Description: Trees or shrubs, milky latex present, but sometimes sparse. Young shoots often hairy, mostly glabrescent with age.
Leaves often clustered towards ends of branches.
Flowers stalked, solitary or in few-flowered clusters, usually axillary, sometimes ramiflorous. Sepals 5. Petals 5, fused to c. halfway. Stamens 5, staminodes 5 and alternating with the corolla lobes. Ovary mostly 1–6-locular.
Berry 1–6-seeded; seeds narrow-ellipsoid, laterally flattened, usually brown and shiny with a long narrow whitish scar, testa hard and bony.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 100 species, mainly Melanesia, Australia, Micronesia–Polynesia, Hawaiian Is., 2 species in South America. Australia: 9 species, Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A.
This has sometimes been included in a broad concept of Pouteria, but recent research shows it is distinct (L. Jessup, BRI, pers. comm. 2006 - see Swensen et al. (2007 Cladistics 23: 221-222 and (2007) Taxon 56(2): 337). Not all species have names in Planchonella yet.
Text by G. J. Harden (1990); edited KL Wilson (Jan 2007, Oct 2007)
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Leaves with lamina rounded at base, not gradually tapering into petiole; petiole 15–30 mm long, glabrous; fine venation obscure above||Planchonella queenslandica|
|Leaves with lamina gradually tapering into petiole; petiole either indistinct or less than 15 mm long or hairy; fine veins prominent above||2|
|2||Leaves spathulate and usually less than 30 mm long; lower surface glabrous or densely hairy||Planchonella cotinifolia|
|Leaves not spathulate and mostly more than 30 mm long; lower surface glabrous or finely hairy|
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|3||Leaves usually less than 8 cm long and mostly 2–2.5 times as long as wide, mostly more or less elliptic, sometimes obovate, usually quickly tapering into a short petiole; sometimes finely hairy below||Planchonella sp.|
|Leaves usually more than 8 cm long, or if less, then more than 2.5 times as long as wide; mostly obovate to oblanceolate, gradually tapering into petiole, usually glabrous, petiole and midvein sometimes hairy|
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|4||Leaves mostly more or less oblanceolate, leaves more than 4 times as long as wide; secondary veins and margins yellowish; young stems, petioles and midveins silky, hairs fawnish||Planchonella pohlmaniana|
|Leaves mostly obovate, sometimes more or less elliptic, mostly less than 4 times as long as wide; secondary veins and margins usually not yellowish; stems, petiole and veins glabrous|
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|5||Apex of lamina rounded or quickly tapering to a blunt point; lamina mostly thick and leathery; intramarginal vein not distinct; fruit more than 20 mm long||Planchonella australis|
|Apex of lamina tapering to a point; lamina mostly thin and papery; intramarginal veins distinct; fruit less than 20 mm long|
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