Tall tree to 40 m in dry rainforest (complex microphyll closed forest) extending into eucalypt forest valued as a timber, especially for flooring. Smaller when planted in the open. Leaves alternate or rarely opposite, crowded towards the end of branches, usually, leaflets 3-13, usually 5-9, narrow- to broad-elliptic, or narrow-ovate, up to 13 cm long, apex acute to obtuse, base obtuse to cuneate and often asymmetric, both surfaces glossy green with lower surface paler, oil dots prominent; lateral petiolules to 3 mm long, terminal petiolule longer (up to 30 mm).

Photo: Robert Whyte

New Growth in Summer

Attractive bronze new growth in summer. White flowers in panicles August to February. Flowers attract Orchard Swallowtail Papilio aegeus aegeus butterflies, bees, wasps, moths, honeyeaters and fruit and blossom bats. High branches provide nesting and resting sites for birds.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Immature Fruit

Fruit is a woody capsule covered with short blunt prickles, splitting into 5 boat-shaped valves. Ripe April to November. Often used in floral arrangements.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Fruit Close-up

Seeds are papery and germinate readily when fresh (about a week). Seed can be stored for a long period in the fridge, still retaining good viability.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Open Fruit

This photo shows the open fruit after the seeds have been expelled.

Photo: Anne Jones

Caterpillars of Orchard Swallowtail on Young Tree

The Orchard Swallowtail Papilio aegeus aegeus lays its eggs on Rutacea, upon which the caterpillars feed, and go through stages until they form a chrysalis and then emerge as a butterfly.

Photo: Robert Whyte