Elaeodendron melanocarpum (Celastraceae)

Elaeodendron melanocarpum

Ostensibly the most characteristic feature of this tree is the one-seeded black fruit which resembles and olive or a small plum. This has given rise to common names for this species such as Olive Plum, False Olive and Black Olive Plum. The black fruit in conjunction with the opposite leaves and bluntly toothed leaf margins ensures reliable identification of this plant everytime. The fruit is not only distinctive in the black color but also in the surprisingly hard texture. It is not as fleshy a fruit as it appears.
In the absence of fruits, this plant would be quite hard to identify, unless of course one has become well acquainted with the vein patterns of the plant.

This tree is usually found in rainforest along creeks and streams, particularly near the coast. I have also encountered it in the back of mangroves. This species was also previously known as Cassine melanocarpa.

Elaeodendron melanocarpum


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 Celastraceae (Bittersweet family), Habitat - Coastal forest, Habitat - Rain forest, Lifeform - Trees & Shrubs and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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