Common name: Bitter Bark, Native Quince, Forest Quinine, Quinine Tree, Quinine Bush, Quinine Berry
Petalostigma pubescens Domin APNI*
Synonyms: Petalostigma nummularium Airy Shaw APNI*
Description: Shrub or small tree to 10 m high.
Leaves ovate to ± circular, 2–6 cm long, 1–2.5 cm wide, margins ± entire, upper surface dark green; lower surface grey and finely pubescent with long and short hairs; petiole 3–8 mm long, hairy.
Male flowers in clusters of 3 or 4, female flowers solitary, creamy-fawn.
Fruit 12–17 mm diam., pubescent, mostly 4-locular, orange-yellow to orange; ripe April–November.
Distribution and occurrence: north from Ramornie on the Clarence River.
Grows in dry rainforest or in open forest.
NSW subdivisions: NC, NWS, NWP
Other Australian states: Qld W.A. N.T.
Strychnine Tree is given as a common name for P. pubescens in Robson, P.J. (1993), Checklist of Australian Trees: alphabetical listings of common and scientific names. This common name is not recommended for P. pubescens because it might cause confusion with species of Strychnos, which contain several highly toxic alkaloids including Strychnine (Struwe et al. 2018, Loganiaceae, In: Kubitzki, K. (ed) The families and genera of vascular plants vol XV). Note added by K.L. Gibbons, Jan 2020.
Petalostigma was formerly placed in Euphorbiaceae.
Text by T.A. James & G.J. Harden, Flora of New South Wales Vol. 1: 401-402 (1990), in Euphorbiaceae; last revised May 2017
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census (accessed May 2017)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.