Shrub to small tree to 9 m high mainly in drier lowland rainforest. Masses of multicoloured fruit and large clusters of sweetly perfumed white flowers can occur at the same time.

Leaves 10-45 cm long; leaflets 7-15, more or less ovate, 2-10 cm long, 1-6 cm wide, asymmetric, apex shortly pointed or bluntly acuminate, base rounded, margins entire or more or less crenate, upper surface with numerous raised oil dots, lower surface shortly pubescent (hairy), small domatia present in primary vein axils; petiole 2-6 cm long; lateral petiolules 2-7 mm long.

Flowering parts composed of a 5-lobed calyx around 1 mm long and petals 2.5-3.5 mm long, whitish.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Butterfly host plant

Host plant for Orchard Swallowtail (Papilio aegeus), Fuscous Swallowtail (Papilio fuscus), and Ambrax (Papilio ambrax) butterflies.

The flowers are generally attractive to many butterflies, not just those whose caterpillars feed on the leaves.

Orchid Swallowtail butterflies – female above, male below. Photo: from BOIC website.

Fruit (not ripe)

Fruit is an ovoid drupe, 8-10 mm long, yellow-orange to red when ripe. Easy to propagate, comes up in large numbers.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Ripe fruit

Photo: Robert Whyte

Tubestock

Photo: Robert Whyte