Euroschinus falcatus var. falcatus (Ribbonwood) (Anacardiaceae)

Euroschinus falcata (Ribbonwood)

While tropical Queensland lacks in any members of the Mangifera, the iconic genus that gives South East Asian countries a distinctive botanical character, the Ribbonwood makes up for by it’s sheer ubiquity in this part of the world. Ribbonwood is found in coastal lowlands in beach forest and in upland rainforest and even appears regularly in open woodland as a component of regenerating rainforest. The glossy pinnate leaves with assymetrical leaflets is ornamental and reminiscent of the Red Cedar (Toona ciliata). It is difficult not to love the sight of this common tree. The Ribbonwood is also known by many other common names such as white poplar, chinaman’s cedar, maiden’s bush, mango bark etc. Unlike Toona, and as may be expected of a member of the mango family, the leaves exude a resinous smell of mango when crushed. This character alone also distinguishes the Ribbonwood from other similar looking trees with assymetrical leaf bases.

Euroschinus falcata (Ribbonwood)
Leaflet underside. The leaflet venation is quite distinctive, with the lateral veins forking widely at the edge of the leaf lamina. There are also foveoles (hairy glands) present at the points where the lateral nerves come off the midrib.

Euroschinus falcata (Ribbonwood)
Details of foveoles

Euroschinus falcatus var falcatus
Once faced with the flowers of this tree, one accepts without doubt its familial ties with the mango. The numerous small flowers on branched panicles are unmistakably mango-like.

Euroschinus falcatus var falcatus
Male flowers

Euroschinus falcatus var falcatus
A tree in full flower

About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
This entry was posted in Anacardiaceae (Mango family), Edible plants, Habitat - Coastal forest, Habitat - Rain forest, Lifeform - Trees & Shrubs, Ornamental Plants and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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