Acronychia laevis (RUTACEAE) Glossy Achronychia, Hard Aspen

Plants to Plant

Small tree to 10 m along watercourses. Common in subtropical and dry rainforest and rainforest margins. Image shows a group of the characteristically shaped and coloured fruit – some of these are not quite mature. Acronychia from Greek akros at the farthest point or end, hence topmost, outermost, inmost or highest and onux uchos, talons or claws, referring to the claw-like tips of the petals. Laevis, botanical Latin meaning smooth, free from unevenness, hairs or roughness in reference to the leaf surface.

Photo: Dick Harding


Fruit is a mauve-purplish drupe usually four lobed. Ripe in April-May. Edible but very aromatic (too aromatic for some). Propagate from fresh washed seed or cuttings. All of the Australian species of Acronychia have quite fleshy, generally strongly astringent fruits, which are usually green, cream, pink or purple in colour. Some species, such as A. acidula are favoured for use of the fruit in preserves and experimental plantings for the bush food industry.
Photo: Mark Crocker


This is an attractive species for revegetation or the garden with dense, glossy green foliage. Leaves are one-foliolate, opposite, glossy dark green to about 7cm long. The leaves retain scars showing their evolution from compound leaves to one- foliate. Leaves are aromatic when crushed. The foliage of all the Australian species have noticeable oil-glands, and the leaves when crushed emit a generally strong aromatic citrus scent.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Flowers Close-up

Flowers are creamy white in small clusters from leaf axils from November-March. All (or most of) the Acronychias have been tested for the potency of their essential oils. They have been referred to as turpentine flavoured which is a little harsh.
Photo: Robert Whyte