A most difficult group of plants for the uninitiated. Drypetes was previously part of the Euphorbiaceae (Spurge family) but this family has been split up into groups which require a bit of relearning for mere mortals. Now this species is in one of the Euphorbiaceae splitoffs – the Putranjivaceae. A very bombastic sounding family name, with little that one can relate to.
It is difficult to expound on the gist of this plant. There is something to the leathery leaves, their venation and the just perceptible ‘teeth’ along the leaf margins, which are more like crenulations actually. On seedlings and on coppice shoots however, the leaves are strongly toothed. Like in Glochidion, the leaves are alternate and there will be stipular scars at the stem-leaf stalk junction if you look closely. Habitat-wise, this tree seems to occur more often in drier rain forest types.
Despite the non-descript nature, the species is widely recognized enough to be given a common name – Yellow Tulipwood.
I look forward to seeing some flowers.