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Genus Lophostemon Family Myrtaceae

Description: Trees or rarely shrubs; terminal buds covered with scales; stems and petioles exude a milky resin when cut.

Leaves alternate on mature branchlets, crowded in pseudowhorls at the end of the branchlets, venation conspicuous.

Inflorescences axillary, cymose. Flowers 5-merous, white. Sepals lobed, sometimes persistent in fruit. Petals 5. Stamens numerous, fused into 5 fascicles opposite the petals, inflexed. Ovary half-inferior, 3-locular; stigma capitate.

Fruit a loculicidal capsule not, or scarcely, exceeding the fruiting hypanthium, 3-valved; seeds linear.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: 4 species, Australia & New Guinea. Australia: 4 species (3 species endemic), Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A.

A number are important timber species. Brush Box is hard and tough and is suitable for flooring, turnery and wharf and bridge decking while Swamp Mahogany is often used in situations where it comes in contact with the ground.

Text by Peter G. Wilson
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Calyx lobes subulate, caducous; leaves acute, in false whorls of 4 or 5 at the ends of the branchletsLophostemon confertus
Calyx lobes obtuse, persistent; leaves obtuse or very shortly acuminate, in false whorls of 3 or 4Lophostemon suaveolens

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