehiscing introrsely, glandless, the inner whorl dehiscing extrorsely and flanked by glands; fourth whorl of staminodes. Ovary surrounded by a slender tubular receptacle; fruit enclosed at maturity by the expanded receptacle except for a minute terminal orifice.

Drupe surrounded by a succulent receptacle layer topped by persistent floral parts, false 'fruit' usually ovoid to ± globose.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 200–250 species, pantropical regions of Africa, Asia, Malesia, Australia, Pacific islands, & America. Australia: 46 species (44 species endemic, 2 species native), Qld, N.S.W., NT, W.A.

Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Cryptocarya gregsonii,    Cryptocarya meissneriana,    Cryptocarya sclerophylla

 Key to the species 
1Leaves either 3-veined from near base or less than 30 mm long2
Leaves not 3-veined from near base and lamina more than 30 mm long5
2Leaves hairy on lower surface, especially along the veinsCryptocarya triplinervis
Leaves more or less glabrous on lower surface
                       Back to 1
3
3Leaves mostly less than 30 mm longCryptocarya williwilliana
Leaves more than 30 mm long
                       Back to 2
4
4Leaves with 1 or 2 (occasionally more) prominent domatia, as swellings on the upper surface and deep cavities on the lower surfaceCryptocarya foveolata
Either domatia absent, or domatia not swollen as above
                       Back to 3
Cryptocarya laevigata
5Mature leaves green on both surfaces, younger leaves sometimes glaucous6
Mature leaves glaucous on lower surface
                       Back to 1
10
6Leaves with reticulum usually invisible on both surfaces or if reticulum faint then not areolate; the surfaces contrasting in colour (particularly in fresh material), lower surface paler but neither glaucous nor yellowishCryptocarya meisneriana
Leaves with reticulum distinct on both surfaces and finely areolate; either the surfaces similar in colour or the lower surface yellowish or glaucous
                       Back to 5
7
7Leaves mostly more than 4 cm wide, length to breadth ratio less than 2.5:1; secondary veins 4 or 5 pairsCryptocarya foetida
Leaves mostly less than 4 cm wide, length to breadth ratio of more than 2.5:1; secondary veins 4–12 pairs
                       Back to 6
8
8Leaves broadest at or above the middle, margins undulate9
Leaves broadest below the middle, margins not undulate
                       Back to 7
Cryptocarya floydii
9Midrib more or less flattened, scarcely raised below except towards petiole, flush with the upper surface, yellowish; secondary veins more or less straight, tending to dichotomize about a third of the way in from the marginCryptocarya bidwillii
Midrib raised and rounded below, slightly raised above, whitish in fresh leaves; secondary veins curving unbranched towards the margin
                       Back to 8
Cryptocarya microneura
10Mature leaves distinctly hairy on lower surface, especially along the veins11
Mature leaves more or less glabrous on lower surface
                       Back to 5
13
11Leaves broadest above the middle, the apex usually rounded, in juvenile leaves the apex pointed and the leaves usually more than 13 cm longCryptocarya obovata
Leaves broadest at or below the middle, the apex acute or obtuse, not rounded, the lamina usually less than 13 cm long
                       Back to 10
12
12Leaves with more than 7 pairs of secondary veins, the veins making angles of 70–800 with the midvein; leaves usually less than 8 cm longCryptocarya dorrigoensis
Leaves with 4–6 pairs of secondary veins, the lowest pairs making angles of c. 450 with the midvein; leaves mostly more than 8 cm long
                       Back to 11
Cryptocarya rigida
13Leaves with lamina usually more than 7 cm long, reticulum distinct14
Leaves with lamina mostly less than 7 cm long, reticulum obscure or distinct
                       Back to 10
15
14Leaves evenly whitish on lower surface, strongly contrasting with the secondary veins, which are brown or green when fresh (reddish brown when dry); reticulum coarse, not areolate; petiole glabrous; fruit ovoid, not ribbedCryptocarya erythroxylon
Leaves dull ashy-green on lower surface, usually more or less blotched, only moderately contrasting with the greenish secondary veins; reticulum very finely areolate; petiole minutely hairy; fruit depressed-globose, ribbed
                       Back to 13
Cryptocarya glaucescens
15Leaves with reticulum obscureCryptocarya meisneriana
Leaves with reticulum distinct in dried leaves and in fresh leaves in transmitted light, finely areolate
                       Back to 13
Cryptocarya nova-anglica

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