Bridelia exaltata (PHYLLANTHACEAE) Brush Ironbark

Plants to Plant

Small to large tree with bark dark brown and coarsely fissured; glabrous. Leaves ovate to oblong, to 12 cm, margins entire, undulate, upper surface dark green, lower surface pale greyish green, secondary veins prominent on both surfaces; petiole 3-5 mm long, finely hairy. The leaves appear somewhat two ranked, giving the stem, especially on small plants, a zig-zag appearance. Insignificant perfumed flowers. Yellow to black fruit to 8 mm. Good park tree attractive to birds. Has a tendency to sucker. Said to withstand the poisons of Camphor Laurels.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Foliage showing undersides of leaves

Common names include Brush Ironbark, Scrub Ironbark, Grey Birch, Brown Birch. Bridelia is a plant genus of the family Phyllanthaceae. This genus comprises approximately between 60 and 70 species, found from Africa to Asia including Australia. Some Bridelia species, not necessarily Australian ones, are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Endoclita malabaricus.Another local Bridelia species is Small-Leaved Brush Ironbark Bridelia leichhardtii.
Photo: Robert Whyte