Cyclophyllum longipetalum (RUBIACEAE) Coast Canthium

Plants to Plant


Small tree in littoral and subtropical rainforest, chiefly on the coast, north from Jervis Bay, NSW. Recorded as growing up to 25 metres tall with a 50 cm wide trunk, but is usually seen as a much smaller dense-canopied plant when seen in the wild around Brisbane. It is commonly seen in remnant and regenerating rainforest.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Foliage and Trunk

Leaves obovate to elliptic, 2-10 cm long, 10-40 mm wide, apex obtuse or bluntly acuminate, venation more or less visible on lower surface, upper surface deep green and dull, lower surface paler, domatia sometimes present, petiole 2-10 mm long. This specimen was seen at Kadanga, near Gympie.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Flower Buds

Cream, fragrant flowers which fade to golden brown with age, mainly November to February. The fruit that follow are orange red, glossy and said to be edible. Not very palatable. Slow growing, yet quite a tough plant that can handle a variety of conditions once established in the garden. This specimen was photographed near Obi Obi Creek, near Kenilworth. This plant was previously known as Canthium coprosmoidesin some quarters. That genus name was derived from the Malay word canti, a name given to a tree in Malacca which was the first described species of the genus. The old species name was derived from Coprosma, a shrub with similar leaves, and the Greek word eidos, resembling, in reference to this Canthium‘s similarity to the shrub Coprosma.

Photo: Robert Whyte